Created By: SomeGuy on April 16, 2010

Female Gaze

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Female Gaze currently redirects to Eating the Eye Candy. But in my estimation it would be more useful to define this as a parallel trope to Male Gaze- that is, make it about the tendency of the camera to linger on sexy male body parts. While obviously lesser in scope than Male Gaze, it's still a tropable concept and one we should have. Need more ideas for the definition write-up as well as examples.

It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate where this trope is really Female Gaze or Homosexual-Male Gaze, owing to the fact that both groups (mostly) find the same things sexually attractive, and that appeal to both groups is still not considered particularly mainstream. Regardless, this trope is still called Female Gaze just for the sake of cohesion.

Here's what I've cribbed from the Male Gaze article that is described as Female Gaze-

  • Dragon Ball Z. Granted, of course, this is a series that prides itself on heavily muscled men beating the snot out of each other. Still, there are far more long panning shots up spandex-clad male bodies than can possibly be justified by dramatic reasons. May explain part of the show's relatively large female following.
  • Batman Forever and especially Batman & Robin'', would provide the audience with loving close-ups of the dynamic duo's chest, crotch and rear every time they suited up. Hard to tell however if this is an example of the Female Gaze or merely a homosexual version of the Male Gaze, considering how Camp the Batman movies had become by this point.
  • The X-Files episode directed by Gillian Anderson starts with the Male Gaze (camera just below armpit level, directed past Scully's bosom) and turns to Female Gaze (Mulder asleep in bed).
  • A good deal of Metal Gear Solid is geared towards the Female Gaze, given how taut and firm Snake's ass is.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • April 5, 2010
    Hi Some Guy;

    Female Gaze is a more-or-less established idea in Gaze theory, and I think our trope should reflect that. It is about the way a work is presented as from a female perspective or reflects female attitudes, either because of the creator's gender or because it is deliberately aimed at a female audience. Female Gaze is not restricted to looking at sexy men (which can perfectly well happen in a work with Male Gaze, to emphasize how much the ladies admire the hero), although that can certainly be a part of it, but is more importantly about the expectations of how the (presumptive) audience relates to the work.

    Female Gaze is (almost) a Distaff Counterpart to Male Gaze, the trope page for which is currently full of "ogling women" examples but extends beyond that into the stuff that's currently on Most Writers Are Male ("almost" because of the fact that Male Gaze is pervasive and the default for works aimed at mixed-gender audiences, whereas Female Gaze is mainly found in works that are either assumed to be exclusively for women, like chick flicks or shoujo manga, or more ideosyncratic and personal works by female creators).
  • April 5, 2010
    But, say, let's think about a show like Torchwood. It's fairly popular among straight people, gay people, bi people, etc., I'd say. There are men and women looking at Toshiko's bosom, Jack's arse, Ianto's dimples, etc. It's not really Male Gaze or Female Gaze if the camera follows Jack's bum around.

    I almost wonder if we should just have Male Gaze as no examples, just a definition, and then a gender-neutral version for all ogly camera work. Call it Ogle Cam or something. Ogle O Vision! But, then, there are some cases where a male comic book writer shows a female character as a backside in panties walking around talking, and that's totally Male Gaze...

    Or, actually, I think lebrel basically has it covered. It's just that when adding examples, people are going to have to think with their brainmeats and go, "Who's meant to be looking at this?" Or maybe we could have a gender-neutral variant for things where the creators were obviously trying to appeal to several demographics, ie., Captain Jack Harkness's arse in tight trousers.
  • April 16, 2010
    Can I just note: What's up with the butt shots? Seriously, a guy's butt does not turn me on. I don't really see how it could turn a girl on. And a shot of the guy's crotch (David Bowie or not) is a little disturbing for me (and apparently traumatizing for my male friends, given their reactions when we're watching movies together).

    I can kinda understand how guys get turned on by normal Fanservice, but I think a lot of shows that try to cater to girls are completely out of touch with what a girl wants to see.

    By contrast, Girl Genius is giving me just the right amount of ShirtlessScenes. Bare those chests, gentlemen!
  • April 16, 2010
    Male Gaze is distinct from Female Gaze in that it's only within the last 20 years that men have become publicly considered and promoted as sex symbols, due to the Double Standard that All Men Are Perverts but All Women Are Prudes. To this day a naked man is more likely to be a case of Naked People Are Funny rather than seriously considered as Fan Service.

    Male Gaze is considered natural, Female Gaze is assumed to not exist.
  • April 16, 2010
    I agree that this needs to be about assuming a female perspective rather than just ogling men.
  • April 18, 2010
    Why not make the main article gender-neutral and do a soft split into male-aimed and female-aimed. Call the results, say Creator Gaze, Gaze Theory, Camera Gaze, or something like that and have Male Gaze and Female Gaze as redirects.
  • April 19, 2010
    Male Gaze is a pre-existing term. That's the reason it was given. As far as I know.
  • April 24, 2010
    Also, let's not kid ourselves. Male Gaze is way more common. A merged concept article would give the inaccurate impression that the two have similar appearance rates in media.
  • April 24, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    @Kilyle - speak for yourself. Just because you're not an Ass Girl doesn't mean Ass Girls don't exist, and I'm proof of that. Not that I don't like chest, too. And legs. ...Okay, the entire man. But especially the ass.

    @Some Guy - I think a merged article for Ogle Cam or something is probably the best way to go, although we can clarify in the write-up that this is almost always of women due to double standards, and link to Male Gaze.
  • April 24, 2010
    I know Haley has some definite Female Gaze-ing going on after Roys resurrection in Order Of The Stick.