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[[quoteright:350:[[WebAnimation/AwesomeSeries http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/metal_gear_awesome_meryls_butt.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[ComicallyMissingThePoint Oh? What's in her pocket?]]]]
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->'''Meryl:''' I'll go on ahead, look at my ass.\\
'''Snake:''' Ok. Cool.
-->-- ''Franchise/MetalGear WebAnimation/{{Awesome|Series}}''

The Male Gaze is a term from {{Gaze}} theory that describes the tendency of works to assume a (straight) male viewpoint even when they do not have a specific narrative PointOfView, and in particular the tendency of works to present female characters as subjects of implicitly male visual appreciation.

One of the most obvious results of Male Gaze is the way a (usually male) director/cameraman's interest in women informs his shots, leading to a focus on breasts, legs, buttocks, and other jiggly bits even when the film isn't necessarily supposed to be a feast for eyes of their admirers. For example, a sex scene between a man and a woman may show more of her body than it does of his, or focus more on her reactions than his (see RightThroughHisPants). Alternatively, it could appear in shows that aren't overtly sexual - for example, scenes of bikini-clad female characters talking that emphasize their bodies rather than showing just their heads.

Presenting a character as a collection of body parts with little relationship to one another (called ''fragmenting'') makes them seem like a collection of objects rather than a person, which is why presenting a character this way is called ''objectification''. Audiences are primed to sympathize with, or at least respect, characters if the camerawork concentrates on their face, especially if this is how the character is first shown to us in their EstablishingCharacterMoment. If it shows another body part the audience is more likely to see the character as a [[HandOfDeath threat]], or an [[{{Fanservice}} object of desire]]. This can be used as a legitimate cinematic effect, but is probably best avoided if you want your audience to subconsciously respond to the characters like human beings.

The term also applies in other mediums, such as video games and comic books. During UsefulNotes/{{the Dark Age|of Comic Books}}, comic books were often perfect examples of the male gaze, with scenes being framed to show off a female character's curves over everything else. The trend continues at a lower level today.

If the female in question is aware of the FourthWall, she'll likely snap [[MyEyesAreUpHere "Ahem, eyes are up here!"]] at the camera/artist.

The concept was popularized in Laura Mulvey's 1973 essay "[[https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/display/MarkTribe/Visual+Pleasure+and+Narrative+Cinema Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema]]," quite likely the most cited essay in all of Film Studies.

May overlap with [[HoYay Homosexual]] FemaleGaze. See also {{Fanservice}}, JigglePhysics, {{Gainaxing}}. Not to be confused with [[QueerAsTropes Male Gays]]. Contrast LongingLook, EatingTheEyeCandy, and FemaleGaze.

* MaleGaze/{{Advertising}}
* MaleGaze/AnimeAndManga
* MaleGaze/ComicBooks
* MaleGaze/FanWorks
* [[MaleGaze/LiveActionFilms Films Live Action]]
* MaleGaze/{{Literature}}
* MaleGaze/LiveActionTV
* MaleGaze/VideoGames
* MaleGaze/WebComics
* MaleGaze/WebOriginal
** MaleGaze/TheNostalgiaCritic
* MaleGaze/WesternAnimation
* MaleGaze/{{Other}}


[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* In ''Literature/ArashiNoYoruNi'', Gabu has a tendency to stare at [[HoYay Mei's arse]], which the POV camera delightedly shows off. Which is a rather unusual example given that Gabu is a wolf, Mei is a goat, and that he's staring because [[CarnivoreConfusion he wants to eat him]]. (''[[GRatedSex apparently]]'', anyway...)
* Elastigirl in ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles''. There's even one scene where she sighs after seeing the size of her behind in a mirror.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'' had Gloria the hippo, whose [[HartmanHips big butt]] is shown on screen several times throughout each movie, video game, and animated short.
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge3DawnOfTheDinosaurs'' has Scratte's big butt shown.

* ''Dead Prez's'' music video to ''Hip Hop'' started with a shot of a woman's buttocks, which was then captioned with the words: "Now that we got your attention". Then raps about social warfare.
* This is pretty much what Creator/RoyOrbison's big hit "Pretty Woman" is all about.
* Male-to-male example: The [[http://vjarmy.com/wiki/index.php/File:Wow_Wow_VENUS.png album art]] for the [[Music/{{BEMANI}} VENUS]] song "Wow Wow VENUS" shows DJ Yoshitaka facing Sota Fujimori and looking down at his crotch.
* Surprisingly averted in Juvenile's video for ''Rodeo''. It goes behind the scenes at a strip club, showing the difficult lives of the strippers. While there are scenes showing them dancing, the camera focuses on their faces, showing how many of them are sad, bored, worried or stressed.
* Three words. '''[[Music/SirMixALot BABY GOT BACK.]]'''
* Music/IngridMichaelson's [[http://youtu.be/5GBT37_yyzY music video for "Girls Chase Boys"]] is a frame-by-frame homage to [[http://youtu.be/UrGw_cOgwa8 Robert Palmer's music video for "Simply Irresistible"]] with [[DeconstructedTrope herself playing Robert Palmer and the genders of the backup dancers randomized.]]
* Played every which way with ''[[{{Music/Psychostick}} Because Boobs]]."
--> '''Girl''': Um, excuse me, my eyes are up here!
--> '''Guy''': [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Yeah, but... your boobs are down there.]]
* TheStranglers' ''"Peaches"'' may or may not combine this with DirtyOldMan.
* ''The Zolas'''s EP ''Wino Oracle'' has a track that is literally called this.

* In ''Pinball/EightBall Deluxe,'' one of the playfield images is a woman in tight jeans with her back to the viewer, leaning over the pool table...
* The playfield for Creator/{{Bally}}'s ''Pinball/{{Xenon}}'' shows a woman with her back to the player, arms upraised.
* ''Pinball/EvelKnievel'' features several female fans with [[BigBreastPride large breasts]] and wearing [[FormFittingWardrobe tight T-shirts.]]
* The sides of the ''Pinball/{{Baywatch}}'' cabinet prominently feature the backsides of three female lifeguards, complete with skimpy swimsuits.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Turn on any Wrestling/{{WWE}} show later than 1995. Find a woman wrestling and chances are the cameras are focusing on her breasts falling out of her top, jiggling as she moves, or competing for who can get the most buttocks shots. Even more so if she is any competition that is not wrestling, WWE tending to have "bikini contests" and such seemingly just to facilitate this, though they seem to be on their way out since the return to the PG rating.
* Played straight during [[Wrestling/{{FMW}} Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling]]'s "sports entertainment" era, where what was once among the most fearsome women's division on the planet was phased for valets with little wrestling ''or'' [[GarbageWrestler garbage wrestling]] skills whom the cameras would zoom in on while they attempted to fight one another, often to the point of missing the actual wrestling moves and violence the promotion was built on. [[NoFourthWall However]], what was left of the women's division was still fearsome enough [[DefiedTrope to convince the cameramen not to apply this trope when they were wrestling]].
* During a Full Impact Pro [[GimmickMatches falls count anywhere match]] between Homicide and Wrestling/CMPunk, the camera man, to commentator Prazak's annoyance, became more interested in two nearby strippers performing. Homicide himself soon became more interested in them than Punk too.
* "Extreme Expose": The segment being the part in the show where three scantily clad women - [[Wrestling/KellyKelly one just]] ''[[Wrestling/KellyKelly barely]]'' [[Wrestling/KellyKelly over the age of 18]] - dance to club music in the ring. It started as the 18-year-old's way to show off how much of an "exhibitionist" she was.
** Even though [[Wrestling/BrookeAdams Brooke Adams]] considered her buttocks her best assets [[IncrediblyLamePun (no pun intended)]], one of the cameras that followed her seemed more obsessed with them than her.
* {{Subverted| Trope}} and {{Justified| Trope}} in OVW during a Wrestling/LeidTapa vs Blossom Twin match, as the camera was being held by Eddy Valiant, whose girlfriend Epiphany was later seen demanding him to stop filming.

* NFL cheerleaders and NBA dancers.
* Thanks to [[Main/ErinAndrews Erin Andrews]], it has become for common for sideline and courtside reporters to be female.
* Very common in the [[Main/SuperBowl Super Bowl]], where most of the national anthem singers are women.
* Spotting pretty women in the crowds of sporting events has become such an obvious trope that it has it's own name among cameramen, the "Honey Shot." [[http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_spot/2014/07/07/andy_sidaris_the_man_who_invented_sports_television_s_honey_shot.html This article]] details how it was essentially the brainchild of Andy Sidaris, the director for ABC football broadcasts. Note that some women (Jenn Sterger, Pamela Anderson) have even gained careers from being spotted in sports crowds.
* During the 2012 UsefulNotes/OlympicGames, NBC had to pull an online video called "Bodies in Motion" because its depiction of female athletes was considered objectifying and demeaning. It didn't help that during the women's volleyball matches, the cameramen would occasionally get...distracted.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the early days of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', it was common to see published modules describe any female characters (if they existed at all) in detail, usually with terms like "voluptuous" or "svelte", while neglecting to give important male [=NPCs=] so much as a ''hair color''.