Tuesday, October 23, 2007

not convinced.

Itty Bitty Titty Committee. I saw it. It's the latest film by Jamie Babbit, the director of 'But I'm a Cheerleader.' The movie, for better or worse, is filled with, um, 'the male gaze', as has been coined the objectification of women on a movie screen. They dress scantily, the are all thin, they dance, they do sexy things, etc. Only, it's a lesbian made film. It's about lesbians. It's a lesbian movie. Again: made for by and about lesbians. It goes on the shelf of normalization of sexual identity films. At the cinerama, a theatre with 1000 something seats, sat tons of women gazing those two hours away, biting their lips and sinking into their chairs over the hot images.

Can we talk about the female gaze?

I'm not convinced this is a bad thing. Humans are attracted to one another. This is what has always bothered me about Mulvey's article. Women gaze at women too. Is there an okay gaze? I mean, is there a line between appropriate and not?

And in response to Maile's post - I don't think Cheryl is subverting the male gaze. I think that is perhaps giving her too much credit. That film is FILLED with gazing. Especially all the comments her co-worker throws out about women they walk by or that come into the store. If anything, she makes Yvette's character foolish and awkward just to make herself look cooler as the protagonist. I disagree that Yvette is the only one that is trying to look sexy. Perhaps in a 'conventional' sense - but there are all kinds of sexy. Maybe the other characters don't seem so sexy to us in their 90s way, but they are trying to be sexy in their own defined ways. And those ways are looked at and admired by other women.

More to say, not enough time. I want to explore this further. Any takers?

No comments: