LIFE AND ADVICE

TikTokers Won’t Stop Calling Out The Male Gaze And It’s Quality Content

Some men just give off "written by women" vibes.
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If you think TikTok is all viral dances and Wendy Williams soundbites, then we’ll have you know there are very complex feminist film theories being discussed on this app.

Yep, users are calling out the “male gaze” and we’re so here for it.

WATCH: Gen Z is exposing their main character syndrome on TikTok

What is the male gaze?

Ok, so you know when you’re watching a movie or a TV show and the female character is undertaking a completely normal task like reading a book or studying or literally just existing and, for some reason, she’s overly sexualised?

Scroll to the credits and you’re bound to see the film in question has been written or directed by a man.

While we like to call this misogynistic trash, this form of sexualisation actually has a technical name, coined by scholar and filmmaker Laura Mulvey. And that is the “male gaze”.

The concept was introduced in her 1975 essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, and if you’re planning on studying film, feminism etc. at university, be prepared to be set this essay for one of your weekly readings.

male-gaze-in-film
TikTok is calling out the male gaze in film and we’re here for it. (Credit: Getty)

To simplify this complex concept, Mulvey’s idea of the male gaze refers to a way of viewing women which sexualises and objectifies them, while empowering men. Basically, women lose their autonomy and are framed by male desire. It’s also an extremely heteronormative way of viewing women, just for that extra cherry on top.

Within this concept, Mulvey explains that women in cinema are characterised by their “to-be-looked-at-ness” and the man is “the bearer of the look”.

As a response, the idea of the “female gaze” has been thrown around to represent the perspective used by female filmmakers – who do not strip women of their autonomy, oversexualise them and actually frame them in positions of power… funny that.

And now, Gen Z has taken to TikTok to compare the male and female gaze in the absolute best way possible… by recreating and mocking typical “male gaze” scenarios through POVs.

Check out some of our favourites below.

https://www.tiktok.com/@lina.l1n4/video/6988267485397060869
https://www.tiktok.com/@elletheyuckamoe/video/6990101143141502213

Not only are teens filming themselves in the point of view of the “male gaze” to demonstrate just how ludicrous and misogynistic it really is, they are also providing real life examples of how the male gaze takes form in film.

A particular comparison that has been circulating TikTok is how women in DC and Marvel movies have been portrayed when subject to a male director, compared with how they are represented under a female director.

Take a look at the comparisons for yourself.

https://www.tiktok.com/@0imsimp/video/6990876151086337285

As a bonus quintessentially Gen Z stan culture thing to do, TikTokers are also compiling lists of male celebrities they think give off “written by women” vibes.

Repeat offenders include Harry Styles, Timothée Chalamet, Dylan O’Brien and basically any famous “good guy”.

Here are the male celebs TikTokers think were “written by women”.

https://www.tiktok.com/@kiraslibrary/video/6974458430987799814
https://www.tiktok.com/@stfusamihah/video/6990738530712440070
https://www.tiktok.com/@bells_17/video/6977108693896662278

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