Forum: General Discussion

Can’t get Mulvey out of your head? Starting to see issues of gender & sexuality in media everywhere? Here’s the place to go further afield with the ideas we’re digging through in class. Share associations, complaints, questions, whatever moves you. Or share links/embed videos that strike you as interesting/worthwhile for discussion!

27 thoughts on “Forum: General Discussion

  1. Luke Martinez

    I played a ridiculous amount of Wii golf this weekend, and discovered that in the original WIi Sports package, male and female characters have exactly the same power, athletic ability and stamina. This, along with the aesthetically pleasing Wii “world,” leads me to believe that the creators of the Wii Sports package were led to create a sort of utopian society inside your console, in which men and women are perfectly equal in all aspects. the fact that one can create their own player and Miis allows for multi-gendered characters, however there is no athletic discrimination whatsoever. Utopian maybe, but I still suck at Wii golf…

    1. Rajsavi Anand

      That’s actually really interesting, I’ve never actually given much thought to the sex of the character in terms of Wii Sports. I wonder if thats why this game seems to be so popular with both sexes. Is this the kind of “not boy game” that was talked about in that article?

  2. Amethyst Tate

    Currently playing “Grand Theft Auto” on my PSP. I’m having trouble trying to successfully rescue my drug dealer friends from a shoot-out with the police and getting them back to my boss without getting busted by the cops. Figures. I’m trying this same level for like the 10th time. I will defeat the cops!! Oh the lessons I’m learning from this game haha.

  3. Eleanor Krause

    I got thinking the other day: in sports advertising how many women athletes are seen promoting products as opposed to men?

    Does this say something about the image of a powerful female?

  4. Rajsavi Anand

    So I’ve spent much of my break playing Resident Evil 2-4. First thing I can say is that video games have gotten much easier as they have gotten more modern. What has also changed? The treatment of women. In 2 and 3, women are the leading characters wearing scantily clad clothes and being attacked by zombies while frankly kicking their asses. In Resident Evil 4, the main character is a guy and there is no women to be seen fighting; instead the women are a young girl who has been captured and the secretary of the president. Also the zombies are predominantly male. Why the change?

  5. Eleanor Krause

    The other day my cousin was playing a video game (one of those war ones, I’m not sure of the title) and while she was playing I was on the headset chatting with other people in the game. Suddenly one of the boys on the line asked if I was ugly. I quickly inquired as to why he would ask that, and he replied that because I was so good at the game I must be unattractive.

    I immediately thought of what we are discussing right now and I’m wondering if it might be related to the lack of female gamers. It is not simply girls lack of interest that creates a shortage, there is a social stigma associated with female gamers which places them in a negative context.

    1. Amethyst Tate

      This reminds me of the Kennedy article on Lara Croft and this examination of Lara Croft as a sexual object and powerful female subject. Why can’t a woman be hot AND in charge? Similarly, why does a good female gamer have to be unattractive? I think it is so absurd these assumed assumptions we have regarding women. Many males are not used to a woman being good as them when it comes to video games, and presume the girl must in some way, be masculine. It’s ridiculous.

  6. Joyce Ma

    Just finished “Michael Foucault: Discourses and Lifestyles” and section of technologies of self definitely help strengthen the argument about the blurring between reality and the internet.

  7. Amelia Furlong

    So I’ve been reading the Gauntlett on magazines for men…and after perusing the websites of several male and female lifestyle magazines, I have concluded that both are sexist crap. The men’s magazines are filled with pictures of disgustingly airbrushed/photoshopped women, and there are sections where men can look at pictures of women and rate them “hot or not.” The women’s magazines are equally ridiculous. While they have less soft-porn images of men, they are largely about what will please men during sex and marriage. Both types of magazines make me angry.

  8. Joyce Ma

    After finishing the Karras article, I was wondering if Patty Hewes would be considered a second wave feminist?

    Also in class we were talking about even though Buffy is a strong feminist character, she uses phallic objects. How often do we see yonic objects?

  9. Luke Martinez

    i absolutely loved the text by Irene Karas, it was a lot less dense that Doane or Mulvey. it was refreshing that she asserted her point of view without trying to qualify it using lexicon alone

  10. Amethyst Tate

    Yesterday I was watching the latest episode of Jersey Shore and (SPOILER ALERT) at the end Angelina and Snookie start fighting and Ronnie and The Situation are making commentary and everyone is just staring at the ladies, even J Wow and I was just wondering in that predicament, how is the female spectator identifying with the female she is gazing at who’s fighting? Is it a look of desire, fear, or disgust? And when the males look, since Ronnie and The Situation are like Snooki’s family basically, is their gaze out of pleasure because it is two women fighting,or is it simply entertainment?

    1. Anna Gallagher

      Amethyst– I just watched that episode. I think that, as a female viewer, I felt a combination of disgust and… bemusement I guess would be the right word. Also, I just noticed how derogatory the men on the show are towards women (especially Angelina). I think DJ Pauly D says something like “She brings random guys home. That’s something guys do, bring girls home. But girls aren’t supposed to do that. She’s the dirtiest girl I’ve ever met.” The girls and boys all call Angelina a “slut” or a “hoe,” when the guys (like The Situation) bring twice as many girls home as she brings guys. The Situation gets high-fives, and his “conquests” don’t catch half the flack that Angelina does. I have no idea if this is indicative of how sexually free, single women are treated outside the bubble of liberal arts higher ed., but I think it’s messed up!

  11. Joyce Ma

    I was just watching the new episode of Glee, “Britney/Brittany” and Finn attempted to make a comment about the football players objectifying Rachel because of her Britney Spears school girl look. I immediately thought of this class.

    1. Anna Gallagher

      Me too! What did you think of the episode? I think they’re cramming in too many musical numbers and sacrificing too much story (and Sue time!). Also, Rachel’s insecurity is a little disheartening sometimes.

      1. Joyce Ma

        I agree that sometimes Rachel is just a little too much. But I guess it is in the exaggeration of her character, it points to the insecurities that women constantly have but are too afraid to voice. But sometimes the way she switches off from over confident to insecure, really pisses me off.

  12. Amelia Furlong

    That Havrilesky article, Loaded, made me re-think my feelings about “Veronica Mars.” That comment at the end about how she’s a normal person, not wealthy or ridiculous, who does things without the handouts of rich friends and doesn’t care what people think, made me actually want to see it again. In retrospect, after watching episodes of “Gossip Girl” I appreciate “Veronica Mars” a lot more. I mean, there are elements of it which are silly and annoying, and Kirsten Bell is definitely a super-thin bombshell (which Havrilesky seems to think is bad…unless it’s Veronica Mars) but at least she’s no Blair Waldorf.

    1. Anna Gallagher

      Word. I LOVE Veronica Mars. She’s smart, sexy, independent, and possesses the “investigative gaze” for sure. She has a lot more complexity to her than either of the two main “Gossip Girls.” I miss that show, and I’m not sure I could get into “Gossip Girl.” For those who do watch it– what’s so appealing?

  13. Amelia Furlong

    I’ve been re-watching season one of Mad Men…it really gets me thinking about gender issues, especially in that time. I know that Matthew Weiner has said, in an interview with Ms. no less, that the discrimination against women is the point of the show. At the same time, the show definitely glorifies the “boy’s club” mentality of the characters. Although it is nice to know that I am not the only one who feels that the “rise of Peggy Olson” is the point of the show.
    However, it is frustrating to watch the deterioration of Betty’s character. In season one, she is so complicated, repressed, and interesting. She strives to break out of her sexual repression, yet she doesn’t even realize that is what she wants. Yet by season four, Weiner has molded her character into a cruel, vindictive, calculating nag. All her complexity has been lost, and even though she is the victim, most fans of the show side with Don against her because of her new characterization. I think this is the wrong way to portray her character. They should be showing her empowerment in breaking away from Don. This is a classic example of blaming the victim. Don was very bad to Betty, and yet she is made to seem the “evil women.” We should be cheering on Betty for getting away, not congratulating Don on his escape.

  14. Laura Hendricksen

    It is interesting to read what David Gauntlett says about the modern meaning of `feminity` today. He explains how feminity has become a performance, a glamourous tool women use according to their desires.
    This precisely shows the re-appropriation by modern women of the word `feminity`, itself becoming something to be proud of, and which no longer carries the traditional burden of negative connotations. As we read this, we can think about Gabrielle’s performance in Desperate Housewives (a series which, in spite of its title, goes beyond the traditional gender discourse by portraying powerful female protagonists)…
    In my opinion, her glamour and girly attitude do not indeed reduce her to a mere superficial capricious and spoiled woman (as we might be tempted to describe her at a first glance) but has the actual opposite effect: Gabrielle appears as a strong, independent woman! She is proud of her sexuality and doesn’t have any inhibitions. Just like Liz lemon, she wants it all and to do so, she will constantly use the weapon of her feminity! And this is why the audience likes her character, isnt it?
    TV shows and the media are now asserting feminism through the representations of strong female characters, and especially do so by associating them with glamour, seduction and sensuality… Instead of undermining women, these characteristics assert their feminity in a positive way instead of a derogatory one!

  15. Luke Martinez

    I stumbled across an article regarding mainstream social topics on t.v. and the generalizations people make regarding the shows before delving into the more complex underlying issues represented in these texts. The author adknowledges the fact that American media is producing new schemas to fit ideas into (the example given is of a female athlete). The article is from a feminist perspective, and highlights the role of HBO in the feminist image and a portrayal of sexuality. enjoy!

  16. Amethyst Tate

    I finally finished Damages Season 1! 🙂 It’s amazing. I find it interesting how Hewes character in Season 2 has longer hair. It that supposed to represent that though she was seen as aggressive and “masculine” in relation to gender norms in Season 1, she is to be seen as more “feminine” in Season 2-more vulnerable and emotional? In the first episode of Season 2 Ellen sees Hewes in her office crying so we’ll see…I find it interesting how as soon as I saw her longer hair I immediately identified Hewes as being more feminine, which shows how gender norms permeate our society. Why is it that women with short hair ie. public figures like Hilary Clinton are seen as being masculine and are not identified as being representative of the hegemonic beauty ideal?

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