Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Visual Pleasure its Humanities Way
I must say after swimming in a sea of complicated English words that I almost drowned in as I began reading this article, I finally figured out what Laura Mulvey is talking about in the article Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. Simply put she discusses how women for decades have been subjected to being sexualized on film and television and some how its partially our fault. Wow sounds a little hard but after reading this particular sentence from the article I was convinced and you'll also agree with me, "Women then stands in patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of woman still tired to her place as bearer not maker, of meaning." This is so depressing yet its reality, think of all the great actresses, ie. Halle Berry in Monster Ball, the ones with academy awards those movies that they were in for the most part, they were objectified and sexualized. Why? Because of the person who shoots that film, the director, guess who? A Man! A man has always been behind the camera calling the shots and women have snapped to the beat, so we could get somewhere career wise and in life in general. Think about music videos and rappers your typical video will have these elements cars, an entourage, and beautiful women. Some of these rappers songs wouldn't be known without their music videos. Its come to a point now where more women in your video is key to the formula of success.
With this article Mulvey seeks out to destroy that visual pleasure which only exists as result of our patriarchal culture, by seeking to understand the critical use of the female image as well as the defining meaning would be the way in which to go about destroying this reality. Mulvey talks about Freud and his Three Essays on Sexuality, where he examines scopophilia defined as the love of looking, and how as young children we are curious to see and understand ourselves physically as well as others. As we get older this turns into the need for viewing a person as a mere object. I find this so hilarious but this possibly has truth to it. The phrase "Love at first sight" surely this phrase must have come from this. Love isn't possible just because of personality but because of looks. The other thought that came to mind is if this is the case, is it possible to observe children and know who the "budding rapists and paedophiles are? Those people who are overly aggressive when it comes to objectifying others, or are they our porn directors?
Mulvey talks about the obsession with the pleasure of image beginning the first time babies are able to look in the mirror and are able to recognize that this is me. ( Side note its so cute my nephew is 7 months and when I put him in the mirror he smiled and then tried to eat himself interesting LOL ). That young we are able to look out ourselves and that is when our ego is born and for some becomes a monster, think a la Paris Hilton, This constant awareness of self image as well as the pleasure in objectifying another person as a form of sexual fulfillment are equal to out dream where out ego and sexuality live happily ever after. Long story short Mulvey who is writes very pro feminists offers that as result of our lack of a penis is somewhat symbolic of our feeling of "castration and as result unpleasure". I'm not sure what I am suppose to do with that but somehow I feel like that Mulvey wants us to realize that we are not as perfect as our male counterparts but hey you are woman you are just as magnificently created.
Posted by Merli Estime
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