This proposed position statement privileges the notion that the male gaze is a damning and damaging force for identifying women in both Western societies as well as within patriarchal societies. This particular exploration is driven by my perceived lack of the true effect that this gaze has socially and intrapersonally over women. The male gaze not only strips women of bodily integrity, bodily autonomy, but autonomy holistically. Beyond the stripping of autonomous worth, the male gaze, i.e. objectification and an autonomous reduction to body parts alone, all result in psychological and physiological damage for identifying women. Previous research in the Communication field focuses on the explicitness of women’s appearances and the drive for objectification and the male gaze to occur; therefore, how and what objectification creates for women’s realities is extremely neglected. In order to properly challenge, and hopefully dismantle: heteropatriarchy, heteropolarity, and heteronormativity which all motivate objectification, women’s reality via the male gaze requires more study to deduce the exact ways in which such objectification could and should be challenged. The aforementioned negative and damaging effects of the male gaze are: belief in rape myths and other anti-women myths relating to violence, bodily surveillance, body monitoring, self-objectification, anxiety, depression, disordered eating, and more. It will require continual autoethnographic accounts from identifying women to gather more of these effects. This form of research and account has the potential to free some anticipation and anxiety surrounding the feelings of isolation which may come from enduring such an oppressive force alone.
Objectification, Heteropatriarchy, Heteropolarity, Heteronormativity