Looking has a great influence. Male gaze "is confrontational, authoritative and political. It is also dangerous because there is a certain power that when the male looks, he holds this power over a woman Bell Hooks (115). That is, the male gaze is the look that asserts his dominance and control over the woman. It is a strategy of domination males possess of females as an apparatus and mechanisms of control. It is a power system that does not give room for freedom (116). Bella Hook says "Women learn to have a rebellious and opposing gaze to look a certain way in order to resist the male gaze(116).
According to Bell Hooks, the oppositional gaze is a powerful look that challenges authority and serves as a powerful tool for colonized black people globally. Black women refer to the gaze as a form of resistance to the male gaze and its perception of the ideal image of woman. (116)
When most black people in the United States first had the opportunity to look at film and television, they did so fully aware that mass media was a system of knowledge and power reproducing and maintaining white supremacy. To stare at the television, or mainstream movies, to engage its images, was to engage its negation of black representation. It was the oppositional black gaze that responded to these looking relations by developing independent black cinema. Bell Hooks (117). As spectators, black men could repudiate the reproduction of racism in cinema and television, the negation of black presence even as they could feel as though they were rebelling against white supremacy by daring to look by engaging phallocentric politics of spectatorship. Given the real life public circumstances wherein black men were murdered/lynched for looking at white womanhood, where the black male gaze was always subject to control and /or punishment by the powerful white other, the private realm of television screens or dark theaters could unleash the represses gaze. Bell Hooks (118).
According to Bella Hooks, pg. 118, Major early black male independent filmmakers represented black women in their films as objects of male gaze. Even when representations of black women were present in film, our bodies and being were there to serve-to enhance and maintain white womanhood as object of the phallocentric gaze. Bell Hooks (119).
Men survey women before treating them. Consequently, how a woman appears to a man can determine how she will be treated. One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear Men look at women, women watched themselves been looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object and most particularly an object of vision: a sight. John Berger (46) (47).
With my work experience in Radio and TV broadcasting, I watch television and videos a lot of times, I now understand the production of the male gaze. Universally, our way of life is centered on presenting women as sexual objects whether it’s through billboards, music videos, magazines, or movies; women are the central source for drawing the audience. They are consistently being portrayed as objects of viewing pleasure. For instance, in most TV ad where cars or any other is advertised, women are used to sort of seduce the viewer to get full attention. Watch this image.Works Cited:
Hooks, Bell. In Black Looks; Race and Representation. Boston Massachusetts: South End Press, 1992.
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London, England, 1972