Monday, September 19, 2011

How I feel about the "male gaze."

I feel utterly powerless. And I've only felt this way once before: I wrestled for three years in high school, thinking I was making a difference. But, no matter how I seek to empower myself by reclaiming my form (or kicking a dude's ass) regardless of the viewer, my being nude doesn't actually do anything, nor empower anyone. I am to forever fall victim to the sexual objectification of heterosexual, cisgender men, because it is appropriated by a patriarchal society. It is hegemonic. It is biologically "normal." It is excused by pop science, because people want to justify mindless hedonism. First, the idea of being roughed up and straddled by a female turned them on. Now, after completely putting myself out there, which I have no shame in doing, it is this:

I don't feel shame in it since your beauty is just the way I choose to release. I hope you can see past that and not think I'm a creep just because of my biology.

I am under the assumption that this is a male, but know I did actually give thought to the fact that anonymous poster could be of any sex or gender. However, I shall respond further, academically. I've only recently figured out just why I'm fed up with my portrayal in modeling, and why it all feels the same. And one of the reasons is the male gaze. Please read it, and keep it in mind when you're shooting women or being shot by men. It is so tiresome to be inherently sexual when in real life, you don't engage in much overt sexual expression. Even though I regard myself as a sex-positive feminist, believing that women don't need to be held to double standards in the sexual sphere (etc., more on that later, probably), my own sexual preferences are private. Prude? Hell no. But it's nobody's business who I invite into my bed - male, female, intersex, trans, young, old, this, that. I would love to preserve my autonomy rather than suffer at the states of helplessness I probably encounter in the minds of others.

Another good article to read is burlesqueer performer Femme 6's My Manifesto! Part I. History. She provides a lot of insight to this struggle that I greatly appreciate.

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