Throughout the years, it seems that media bases careers have been male dominated. From movies, TV, books, and even music, most people can agree that the majority of media they consume are by men. In recent years there has been a realization that when it comes to the media that the male gaze might not be the best to convey emotions, connection or even character development. The biggest example of why the female gaze is so important can be seen in movies. Especially in the action and sometimes in the romance genres. These movies, either depict women as being “one of the guys” or just a sex object without any real development throughout the film. While men, characters have to not show emotions and must “act like a man”. These are in great contrast to movies that were either written or directed by women. Looking at movies such as Wonder Woman, just a simple detail as not putting female characters in the stereotypical armor bikini, already makes a huge change in the story.
When looking at movies that incorporate the female gaze, you can see how the tone and the development changes compared to male gaze movies. However. The main reason why the female gaze is so powerful, especially in 2021, is because it introduces more diverse voices that are often overlooked in the entertainment field. When movies, books, and even songs have that female narrative it introduces the audiences to ideas that they usually are not exposed to.
A great example of this would be Pride and Prejudice (2005). While it was directed by a man, the story was written by a woman. The reason this movie is so important when it comes to showing the female gaze is because it shows a male character in an important light. While Mr. Darcy does insult Elizabeth the first time, he declares that he wished to marry her. And while she rightfully rejects him, he still is there for her and still admits that he was wrong for what he did. The female gaze both allows women to be empowered while also allowing men to be vulnerable.
Photo credits: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/pride-prejudice
Photo credits https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/6/7/15740202/wonder-woman-origin-story-amazons-marston-explained
Photo credits: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/best-female-directors/