Sensual, Not Sexual: How The Female Gaze Challenges The Patriarchy

The female gaze is so much more than just a trope to discuss the medium of film. It’s turned into a way of life and a new and more accepting way to see the world. The male gaze and the heteronormative line it follows is so passé. The female gaze challenges the patriarchy by focusing on the sensual rather than the sexual.

Clenched jaws, brooding looks, flexed hands writhe with emotion, the female gaze is where it’s at. And this week we’re discussing the female gaze’s role in music and how it trumps the overpowering male gaze of oiled bodies, overly muscled men, and skimpy sexed-up school girl uniforms. 

From boy bands to the allure of a guitar players’ hands to Halsey and Hayley Kiyoko, the female gaze takes many forms in music, as well as other forms of media. When misogyny has soured so much for fangirls, the female gaze is the gift that keeps on giving, so it was about time we looked into how it’s playing a role in changing the geography of the music industry.

Past episodes of Name 3 Songs we think you would enjoy: The Power Of Male Fans & The Subjugation Of Fangirls & Pop Stars Never Asked to Be Your Role Models

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Sources for Sensual, Not Sexual: How The Female Gaze Challenges The Patriarchy

What Is the Male Gaze? (Very Well Minded, Sarah Vanbuskirk, Sept 2021)

Like a natural woman: how the female gaze is finally bringing real life to the screen (The Guardian, Gwendolyn Smith, 2020)

The Female Gaze: a New Psychoanalytic Theory (Cecily Jensen-Clayton, University of Southern Queensland, 2017)

The power of Mr. Darcy’s hand flex in ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ revisited 15 years later (Insider, Kim Renfo, 2020)

How the music videos of the 2010s saw women take back power (DAZED, Aimee Cliff, 2019)

Why the ‘female gaze’ is looking the wrong way (Financial Times, Harriet Fitch Little, 2018)

How music videos challenged the male gaze in 2015 (Dazed, Kat George, 2015)

Why Fans Are Obsessed With Harry Styles’ Hands (The Things, Carolina Monclou, Oct 2021)

TikTok Trend of ‘The Female Gaze’ Highlights Gender Freedom and Expression (The Utah Daily Chronicle, Avery Greig, April 2021)

Women like men’s hands, and this viral Twitter thread is proof (Yahoo!Life, Cindy Arboleda, 2017)

Seven Music Videos That Represent the Female Gaze (Audio Femme, Suzannah Weiss, 2019)

What Is the Female Gaze, and Can It Reshape Pop Culture? (Fashion Magazine, Pahull Bains, 2019)

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