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What is "the female gaze" in fiction, anyway? - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
What is "the female gaze" in fiction, anyway?
There's an interesting article at Shattersnipe about Female Fantasies, that is, fantasy novels written by women, that feature "the female gaze."

The author, fozmeadows, starts with the concrete notion of the male gaze in genre fiction: that men are initially depicted based upon what they can do, but women are initially assessed on their physical attractiveness, their sexual attributes.

Fozmeadows then goes on to say she likes books written from the point of view of "the female gaze," but never goes on to define what that is.

If I am to take women at their word, as writers of that great genre of the past 30 years, the romance novel, the female gaze assess men based upon their capacity of providers and defenders (their physical attributes being only part of that, and their sexual abilities more or less irrelevant until the heroine has assented to granting him access), and assesses women based upon the threat they present to the heroine's ensnaring a man.

This is what sells, after all.

As near as I can tell, what Fezmeadows means by a "female gaze" is one in which women are assessed based upon what they can do, and men based upon what they are.

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whatthehay From: whatthehay Date: February 22nd, 2011 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
The male gaze looks upon what he desires, the female gaze looks within.
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