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Quick Exercise: Male Gaze vs. Female Gaze

September 25, 2009

Have you ever seen some guy walking around with “Save the Ta Tas” written on his T-shirt and felt very conflicted? On the one hand, buying that shirt probably raised money for breast cancer awareness. But on the other hand, I feel kind of objectified by the idea that we’re saving women’s lives for his personal pleasure in them as objects. I worry I’m being too harsh, because after all, the issue is about breasts, does that mean objectification is inherent? NO

Here’s pretty clear example (via Adfreak) of two separate ad campaigns one from the male gaze, and one from the female gaze:

From the Rethink Breast Cancer Initiative:

From Yoplait:

Can you tell which one is targeted towards women and which ones for men?
Can you tell which one is more objectifying in getting its point across?
Can you tell which one I like better?

Good, I’ll stop ranting soon about objectification in activism now.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ashley permalink
    September 25, 2009 8:59 PM

    This is really great, putting these two things side by side and I feel similarly conflicted. Part of me wants to say that well, if it’s raising awareness and profits towards breast cancer research then it’s okay. But I mean, it’s really not; it’s sad that to get some (not all) men’s attention about something like breast cancer you have to sexualize them whereas the Yoplait commercial, despite all the slang for breasts that, if presented another way, could also be objectifying or just eye-rollingly stupid is sweet and personable. And then I get my own conflicts because I myself enjoy breasts; I like looking at them and drawing them and having them and sometimes I wonder how often I toe the line of objectification and how okay it is. And so I’m not really sure where I was going with this BUT I really liked this. Thanks!

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