Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Fine Arts


Art and Visual Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Anna Brzyski


The traditional notion of the Male Gaze, first conceptualized by feminist film critic Laura Mulvey in 1975, focused on the objectification of women through depictions structured to gratify a male heterosexual perspective. In this chapter we will revisit this concept and investigate how that gaze may have shifted away from a primarily heterosexual perspective to a socially dominant male perspective (maleness here referring to dominance rather than specific gender, just as “whiteness” might refer to privilege rather than race). With gender roles in an increasingly global and mobile society becoming more fluid and complex, opening up visibility to LGBTQ communities, along with a substantial post-feminist backlash, we will consider how the male gaze is shifting and how subsets of objectifying “gazes” might overlap.

I will explore whether the traditional heterosexual male gaze has shifted due to power backlashes and other developments. New gaze developments may take the form of the “bromance” as well as athletics and advertising. Included in an investigation of this “dominant gaze” will be an exploration into the possibility of a lesbian and transgender gaze – does each subculture have the propensity to fall into this pattern of objectified looking and if so, where is the evidence and what are the implications? That evidence will be explored through photography, film, dance, and other visual media as this subject is expanded through the emergence of variant sexualities and gender identities.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)