An old but good piece on the male gaze and lesbian sexuality

This article, I think, seems to hit the nail on the head with the space that’s allotted lesbian sexuality in the mainstream media. Hint: it’s rather similar to that of lesbians in porn; it’s about lesbian women, but it’s not created for or by them.

It also necessarily talks about the male gaze, which we discussed in class. To quote:

Although fashion so often showcases and celebrates the eroticized female form, it sets up an assumed male gaze as a barrier against lesbian subtext — placing the sexualized women who appear in fashion imagery into a safely heterosexual/performative/fantasy mold.

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2 thoughts on “An old but good piece on the male gaze and lesbian sexuality

  1. awesome read. thanks laura!! I agree with most of the things accept the bash against the slang term “girl crush”. I use the term constantly as a reference for admiration. Whether it’s about someone’s style or body or if I just think they’re hot I def have a “girl crush” on them because although I desire their clothes or physique, I don’t desire them. I don’t think I’m offending lesbians when I use this term either or destroying their culture. In fact, I use this comment to completely sideline lesbian culture and ensure that I am not mistakenly found inside it.

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  2. I think that’s how most people use it! But I think the point of the article (and the one it links too) is precisely that it does sidline lesbian culture. In the article this one links: “Lizz Rubin, who serves fashion editor for Autostraddle.com, wonders why it’s important to use a term which ‘reassures the reader that you’re straight. What would be the inherent problem with the reader believing you’d had some sort of same-sex attraction?’ she poses.” While I don’t think I’m qualified to rule on whether the entire English speaking world should use it and how, I think the push back is specifically because it often carries the implicit undertone of not wanting to be perceived as a lesbian, not because that’s not who you are but because that would somehow be worse than being straight.

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