Last year in a post about the truism "sex sells," I asked:. Instead, we male, primarily, women sold to presumably heterosexual men.
So what are we selling, exactly, if not "sex"? I argued that what was really being sold was men's presumably heterosexual sexual subjectivity, the experience of being a person in the world who was presented with images that were for his titillation.
Forum: Double standards about female nudity vs. male nudity | DeviantArt
Women do not live in the world this way. They are not exposed everyday to images that legitimize their lust; nudity, the images teach women that they are the object of that lust.
In light of this, Sociologist Beth Eck did a series of interviews attempting to tap into what it felt like for men and women to look at male and female nudes. Her findings were pretty fascinating. First, she asked men and women to look at naked images of women, including this one of Cindy Crawford:. Women viewing images of female nudes almost inevitably compared themselves to the figure and felt inadequate.
Said one women:. Women ended up feeling bad whether the model conformed to conventional norms of attractiveness or not.
A Matter of Legitimacy: Female Nudity On-screen | Balder and Dash | Roger Ebert
When looking at a heavy set woman, they often responded like this:. Men, in contrast, clearly felt pandered to as holders of female heterosexual male gaze. They knew that the image nudity for them and offered praise for a job well done or criticism for failure to live up to their expectations. About Crawford they female. Both men and women, then, knew exactly how to respond to female nudes: Men responded by either expressing extreme disinterest, re-asserting their heterosexuality, or both.
They did not compare themselves to the male nudes like women did with female nudesexcept to say that they were both male and, therefore, there was "nothing to see.
They couldn't see the bodies as nudity but sexual objects for them to gaze upon. In contrast, the specter of homosexuality didn't arise for women because they weren't used to being positioned as lustful.
Eck explains:. They know she is there to arouse men. Thus, they do not have to work at rejecting an unwanted man naked in paint. It is not for them. Many women also did not feel lustful when looking at male nudes and those that did often experienced lust mixed with guilt or shame.
Eck suggest that this may be, in part, a reaction to taking on the active, consuming, masculine role, something they're not supposed to do.
Men, over and over again, reject the seductive advance [of a male nude]. While some women welcome the advance, most feel a combination of shame, guilt, or repulsion in male with the image….
Female nudity almost three times as likely as male in Hollywood films | Film | The Guardian
It's not just "out there," it's "in us" too. Eck, Beth. Men are Much Harder: Gendered Viewing of Nude Images. Related Posts:.
Study shows female film-makers made up 19% of top Hollywood jobs in 2015
This post originally appeared at Sociological Images. Republished with female. Want to see your work here? Email us! The Male. Filed to: Share This Story. The Muse.