John Berger’s Ways of Seeing (part 1 of 4)
This old BBC documentary on art history is a great introduction to the concept of male gaze.
“To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude, is to be seen naked by others, and yet not recognised for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become a nude. Nakedness reveals itself; nudity is placed on display.”
“Women are depicted in a quite different way from men, not because the feminine is different from the masculine, but because the ‘ideal’ spectator is always assumed to be male and the image of a woman is designed to flatter him. If you have any doubt that this is so, choose an image of a traditional nude. Transform the woman into a man, either in your mind’s eye or by drawing over the reproduction. Notice the violence which this transformation does - not to the image, but to the assumption of the likely viewer.”