Monday, March 5, 2012

Prominence of Male Gaze in Promethea

In Promethea, I had always noticed how it seemed to be geared towards a male audience. Now after learning the vocabulary, I see this comic as a prime example of the “Male Gaze”. I don’t believe that having a target audience is necessarily a bad thing; it exists in more than the male gaze. However, the prominence of this over-sexualization of women gives an unrealistic view of the female gender. Especially in Promethea, the male gaze takes it to the point of male sexual fantasy.  

            This fantasy is shown through the sex scene, the lesbian attitude of Stacia, and the costumes of the Prometheas. Firstly, if the story had been geared towards women, the man would have been young and muscular, not old and saggy. There was none of the romantic, cute buildup that exists in stories geared towards women. Then, lesbians can be a common component of male fantasy. As for this, I don’t know how it ties into the plot of Promethea. But as of now, there seems to be no other reason than to have a lesbian in the story. Finally, the Prometheas are half-naked. These types of outfits – short skirts, lots of cleavage, or just a floating strip of fabric that leaves little to the imagination – are sexy outfits that most males would like on attractive women. This is not to say anything bad about men or anything like that, it’s just that most women would not choose to be that exposed unless to gain the attention of men.

            All of this then contributes to the stigma against comic books in society. There is a stereotype that comic books are for males to read at home. I do not necessarily support the stereotype; and I have enjoyed reading the books for this class. A younger female is just not the audience typically thought of. This notation is then reinforced by the sexualization of women in Promethea. 

1 comment:

  1. I do feel that Promethea does involve the male gaze a lot in the comic. I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing, though. It's a chance for females to see how men see women. It's gives a chance to show what the male gaze does to women. In the sex scene, Sophie turns into a beautiful goddess while the old man can stay saggy. It's reminds of what happens in the Playboy Mansion, for example. Hugh Heffner is a very old man surrounded by hundreds of young women who are with him just for the chance to be famous for posing nude in a magazine that millions of men will look act. Both the situations illustrate how the only reason that these women would stay with the man is because the men have something they want. The men can be young or old; it really doesn't make a difference. In both cases, the men want sex; it that case, you have to be younger, or else men won't look at it.


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