Date of Publication

Spring 5-10-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Women and Gender Studies

First Advisor

Barbara LeSavoy

Abstract

“All women live in sexual objectification the way fish live in water.”

(Catharine MacKinnon, 1989)

Have you ever watched a beauty pageant contest? What about mainstream pornography? These two capitalistic industries continue to enforce the misogynistic view that the female body is to be consumed by the male population. I argue that the societal standards we commonly consider the norm affect female embodiment and what it means to be a woman in contemporary society. Beauty standards, gender roles, sexualization, objectification, and the male gaze all point towards this ideology that the female body is to be consumed by men. Pageantry and pornography only continue to enforce this ideology as the two industries flourish off the femininity of the contestants and actresses. In this paper I argue, we need to abandon these societal standards that control female bodies and behaviors in a heteropatriarchal world. I want to advocate freedom from the “male gaze” for all women.

Comments

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Literature Review

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Undress Me with Your Eyes

Power Dynamics Prevail

Male Pleasure

Conclusion

References

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