“The Monster Gaze” Video Essay Shows Horror Fans What Sexist Perverts Monsters Actually Are
Yes, even The Count on Sesame Street.
We know about the male gaze in film and TV, but what about the “monster gaze.” You may have noticed that, generally, monster movies always feature a young, nubile female character for the monster to ogle. Sometimes she’s a lead character, but often times she’s some nameless woman who screams while she runs and jiggles. Or alternately, she’s made to stand under the monster’s glare.
The above video essay, titled “The Monster Gaze,” was created by Kevin Maher of Kevin Geeks Out, and it highlights moments from twenty monster movies (and a couple of other things thrown in for fun, like The Count on Sesame Street) to make the point that in addition to female characters being reduced to objects by men of their own species, they are reduced by non-humans as well, making them sub-non-human, I guess.
As Daily Grindhouse points out, giving the monster a chance to ogle allows the audience to ogle as well. What’s more, they don’t have to feel guilty about it, because it’s not actually them, you see, but that monster. They take it one step further, saying, “The male viewer is invited to identify with the monster before he relates to the woman (who sometimes isn’t even given a name). Often the monster is given more character than the women he peeps at.”
Think about that. Men are being encouraged to identify with a non-human before they are taught to acknowledge women as equal members of their own species. DA FUQ?!
It’s for these reasons that I plan on keeping a close eye on Universal’s Dark Universe. As these films come out, I’m hopeful that they might undo some of the damage done by the original monster films on which they are based. I don’t expect them to, but I’m hopeful.
(image: New World Pictures)
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