Summer blockbusters are a form of gloves-offs entertainment. It's hot, the kids are off from school, and nothing really matters. As such, movies get a little less careful when it comes to the feminist side of things. These are summer hit movies we're talking about. Usually, there are women in bikinis, or women in latex strapless one-pieces, or women in futuristic-looking bodysuits. This is symptomatic of the male gaze. If we're being frank, summer is sort of the season of male gaze-y-ness. (Sundresses, bikinis, and tanning oil, oh my!) FYI, the "male gaze," for the unacquainted, is that fun thing where the camera takes on the overtly sexual gaze typical of men. Think: Cameras lingering over the derriére of a woman, a woman wearing a bikini for no other reason than for the sake of skin exposure, or a pair of errant heels running through a dangerous forest.
Some summer blockbusters actually subscribe to a less-sexualized version of action movie events. Especially in recent years, the big movies of the hotter months lean towards the lady-as-subject filmmaking. To which we say, yay! In our ideal world, every summer blockbuster would be free of the objectifying male gaze. (Sigh.)
In preparation for the movies coming out this summer, we're filing a report card of sorts: an official scoring of the movies' habit towards the male gaze. For the score, we'll be watching the trailers of the movies and making a scaled judgement based on the following criteria:
1) Frequency of female nudity
2) How the women characters interact with the men — i.e. are they seducing someone? Being seduced?
3) Frequency of male nudity
A movie that escapes the male gaze will receive a 10. A movie that luxuriates it in will receive a 1.
Let the feminist movie games begin!
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