Essay on The Female And Female Bodies

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John Berger in his highly influential book, Ways of Seeing, observed that ‘according to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome - men act and women appear’ (1972, pp. 45)
Such conventions of hetronormative gender representation can be seen in all areas of the mass media today, such as advertising and film. The representation of both male and female bodies within the medium of video games reflects understandings of gender and sexuality, and it is important that we as players are made aware of these representations and what they signify. I argue that Grand Theft Auto IV, through its framing of both female and male bodies, promotes hetronormative hierarchal distinctions between feminity and masculinity, by encouraging players to adopt and act out a hypermasculine role, and by presenting women as objects of the male gaze and thus positioning them as existing to please and benefit men

The objectification of women has a long history within western society, as explored by John Berger. Berger studies the history of female portraiture in Western painting, and argues that beginning with European art of the Renaissance, women were depicted as being aware as the subject of a male spectator, and that paintings of female nudes reflected the submission of a woman to ‘the owner of both woman and painting’ (1972, pp. 52), as a part of a wider tradition of ‘representing women as properties that belong to men’ (Griffin 2004 pp. 230).…

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