The acted upon male gaze can also be intimidating, aggressive and creepy. Something blogger Andy Hinds is aware of. You might think that acting upon this, solving the situation of the tip over would be simply to remind men to keep it in their heads/pants. Perhaps a diagram similar to the one Father Ted used to remind Father Dougal of the difference betweendreams and reality.
Instead Hinds claims that, at 40s, he finds staring at women and fantasising about them so time consuming and at odds with his feminism that he decided to make it link bait. I mean make it stop. In a move the Victorians tried and failed at, Hinds tried to rid himself of impure thoughts.
That's interesting, what form does Hinds' feminism take? Oh, you know, the fleeting kind: "I celebrate every inroad that women make into business, technology, science, politics, comedy, you name it, and I get angry about "slut-shaming" or "stereotype threat" or whatever is the affront du jour."
The joy of 'Imagination Land' where the male gaze resides is that nobody needs to know.
Hinds called upon the Good Men Project to help a bro out. James Utt suggested eye aversion. The old Look Away technique. Hugo Schwyzer graphically told Hinds to shh: "Sure, you want to lift this woman up onto the counter and put your hungry mouth on hers while she wraps her legs around you, but in fact, you're just going to order your latte, smile politely and let it all be. Lust is the background music that occasionally gets turned up. Learning to let it come and go without being ashamed - and without making it anyone else's problem - is part of growing up."
And here is the thing. When does the male gaze cross over into The Bad. When Hugo Schyzer is called in to calm everything down, good guys. When it causes a sarcastic rage to rise in Maureen O'Connor?
The joy of 'Imagination Land' where technically the male gaze resides is that nobody needs to know. That's why it's not the problem. Hey, in imagination land I've toyed with various illegal acts.
When I first read this piece I was a little perplexed and, I admit, grossed out. A friend of mine commented that she rarely felt men in her social circle were undressing her with their eyes and how that made her both happy she knew such subtle men but also offended. Why don't these men want to undress her with their eyes?! Both of these reactions are as frivolous as they are complex. Are we unconsciously self perpetuating the infuriating 'take it as a compliment' attitude to street harassment (bad acted upon male gaze) or just full of self doubt?
What's interesting is that there was no mention in Hinds' article of women being the nefarious ones. They weren't tricking him with their feminine wiles. He is just some kind of animal who can't help himself. In the world of Hinds women are victims of his imagination. You ladies don't know what scenarios you have unwittingly partaken in. You poor, passive sex objects.
If this is the case is it any wonder if women are riddled with self doubt?