Saturday, August 2, 2014

“The male gaze” debunked for k-pop fans

So Red Velvet's new song came out and Kpopalypse doesn't give a flying fuck.  Why?
  1. It sounds like miss A's "Breathe", which I thought was shit.
  2. I'm too busy fapping to the debut by nugus 4Ladies who have a much better song AND a better MV.
I'm sure every blog out there is going to have a 4Ladies review, given the sheer amount of tears being generated from fangirls thanks to the video director taking the sexual content to the next level in k-pop or whatever the fuck you want to call two women doing this sort of tame, coy stuff:

Hey it takes special tactics to be noticed when your nugu group debuts in the same week as SM's new girl group and naturally I'm all for it.  Of course, you can't tell people shit - whenever something like this happens, all the armchair feminists come out to play, throwing around stupid terms that they only half-understand.  Some of you have noticed that the latest round of tears from k-pop liking pseudo-feminist dickheads has been infused with a term called "the male gaze" so I thought I'd take a little time out of my fap schedule to explain exactly what the fucking fuck that means to prepare you to deal with the onslaught of complete bullshit that you'll soon be reading in every 4Ladies article.

Head deep enough into any comments section about the 4Ladies video and you'll see people talking about "the male gaze", like it's something more tragic and depressing than the Sewol Ferry and Fukushima combined.  But what the fuck is "the male gaze", anyway, and why do people care so much?

"The male gaze" is a term that comes from 1970s film and visual media theory.  The basic idea is that because heterosexual men control the cameras and cinematography, women tend to be the ones being looked at, rather than the ones doing the looking.  Therefore when you're watching film where this is happening, it's like you're seeing the film through a male perspective, even if you're not male, thus defining maleness as "the norm" and anything else as "the other".  If you've got half a brain in your head, you've already worked out what's wrong with this theory - it assumes that if you're female you're such a fucking dopey wallflower and the gaze of the camera is so powerful that it actually takes precedence over the thoughts inside your own head.  So the entire "male gaze" theory is actually really insulting to women straight off the bat, it's basically telling you that you're a stupid bitch who is easily tricked by pretty colours and flashing lights like a kitten chasing a laser pointer into a toilet bowl.

Let's look at some examples of "the male gaze".  Here's k-pop singer Son Dam Bi.


You're a heterosexual guy at a rooftop party and Son Dam Bi is there, she's looking hot in her red dress.  Nervous but determined (can I ever use that word again with a straight face?), you pluck up your courage, introduce yourself and buy her a drink.  Far from being cold or standoffish, she's warm and receptive.  You get talking to her, she's a nice girl and you're starting to get along.  Hopes are high that this might go further.  After an hour of polite conversation, you're really hitting it off.  She bends over and whispers in your ear "come with me".  She takes you by the hand away from the main bar, through a stairwell and up to a secluded balcony.  It's just you and her, above the traffic.  She looks into your eyes with an expression that says "it's your move".

Here's another Son Dam Bi pic.


It's late and you've taken Son Dam Bi back to your apartment after a night out on the town.  She's still in her evening dress as she carefully removes her earrings and jewelry.  She looks ravishing and you're not intending to wait any longer.  You approach her from behind, she sees you in the bathroom mirror and turns around, expecting your warm hands on her back as you gently move to embrace her.

According to feminist visual media theory, these are easily-explained classic "male gaze" presentations.  This is you, a heterosexual male, looking at Son Dam Bi, at precisely that moment when you're just about to make your move.  Or is it?

Keenly observant readers may have noticed some carefully hidden text in the above images that gives a clue to their origins - see if you can find it.  That's right you fucking sneaky detective cao ni mas, these images are from a photo shoot for Marie Claire magazine.  If you know anything about Marie Claire magazine at all, you'll know that it's a magazine mainly devoted to fashion, and aimed at women. According to the magazine's own statistics, their readership is predominantly female with a male-to-female readership of just under 1:8.  The 1:8 ratio of male-female readers also correlates with another interesting factoid - recent statistical studies show that the ratio of "heterosexual" to "non-heterosexual" people on the planet is also hovering at around 1:8 so it may not be an incorrect assumption to say that the magazine's slim male readership may be predominantly gay.  So why is this "male gaze" stuff in there if only women and gay guys care about Marie Claire?  Is it because Marie Claire is part of the oppressive patriciachal system that is conspiring to keep women down?

No, you dickhead.  The reason why is because it's not really there at all.  It's just a figment of crazy feminists' imaginations, who act as if people looking at them is some kind of assault on their bodies instead of just normal human behaviour that humans of all genders and sexual persuasions engage in, plus typical k-pop fans who read too much into everything as always.  It's a fashion magazine, it's the clothing that is of interest to the readership in these pictures.  When fangirls get hold of images like these, confirmation bias is at work - if you want to see a porn scenario in these pictures, you will.  On the other hand, if you want to see fashion modelling, you'll see that instead.  I shadily put inviting heterosexual fap scenarios under each picture to bend the bias inside your head to the way that I wanted you to think because I'm a sneaky cao ni ma too, but the cold hard fact is that Son Dam Bi probably just happens to be on a balcony because the photographer thought that it would be a good spot to take a photo.  If you read more into it than that - great, if not, they hope that you at least will read the magazine and find out where you can get that dress she's wearing.

"But what about 4Ladies", I hear you ask "surely they're just there for the guys to fap to?  Isn't that "the male gaze"?

Who says it has to be?  If you're a woman, is you perception of what you're seeing so weak and wallflowery and threatened that you have to defer your subconscious to what a guy sees?  Is that a problem for you?  Is it an issue that we're looking at girls and not guys?  Here's JYJ's Jaejoong, in a photo that could be of any man in any k-pop group, but I've used him because I felt sorry for JYJ being left out of that book I reviewed not long ago:


Is it weird for me as a heterosexual guy to look at Jaejoong with his shirt off?  Only if I'm so weak-minded that I let it bother me.  If girls want to fap to this, I think that's cool, because fapping is for everyone.

K-pop fans who complain about "the male gaze" are generally fine about "the female gaze", which is equally catered to in k-pop, by... every single male group out there in k-pop.  You can see plenty of fanservicey action of guys doing stuff to each other onstage for the pleasure of the predominantly female audience which far outstrips the honestly fairly coy groping and grinding of 4Ladies' debut video, and the boys do lots of photoshoots for their fans too.  But wait...


Is it really "the female gaze" when this photo of Jay Park is for Men's Health magazine, a publication as squarely and unashamedly aimed at men as the title suggests?  Maybe the photo is arguably "female-gazey" in the imaginations of fangirls, and I could write a scenario about how you, a young fangirl dating Jay Park the man of your dreams, have just interrupted his outdoor gym activity for some cuddle time, to help lead your brain in that direction if I wanted.  However the reality is probably that the photographer just wanted a clear shot of his upper body with his arms up so Men's Health readers could see in an unobstructed way how unbelievably fit he is, so they said "grab that pole over there and look at the camera".  So once again, it's not all about you, you wacky sniveling fangirls.

I couldn't give a fuck either way anyway.  I'm fine with both "the male gaze" and "the female gaze" whether it exists or not outside of my own personal bias and perception.  I'm one of these crazy radical people who thinks that people of any gender should be able to look at each other and enjoy the experience of both doing the looking and of being looked at.  Wow, imagine that.

So given that this is all completely normal human behaviour why do k-pop fans bring up "the male gaze" like it's some big issue?  Well, they're misogynistic idiots who hate women, and as a way for them to engage in their favourite sport which is criticising women in k-pop, it'll do.  (Yes, a lot of them are women themselves, but you don't have to be male to be a misogynist.)  So as per usual, feminism is being used by jealous women to promote attacks against other women more attractive/successful than them, which seems to me to be exactly the opposite of what feminism is trying to achieve on a broader scale, things like:
  • Women getting paid the same as men for doing the same work at the same competency level
  • Equal access to opportunities for career choice, career advancement, leisure, etc
  • Being able to walk down a street without some fuckhead trying to rape or kill you
  • The same access to choice in the sexual sphere that guys have
  • Freedom from some perverted nutbag trying to cut your clit off because they're stupid enough to take completely literally everything in some religious book that was written hundreds of years ago back when women were considered to have the same amount of human rights as a donkey

I'm cool with all that stuff, and if that's what feminism is, call me a feminist. However I'm not cool with:
  • Preventing sexually explicit art/performance/fashion/activity
  • Censorship of politically incorrect (or any other) speech
  • Anti-pornography
  • Morally conservative bullcrap like telling women that it's their responsiblity to cover their skin up so guys don't rape them
  • Nitpicking at other women and tearing them down because they're more successful than you
If you look at the two lists above, you'll notice a pattern.  Everything in the first list is all about trying to open access up and give women more choices about what they can do so they can be successful and stand on an even footing with men.  Everything in the second list is about trying to close off access to things and to say to people "you can't say/do/think/fap to that because that's not what feminism is".  So in summary I support feminism that gives people more options and ways to experience and enjoy life, but I don't support feminism that tries to lay down draconian rules in attempts to restrict people into running their lives according to some stupid fucking moral code.  Sadly, most people who follow k-pop only give a shit about the second type of feminism, and that's why I don't give a shit about them.  Here's another GIF of 4Ladies, because my "male gaze" needs a workout.  All heterosexual men please cast your sexual-oppression-beams this way.

Maybe if we all stare hard enough our oppressive "male gaze" eyebeams will disintegrate their clothing.  We won't know until we try.


  1. This is interesting because never once did I ever think of the "male gaze" when watching this video lol. I just thought the dancing looked like how my classmates look trying to do sit-ups and push-ups during P.E. class when they're wearing slippery sneakers or socks. Seriously that shit cracks me up! Funniest video of 2014 in my opinion.

    1. This is an awesome comment and a classic example of what I mean. You're not obsessed with pseudo-feminist bullcrap, so you didn't find anything to write home about in this video.

  2. I didn't really have a problem with the video except for the lesbian part... I don't know but I just feel a tad uncomfortable when directors have girls (or guys) make up in front of the camera just to cater to fangirls or fanboys. Especially since the LGBT community has problems in Korea so it can be taken as "just a phase" or "something to play around with". I don't really know, my opinions change so often I don't even know where I stand anymore.

  3. Is it only me or you can barely hear their voice in the MV? I can only imagine what they would sound live.

    Also, as an official Red Velvet stan now, obligatory shield post. Listen to Wendy's cover of fantastic baby here.

    1. There's a lot less compression on the mix, probably because the song is tango-style which isn't a style of music that favours heavy compression. This might be contributing to the perception of quieter vocals but personally if anything I felt they were too loud!

    2. To the common people's ears like mine, their vocals sounded flat and quiet. The music was too loud imo

  4. I'm going to practice this dance to try and seduce my crush :D

    1. cha_cha if you show up at my doorstep and start doing this dance I…will probably be too busy laughing to actually slap you lol.

  5. >"That's right you fucking sneaky detective cao ni mas, these images are from a photo shoot for Marie Claire magazine. If you know anything about Marie Claire magazine at all, you'll know that it's a magazine mainly devoted to fashion, and aimed at women. "

    LOLWAT, so why those pictures made it to hundreds of kpop blogs/websites/communities devoted to the art of fapping? Even without describing the suggestive scenarios you depicted? Are you sure you can use the "only women read that shit" argument in this era of multichannel and cross-mediality?
    The fact that the "female gaze" works exactly like the "male gaze" might as well be the result of the mass media never changing it's language, and I don't feel like denying the "oppressive patriciachal system" which has being dominating our society for ages. Basically what media are doing is thinking "hey, those whiny bitches are all complaining about "sexualization", why don't we feed 'em some naked male bodies, so they will eventually shut up?". Did anyone ever bothered asking "is that what women really want"?

    > "I'm one of these crazy radical people who thinks that people of any gender should be able to look at each other and enjoy the experience of both doing the looking and of being looked at."

    Well, I'm the same and I understand your point, in fact the first paragraph could have been summarized as "just FAP and shut the fuck up". I'm in my 30s and I've spent most of my lifetime masturbating and not doing anyhing else, so I would agree.
    The second paragraph on fake ass feminists is alrighty and I agree with pretty much all of it.
    Just my 2cents, love you anyway (captatio benevolentiae :3 )

  6. Ahahahahaha "male gaze". Haven't heard that term since I was asked (ie forced) to form an opinion on it and write an essay for Scriptwriting 101.

    That's said, I think it exists. Not in the bullshit way pseudo-feminist use, but rather as a storytelling device.

    Eg. I have male character. I want audience to identify this other lady character as a sexy bitch.
    I frame the shot with the "gaze" of this hetero male so that the audience is put in his shoes and understands that this lady is the hottest without me doing something stupid like have the character talk about how hot she is. "Show; don't tell" essentially.

    It doesn't mean it's a bad thing in itself.
    It's only if you're a shit writer/director and you start thinking crap like "All my female characters must be framed like they are sex on legs for women are nothing more than that."
    Some of these SJW needs to redirect their slacktivism into some real issues.

    Yeh kpop uses both male and female gaze to present an image or their idols. But that's as a generic a statement as "k-pop uses both indoor and outdoor sets in their MVs". Things only get bad when there's too much of any one thing and honestly, we have not reached that stage yet so stfu.

    1. Yeah the gaze itself as a cinematic device or whatever is one thing but people seeing the gaze and going "omg the camera is looking up her skirt how disgusting we are so oppressed by the patriachy lets now fap to the guys from SHINee groping each other" is another.

  7. It's just another word people made up in order to make themselves less cunty while dissing other people, pretty sure they will come up with alot more in the future.

    Also get hotter guys next time please lol.

  8. jfc kpop fangirls so pressed. sexually explicit art can be super liberating! tbh i've always had a problem with feminists who are up in arms about stuff that's sexual because these are the same people who make dumb arguments like 'female sex workers are oppressed because sex work is a wrong profession' and tbh in a small way i think they're still thinking like proponents of rape culture because obviously women who dress a certain way or god forbid show their bodies for a living deserve all the bad things coming

    sorry, but more to the point, more than offensive i thought that the dance looked uncomfortable because that's kind of how you have to move when you're putting on a tight pair of jeans and it feels really weird feeling the joint in your hip/thigh move like that, in my experience anyway

    1. oh, i forgot to say this, but i do slightly have a problem with the "lesbian concept" because it's like those porn videos of "lesbians" (mostly straight women putting things in each other because the video will be watched by men who think that's hot) and i think reducing someone's sexual orientation to a concept has a problem in there somewhere, and i've seen a lot of lesbians not appreciate that in the past, and maybe that's where something like the male gaze comes in? because in a homophobic country like SK, any male would probably want to burn lesbians at the stake, but it's okay if they're doing it for voyeuristic pleasure???

    2. >maybe that's where something like the male gaze comes in? because in a homophobic country like SK, any male would probably want to burn lesbians at the stake, but it's okay if they're doing it for voyeuristic pleasure???

      EXACTLY! I don't wanna sound hypocritical, because I'm the first who will fap to it, but just because it doesn't bother me doesn't mean something like the "male gaze" does not exist, and I understand why people think it is "problematic" (although I'm enjoying the product because I'm an egoistic motherfucker).

    3. People pretend to be in straight relationships for dramas and music videos, why can't people pretend to be in lesbian relationships. The people saying 4L is some great step forward for gender equality are ridiculous, but neither is it a great step backward.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. in theory i understand what you're saying, because representing gay relationships in the media is super important, but that argument assumes that there already is a certain kind of equality, in that the lgbt community is a) understood correctly and b) respected, and unfortunately neither of these things happen very often, and definitely not in a widespread way
      take any kpop music video involving a straight couple, though, and there's 99% of the time, a *story* involved, at least in the form of "guy meets girls at a club, they have threesome" and here it's kind of casually thrown in in the middle of shots of girls a̶w̶k̶w̶a̶r̶d̶l̶y̶ rubbing their inner thighs, and especially given that they were going for sexy, it fetishizes a vERY REAL thing that people identify as, and no, it's not particularly taking a step back, but it *is* perpetuating harmful beliefs about lesbian relationships (by basically dehumanizing the idea with no actual story, a concept of "lesbian for your pleasure") in a society that's rife with misinformation anyway, and i can see why that might upset someone

  9. So much about gender equality in that country, huh? It's a good thing that in my country, people celebrate sexiness, male or female.

  10. Another problem with the idea of "male gaze" also exists in cinematography. Obviously there are camerawomen and female cinematographers, yet their movies aren't radically differently shot, even if the themes in the movies are absolutely not targeting a male white audience.
    If anything, there exists a code of conduct for most mainstream productions and it does not matter at all if you're male, female or something inbetween, because you have to obey it. Same goes for music videos.
    But of course all those poor non-white non-female camera people just don't know any better and need to be guided by femnazis. :(

    Holy shit, this is such fucking bullshit. I'm amazed you have the nerves to go on such a long rant over these stupid people.

    1. It's because I'm such a mellow, chilled-out person.

      Probably the most pervy, male-gazey film I've ever seen anywhere in mainstream non-porno cinema is a sci-fi called "Strange Days"... which was directed by a woman.

    2. The camera person was a guy, though, but a director certainly has a lot of influence and in the end has to defend every single shot if somebody asks her.

      If I remember correctly some Girl's Day music video was also done by a female director. Or some other lewd K-Pop girlgroup MV.
      AKB48's Heavy Rotation also had a female director:

  11. I have only "perv gaze" :<

  12. But...but... breathe is a good song.

  13. tl;dr: Fangirls are fucking stupid

    1. Actually that's the tl;dr for about 80% of my posts, but I can't just write that because nobody would read it. I have to think up new and inventive ways to basically say the same thing over and over hahahaha

  14. Well one learns new things everyday. I thought the male gaze was just something shot in a way to appeal to men. You know, focus on certain things men are going to notice more and enjoy more than women. Not in a "a male would see it this way, so you will too" but in a "this is what men like to look at" way. I mean you think those girls are gyrating their hips because heterosexual girls would be interested in it?

    And even then, I mean it's like girls just pretend that guy idols hump the floor in dances for artistic purposes lol

    I personally didn't have a problem with the way this video was shot. For "the male gaze" as I conceived it before. I would be a huge hypocrite. But I did think this was a little crass. But I mean if men find it sexy it's yeah alright whatever floats your boat. I mean I saw plenty of people just downright say this was really cheap and "they didn't have to do to these lengths" for attention, which would not really tackle the whole male gaze thing but the idea that these women think female idols are weak-willed, feeble, empty objects thus they are being "objectified". Or well that's the logic I see when they argue.

    "It's too bad they have to resort to this" We all know what "this" means. It means objectification. Because obviously a girl being sexual is instantly degrading herself to an object.

    I mean girls calling the objectification card and the "male gaze" card are just excusing their own misogynistic tendencies.

    When I see a playboy model I don't think her an object. So she is not objectified. Simple as that I think. The same with the "male gaze", and even then, so what if girls do what they do to turn men on? Like... men do it too and that doesn't mean they are degrading themselves. So why would women?

  15. This entire post basically sums up my entire thoughts about feminism and the (male and female) turds over at AKP who enjoy slut shaming 4L and similar groups.

    PS - I buy fashion magazines just to perv on the models mostly aside from the fashion/hair/design inspiration lol

    1. Not sure you can call them "feminists" or whatever, feminists don't "slut shame" anyone.

    2. Yeah they do, have you been on the internet in the last few years? Feminists slut shame any woman they think is more attractive than themselves. Then they turn around and kick up a huge shit storm when someone complains about their own topless photos or whatever. Feminists are the biggest fucking hypocrites, all they want is special treatment when it suits them and zero responsibility for their own actions. They can fuck off.

    3. wow thanks for judging an entire, long and complicated movement from one faction of it that you may or may not have personally encountered. i am so sick of how feminism gets a bad rap because morons don't understand the concept of personal research and mainstream media demonizes a movement that might actually help someone

    4. @xxcurestfuxx, I worry about where you read about feminism, or even, which "feminists" you even hang out with. Clearly you've been getting your facts and the entire movement wrong, and your perception of feminism is clouded by your own generalisation of the entire movement based by like what, 2 or 3 people you've seen or heard rant about "feminism"? How about you go read an actual book about feminism before you label them like that.

      @ziodonato, lol I'm p sure I didn't say in my comment that feminists slut shame anybody.

    5. MODERN feminism is a crock of shit. Yes feminists from past got women where they are today, and that's a good thing. I'm grateful for that, feminists of the past have my respect. The problem is MODERN feminists act like it's still 50+ years ago right now. Men and women in the west are pretty damn equal, and at this point women even have some rights that men do not(I'm looking at you reproductive rights). It's 2014, the path forward is humanism/egalitarianism. We should be focusing on maintaining the rights we ALL have and working to even out the things that aren't perfect yet, not getting behind a movement that's way past it's time and only cares about half the population.

      Don't tell me to look up the definition of feminism, feminists don't follow the actual dictionary definition. Your actions are totally different from what the dictionary defines as feminism. You believe in and actively promote female superiority, and so do all your feminist writers. The internet, especially Tumblr blogs or sites like Jezebel, are the absolute worst about this.

      Take your female superiority-ism and GET THE FUCK OUT! Sensible, rational people don't want any part in your bullshit, lies, and manipulation.

    6. Oh yeah, not to mention MODERN feminism is a primarily white western middle to upper class movement that cares more about being "slut shamed" for wearing a short skirt or fat acceptance("oh poor me, people don't like me because I have self inflicted diseases and I live in a country that's so rich I can literally eat myself to death!!") than it cares about thousands of Muslim women being stoned to death, raped, and beaten regularly or African women having their genitals mutilated.


    7. MODERN feminism is not a bunch of fifteen year old girls on tumblr who are still learning

  16. /slow clap

    Brilliant post.


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