Cat staring into camera
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Cat staring into camera is seen as male gaze
Ladies: this is a discussion that can be divisive, but it is worth it. Is it the male gaze, which looks at women and judges them? Do women fall into the trap of being "slaves" to their male gaze? Do we allow it?
I find that in the discussion about the female gaze, there seems to be a focus on films and magazines, and how we are influenced by what we see. I don't think this is a fr representation of life, so I want to ask you to use your personal experience as a woman, to discuss what you believe to be a "female gaze".
I've noticed that the male gaze plays a big role in a woman's life. It can influence the way that we are dressed, how we behave and think. For instance:
* when we watch football, we are likely to enjoy some of the sport because of the male attention
* we have lots of TV channels, but we don't watch the female ones
* a lot of men are more interested in sports than women are
* women are far less likely to be interested in sports
* women are less likely to have a hobby and less likely to join clubs and societies
The above are only some examples. The male gaze can also influence a woman's relationship with men. For instance:
* our behaviour towards men is often dictated by what men expect
* we are often seen as objects to be controlled
* we are expected to know what men want and to respond accordingly
* men are generally expected to be more physically attractive
* men can control the situation at a relationship
I hope I have given you some food for thought.
To me, the biggest danger is the idea that a woman cannot see herself without the gaze of the male. It is a belief that we live in a patriarchal society, where women are expected to be 'meek, quiet and demure' and do what they are told. Well I think it's time that all women stood up to male oppression and declared that we want to be equal to men. If we do this, we will have to examine ourselves and the way that we have been influenced by the male gaze.
I think that it's time to ask some questions.
### **THE GYM MENTALITY**
### **WHO DOES WHAT AT THE GYM?**
I used to work for a gym as a personal trner. One of the things that made this job extremely stressful was dealing with the different types of people. It didn't matter how well I trned them, the ones who took their trning seriously always made my job as a trner hard because they didn't seem to see why they needed to trn.
_'I really think that all women should trn regularly, because you can always spot a woman with a gym mentality. All she wants to do is trn and then hit the next workout.'_
_'I think it's great that women should be able to do all the things that men can do, but they should start at a low level.'_
What this tells me is that these women do not really want to exercise and they don't really want to achieve any goals. They are all about keeping fit, getting fitter and fitter. And the reason they don't want to trn and achieve is because they live in a society where women have to live up to the standards of their male counterparts. It is this that leads to women getting the idea that they can't do what men can do.
To be more specific, a woman who works out is seen as a loser. People think that all women are happy to just lounge around at home all day because that's what they're supposed to do. A woman working out, however, is seen as a loser. A woman who trns regularly is seen as a real loser. The woman who works out is considered a loser who is on a diet. The woman who trns regularly is considered a loser who is out to prove something to herself. Women are just expected to be thin all the time. It's a woman's responsibility to constantly put on weight and be thin. This can't go on for ever, but most women don't realise that. So they continue to trn. They do trn hard, but their true heart is not in it. If they really did want to get fit, they wouldn't have their picture taken in front of a mirror.
**How to break the cycle**
**MOST COMMON TRADITIONS**
* A woman is supposed to be thin, so she trns hard and eats healthily to mntn her thinness.
* Men have a lot of responsibilities, so they don't trn much. Men who do trn hard and eat healthily are considered losers.
* A woman must lose weight to please her husband, so she continues to trn even when she doesn't want to.
* A woman must trn with the goal of becoming like a man, so she trns hard and loses weight.
* A woman must be thin all the time, so she continues to trn even when she doesn't want to.
**HOW TO FIT IN WITH THE REST**
**_Don't be an overachiever_**
The woman who continues to trn even when she doesn't want to is seen as an overachiever. Men, in contrast, are seen as overachievers because they trn hard. An overachiever is seen as a flure if he or she is still getting fat. The woman who continues to trn even when she doesn't want to, however, is considered a success. She's seen as strong. The woman who trns hard is seen as weak.
**_Don't be a wimp_**
The woman who trns hard and diets to get skinny is a wimp. She's weak. The woman who doesn't trn or who keeps her weight down is seen as courageous. She's more masculine.
**_Be strong and do it with the goal of being feminine_**
The woman who keeps her weight down is seen as a man. She has less energy and more testosterone than the woman who trns hard. If you want to look like a man and feel like a woman, you must trn with the goal of looking like a man and feeling like a woman.
**_Don't forget to enjoy yourself_**
The woman who trns hard, diets, and looks thin should enjoy her work. In addition, it's okay to trn just for fun.
**HOW TO AVOID TRNING BULLIES**
**_Don't have unrealistic expectations_**
A woman must be realistic when she sets her goals and when she looks at herself in the mirror. A woman who thinks she looks too thin is a target for a trner who enjoys picking on her, and a woman who's never been dieted is a target for any trner who has a hard time with women.
**_Avoid the trner who hates his job_**
Be aware of trners who hate their jobs. They feel a need to berate and intimidate others. In this case, this type of trner is a bully.
**_Avoid trners who dislike women_**
If you're planning to diet, a trner who dislikes women or men may get on your nerves. The trner may have a hard time making a personal connection with you. If he doesn't like you, then he's unlikely to care about your weight-loss program. He may even sabotage your plan.
**_Avoid trners who pick on skinny women