There are numerous women movements fighting for gender equality. These movements aim at achieving a state where no gender is more powerful than the other. In the text, the writer shows how power is practiced over the male and female genders. He makes it clear that power is predominantly a male thing, where women hold no stake. This essay will analyze Richard Dye’s writing and show that power and dominance are male-oriented, and a phenomenon occurs naturally.
In writing this text, the writer tries to show the power that men hold over women. He states that men always present themselves in a position that displays how powerful they are, while women, on the other hand, present themselves as powerless objects. He further shows how men, non-verbally, portray their power and how gender roles continue to show which sex holds power.
The main argument brought about is that whichever way men go through an act, they will eventually demonstrate the dominance that they hold, the masculinity and also the power over women. The writer, for instance, shows that look of men at each other is not an issue, but when they do, the way that they look is what matters. He notes that women look at men more when it comes to face to face interaction. However, in doing so, women do more of watching rather than looking. Men, in turn, act as if they are ignoring the women. This depicts that men are in a superior position to that of women. In crowded areas men look at women more. In this case, women do not look at men, and if they do, they avert their eyes once a man notices that she is looking at him. In this scenario, however, women do not avert their eyes intending to portray ignorance, they are shying off. This, in turn, makes a man establish some dominance over a woman, which he maintains (Dyer 57).
The writer uses several examples as well as theoretical frameworks to base and prove his argument. The writer uses the images of men and women in art and the eye contact that the two genders maintain to explain his argument. He brings to discussion pictures of men being looked at by women. Usually, it is expected that men are the one who are looking at women. However, some attempts are made to correct this anomaly. This is mostly on the man’s look about the women looking at him. The man, in this case, does not look at the woman looking at him. He, therefore, shows that he bears little or no interest in the viewer. The woman’s look, on the other hand, shows that she does not assume the qualities of the man. She shows patience and immense interest in the man. The man leaves the viewer with the pleasure of looking at his body and face, but he sets his mind on other higher things. By doing so, he shows his masculinity and also his sexuality. In a case where the woman is being looked at, she returns the favor and gazes at the viewer. She wears a welcoming smile. The men in these pictures make the viewer not only look at them, but also visualize them in a more complex level. The women on the other hand do not present this challenge. What the viewer sees in the woman is the end of the road, nothing more, and nothing less (Dyer 58).
The writer notes that the male pin-ups do not work for women. This notorious act shows that not only sexuality that matters, but also power among the genders. It is perceived that being looked at shows that one is powerless while looking at shows that the person wields power. It is also assumed that being looked at is passive and looking at is active. However, this may not be the case. Women go through a lot as they prepare themselves to be looked at. But eventually, the images of men fight passivity at all costs so that the notion that masculinity depicts activity is maintained. As such, images of men will always present them doing something. They are always associated with activity. In contrast, women are only there to be looked at. In cases where the male image does not show him performing an act, his body is stationed in a manner that shows that he is ready to do anything. He emphasizes on his muscles, thus showing the potential to do something (Dyer 59).
The writer further shows that masculinity depicts fineness in the socialist traditions. Also, the masculinity of male bodies shows the dignity and heroism of labor. Women, however, have had their role marginalized to the delicate and seemingly too perfect of inspiration. Male bodies are never considered as an inspiration source or erotic visual pleasure. Male imagery is very evident in sports activities. Although certain sports may be associated with certain classes, they all show the presence of free time and energy or strength to use it. This is mostly so in the Western society where people set aside time for the development of body. While working or sporting, body masculinity is supported. This masculinity is a key in appraising the bodies of men. Hence, muscularity shows power, one that is naturally attained (Dyer 61).
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Muscle development shows physical strength, a feat that women can only dream of but cannot come even close to matching. The strength in men is biologically accorded, it gives them an edge in the competition for the resources and spoils of the earth, the category that women also fall in. People have the tendency to accept what is natural, and it is assumed that it is inevitable. Therefore, the fact that muscles are biological means makes male domination and power legitimate. However, advanced muscle development is not natural. It comes as a result of muscle building. When one has big muscles, it is evident that he has been muscle-building. On the contrary, women do a lot of things to be beautiful. They exercise, use cosmetics and diet. However, this is not depicted in her final appearance. The beauty and roundness that women achieve from this do not depict power. The strength that man attains, however, show the power that they wield. The fact that only men possess penises, symbols of power, further underlines that men hold the ultimate power (Dyer 62).
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The writer puts forward a very convincing argument through giving clear examples that show how power in society is determined by gender. He proves beyond doubt that basic things such as looking at each other give men the mantle in regardding power. It is evident that women shy off when looked at by men, while men act as if ignoring the presence of a woman when they are looked at. He clearly shows how men will impose their strength and power by their poses. The writer also shows that the physique that men possess also demonstrates their strength over women. This, in turn, cements the fact that power is predominantly a male thing. As such, one cannot understate the writer’s achievement in his argument. The logic that he bases his points on makes one simply acknowledge the undisputed male dominance.
In conclusion, the writer tries to show the dominance that men hold over women. In doing so, he brings out the oppressive nature of men and the suppressive nature of women. He shows that the power that men have and the strength that their bodies possess is a clear indication of their natural dominance when compared to the feebleness of the opposite gender. He further shows that even simple indicators such as looking at people also explain how assertive men are when it comes to expressing immense ability. He makes it clearly evident that male dominance cannot be disputed.
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