In film theory, this applies to the hegemonic perpetuation of the male viewpoint by framing the story, the scene, and specific shots from the perspective of–and for the pleasure of–men. More than anything else, it is the taking for granted that the audience is male.
The male gaze doesn’t just apply to film, however. It applies wherever you have an audience and a text being presented to that audience.
It applies, for instance, at tech conferences.
I propose a simple three-step process that we can all follow to create more inclusive events in our industry:
Draw attention to the problem.(Call out instances of sexism, misogyny, homophobia, etc., that you see at conferences and events.)
Formulate and implement solutions.(Adopting a code of conduct for your conference, for example, may be one solution.)
Educate.(Train your employees in feminist theory. Formulate policies and make sure that they are communicated properly.)
Acknowledging that we have a problem is the first step. And talking about the problem is important. We’re already formulating solutions and I’m sure we will continue to do so. Most importantly, we have to keep educating people. Simply punishing people without educating them will not fix the core problem.