Guest Post | Female Gaze

In movies it’s never like that. You know I think that movies are a conspiracy. I mean it, they are actually a conspiracy because they set you up for it. They set you up from the time you are a little kid, they set you up to believe in everything. They set you up to believe in ideals and strength and good guys and romance and of course love. So you believe it, right, you go out, you start looking, it doesn’t happen, you keep looking.
— Gena Rowlands // Minnie Moskowitz // John Cassavetes

Teach the girls that we were taught to look at pictures through the eyes of a man,
Alone in the dark room of a cinema where each spectator builds dreams & fantasies,
Our empathy with the hero is always a he,
and we frame a woman's body as a man would.
I am calling out for Laura Mulvey* and
learning to trust my own gaze,
peeling off my mind those male blankets
that were put in front of my head.
How is a girl looking
at other girls
at men
at the world.
Gaze at girls, gaze at their breasts,
their thighs, their legs
like watching a man’s hand, a torso,
a cup of coffee or a cigarette.
Is it because our sex is hidden that every other part of our body has to be sexualized?
Is it so scary that we don’t have any visual form that says I have desire like a hard dick.


* Laura Mulvey « visual pleasure and narrative cinema »

Caroline Ruffault is a French photographer born in Brittany. She started film photography and dark room work at the age of 12 to avoid lunch at the middle school cafeteria. After studying cinema at the school of media, critical & creative arts in Liverpool, she worked as a director assistant and a production manager for television and some advertising agencies. Four years ago, she moved from Paris to Austin and bought an old 35mm Rolleiflex to make sense of a strange world. She fell in love with the magic of film, the wait and the sweetness of the grain. She likes stories and poetry, decors and strange light. Caroline just moved back to France this summer.