I SEE U GIRL: The Elegant Blindness of Masculine Mimetic
Unified gaze theory? Would that be called Tunnel Vision Theory? Or just tunnel vision? Hegemony about Hegemony? As a man, I’m allowed to talk about everything, while understanding very little.
Theory: what we have developed is a kind of tunnel vision for the sake of re-producing culture and economy. You know of this post-Marxist system; I will not write of the components in a more clear way than has already been written by others.
We remember: The Gaze was a perfect piece of gender-biopower technology, a software that everyone wanted to run, a software that reproduced itself onscreen, without showing how it was made. Tickets sold themselves. Sex-less sex. War-less war.
The Male Gaze was the first touchscreen technology (the idea of touch screen being that you don’t need to touch, feel, contaminate in order to function; like photos, like printed words). The consequence: that seeing equalled having, possession and control – a gender-role-industry-story that one did not need to fully understand before one became an agent of this development – a storyteller in the flat, modern sense. Today we might say, “seeder” of intellectual property. A way of looking spread that one already had enjoyed by the time one realized what it was, the damage that can be felt, while simply looking.
I see a women – I look at a woman – she does not see me – she is on a screen – I touch the screen. It is a small, simple machine (recently perfected, I feel), like a pulley or an inclined plane. But there are uses. This small way of looking begins to re-write interaction, begins to make differences between touch-men and screen-women.
What can I really discern about the super-tunnel vision of the masculine? To we call it a tool kit, a decease, a policy to be voted away? How do you write about power, from inside power’s eye? For lack of direction or inspiration, I can write about cultures that are less comfortable with the Gaze than Eastern American or Europe.
In Seattle, men do not look at women on the street. They lower their eyes, perhaps in respect of vague notions of civility, perhaps out of fear. The women dress in a way that some eastern commentators call the least fashionable in the world. An understanding of spiritual technology drips from the sky and stands under 200ft trees. Seattle is perhaps a place where the technology of the gaze was never widely accepted. I will not speculate on the reasons for this.
Elegant Blindness is a way women are unable to look, because they have been trained to see whole objects, people, families, societies. This cool window view is a guy thing.
Women are forced to view the whole film, from beginning to end, from Genesis to Revelations – and feel every moment of culture within. They are assigned this task of unending and unachievable comprehension, which we now call parenting, love, family. They see the terrible, the personal and the mechanical in incompressible layers of body and politic. Phallic, orchestral, terminal. Textile, poly. Magazines (websites) tell them that this is fashion, and it does matter, to so many women. It has to. I repeat: fashion is the uncompromising curriculum of total human culture, entered from the direction of daily performance, costume, style. Women are trained to swim in an unfathomable mimetic torrent that includes the graphic depiction of inequality, consumption structure, personal shame, and all types of actually caring.
Most men are shown a deck of cards and told the joker is missing. Women are asked to buy the entire casino themselves, and then give it away, gracefully.
This is why men will fail. Because they are given perfectly simple fantasy rules (honor, God, country), which they are then allowed to break. Essentially, we men look at postage stamps of culture. How useless. This tunnel Gaze. This is not physics, not opera, not economy. Nothing actually functions within the optical limitations of man. Existence (to say nothing of culture) cannot be seen, cannot be felt in this manner. At best there are these strange instructions: Look outside this small box, this masculine cave. Your work is done for the day. Please enjoy this cinematic interactive. Feel free to doze.
Have you seen the horses race? The edges of horse’s vision are blinded, to create the single minded beast – though perhaps he can still hear and feel? The goal of the race (perfecting it) is structed not by the bits of leather that compose the blinders, but by the continued demenor of the animals that is used to seeing a specific way, a small way, a bitter and violent way.
These are men, the sad mangled creatures that Culture created. Art and literature casualties, brutes, media barons; dumb, wealthy conceptual artists with a single medium: the eyes, unseeing the actual flesh our ending narrative.
In 2013, horse meat seems to be everywhere. Some, like me, are vegetarians. How do you end a scandal, built on a basic premise that is also a scandal? It becomes confusing are hard to care? It reminds me of my eagerness to leave academia after three years of college. There are more direct problems, the urgency of tomorrow. Men open their eyes and look at women. They fail in personal matters. We are looking for an answer to a question that nobody asked. This is academic. Do you see it?
I wrote my senior thesis on films where women look at men. It was one of the hardest, most confusing and disturbing points during my education. It’s very hard to see all this, with these excellent blinders. I feel so infected. I feel so inadequate, dumb. So empowered.
Do you see it?
Erik Stinson, 2013, Brooklyn