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Word Count: 1,313
Social standards and mores regarding sexual behavior have been in place for millennia Given the historical subjectification of women by men it is natural to assume that it has been men who have put these rules into place In modern society where there is no real authority dictating and enforcing strict rules concerning behavior the world is ripe for men who wish to explore impose and enforce their fantasies The imposition of the male gaze upon women is not young but has only been given a name in recent times Evidence of the male gaze in art is described accurately by John Berger in Ways of Seeing but what kind of ramifications exist concerning portrayals of women and especially nude women outside of the world of high art Certainly the subject of pornography is a touchy one Decried by the church as base and vile limited to its content by the government and enjoyed by millions each day in print video and online pornography is perhaps the ultimate manifestation of the male gaze And indeed it is Where is the line of demarcation between art and pornography though It might be natural to say that paintings that are considered high art dont classify as pornography but that any picture from a girlie magazine does However before making that assertion the motives behind said high art should be considered Once painting became more secular and departed from continual depictions of religious scenes new concepts of nudes came into play A woman in a painting especially a naked woman in a painting was no longer a chaste and honorable religious figure She became a victim of the male gaze She is painted for an audience she is painted for people especially men to look at Invariably she will be studied She will not only have the figure and curvature of her body scrutinized but she will become attainable something for a man to own She will be
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