“Mad Men” and the Male Gaze

Mack's Musings

The “Jaguar Pitch”, scene that appears in a season 5 episode of Mad Men, is a perfect example of Laura Mulvey’s concept of the “male gaze”, a masculine point of view across movies and literature in which women are presented as the objects of male pleasure. Mulvey states that the female characters have no direct influence on the plot, and merely serve as a support or a sexual object for the male.[1] The scene demonstrates Mulvey’s ideas in two ways: Joan’s interactions with Herb Rennet in which Herb is the looker and the surrogate for the male audience, and Don Draper’s calculated speech containing undercurrents of female submission to male dominance.

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