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The female gaze is defined as a “feminist film theoretical term representing the gaze of the female viewer. It is a response to feminist film theorist Laura Mulvey's term "the male gaze", which represents not only the gaze of a heterosexual male viewer but also the gaze of the male character and the male creator of the film.”

Essentially, the female gaze is applied to media as a non-male lens. It is used particularly in viewing romance or relationships, as it is the antithesis of the male gaze, which is notorious for the hypersexualization of women. The most popular trope that is indicative of the female gaze is the focus on Mr. Darcy’s hand in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. Keeping that example in mind, it is fair to assume that the female gaze treats its subjects subtly, and with an air of hopeless romanticism. Although both terms (female and male gaze) are most frequently applied to film, I questioned its applicability to another mode of storytelling: music. Could the impression of the female gaze translate in a short 3-minute song? I think the female gaze is so evident by its language and distinct treatment of its subjects, and that level of care can absolutely be prevalent in song lyrics. And so, here’s a short playlist that theorizes what, exactly, songs written in the female gaze might sound like:

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