Monday, April 19, 2010

You lookin' my way?

First of all, to finish the alarm clock saga, eventually the batteries did work. I used the troubleshooting method my ancestors developed millenia ago:
1. Swear.
2. Press buttons at random.
3. Smash device against hard place.
4. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Second - face lift. Possibly in honor of the volcano. I haven't decided.

As for the meat of today's post -- it's still more in my continuing series of thoughts from the gym.

Today's entry dedicated to the concept of "looking." As in - not just the phenomenon of sight, but the whole crazy Game™ of "checking someone out." And the thought process that ensues.

I don't understand it. It's worse than sitting at a bar and trying to play into the games -- are they looking at me? Should I look at them? Is it a good look? Bad look? Fun look?

Same thing in the gym. There are few women who work out there, but those who do are very fit (in both the British and the literal meanings) and usually wear athletic bras and sometimes high heels.

I wish I were exaggerating.

And sometimes - as in today - which sparked this entry - I just don't feel like playing those games. I was stretching after running on the treadmill. I just wanted to stretch! But there was a girl standing nearby, doing pilates in the mirror, and I could see that she was watching me to see if I was watching her and I just didn't. Feel. Like. Playing.

It comes down to this. Either I look and make this girl the object of my male gaze, to use what is already an out-dated terminology. Her agency in that could be:
a) neither to notice nor to care
b) not to have noticed but to have cared if she did notice
c) to notice, and be upset
d) to notice, and derive vainglorious pleasure
Or, I could choose not to look, in which case the input/output on her end would be:
a) neither to notice nor care
b) to be able to work out in peace
c) to turn it into a neurosis that a man at the gym isn't looking at her
It was that last that I believe occurred today, that precipitated this post.

Head, meet wall. Lather, rinse, repeat. Or, in the words of one Venture Brothers episode,

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Ye Olde male gaze...well, can we call the term outdated if it's still a huge part of the way people are conditioned?

I've never been more aware of the male gaze, or more immune to it, since I've been living in Moscow. What I mean is, I'm into fashion, and my main disappointment in Muscovite fashion is the total pandering to the (very unimaginative, in this case) male gaze. Clothes, poise, all that stuff completely lacks irony...this is getting ranty.

In light of all this, there's nothing appealing about being noticed in the (Moscow) street by men, conditioned as they are in this city to the pole dancer look, so there's an extra dimension of freedom here.

But all things considered, I'd rather have the wild abandon of experimental fashion in Glasgow coupled with occasionally wanting to attract men and occasionally letting the male gaze infiltrate my wardrobe. At least the men make themselves pretty...pandering to the newly popularised female gaze. Sluts.