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Clay Steinman

In: Men, Masculinity, and the Media

Chapter 14: Gaze out of Bounds: Men Watching Men on Television

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Gaze out of Bounds: Men Watching Men on Television
Gaze out of bounds: Men watching men on television
ClaySteinman

Men still have everything to say about their own sexuality.

HélfèneCixous (Jardine, 1987, p. 60)

If sexual orientation is a way of feeling, always unfixed and remade, what happens when, watching television, a heterosexual man's gaze alights on a male image it finds attractive? How do shows on commercial television (en)gender desire for heterosexual males? How do they make sexual roles and identities seem absolute, if they are in flux?

A look at a late-1990 episode of Evening Shade, a situation comedy with Burt Reynolds on CBS, might illuminate these processes. It might clarify how society maintains gender, with all of its separations and its discrepancies in power and privilege. ...

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