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WGST 100 Womens And Gender Studies

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WGST 100 Womens And Gender Studies

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Course Code: WGST100
University: University Of Regina

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Country: Canada

Questions:
1. Who is the target-audience? Who is the story being told to?2. What is the motivation for this visual work? What is its purpose and function?3. What symbolic resources does the image draw upon (for example, a cross, specific flowers, etc.)? Note: symbols are easily recognized elements from our culture that generate powerful emotions, such as flags, religious signs (crosses,etc.),monuments.
4. What ideas about gender/ gender norms/ sexuality expressed in this work?5. How are ideas about race/ culture/ gender stereotypes articulated in this image?6. How is masculinity represented? How is femininity represented? Is there an idealized form presented?

Answers:
France had turned out to be a hot bed of debates, discussions, opinions and counter opinions over the question of choosing between the values that form the basis of the constitution of the Republic of France. The first country in the continent of Europe had attracted both supporters and opposers when the highest judicial body of the country had declared that wearing of the Islamic headscarf at any public place is a matter of violation of the constitutional principle of secularism that is fundamental and inextricably linked to all the values of the Republic. Any citizen or person found donning that at public places could incur a fine and a course on citizenship. One section of the society opposed the decision citing it as an unjustified infringement on the liberty of women. While another section of the society had welcome the decision and considered it as an important move to instill the core values of the country, and save the women from being suppressed under the garb of religion and traditions (Amthor, 2015). Marie Le Pen, the presidential candidate representing the far right coalition in France had commented on the issue of women wearing burkinis instead of bikinis that the beaches of the country were meant for the likes of actress Brigitte Bardot and film director Robert Vadim, and not for those who resembled the likes of Belphegor. The duo consisting of the actress and the Director mentioned herein had shot quite a number of erotic films on the beaches that lied to the South of France. While Belphegor was a ghost who wore a black garment similar to the Islamic abaya, and was infamous for haunting the Louvre Museum situated at the heart of the city of Paris. The image that has been attached underneath is that of Brigitte Bardot, making her appearance for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival, in the year 1953 (Amthor, 2015). When the controversy over banning the hijab, niqab, burqa and the burkini in France had occupied the political centre stage, her image was cited as an argument to support the decision by the Sarkozy Government. Besides upholding the deep rooted principle of French Secularism, a legacy of the French Revolution, she was also cited as an epitome of a Free Woman in a Free Society which discourages subjugation of women. The image represents the ideal image of a free woman and how she ought to behave and appear in a free society. The Western world considers a woman who exposes herself to the male gaze is the epitome of an empowered woman. The image means that a free woman is not and should not be afraid to be expose her skin in public and also that the western civilization is far more superior to that of the civilizations and cultures of the other parts of the world (Amthor, 2015). 
In this part of the essay an analysis of the image shall be provided. This particular image of actress Brigitte Bardot was clicked by the papparazis when she was frolicking around the beach with her friends (Collins, 2017). It was however not exactly a photo shoot session but one of the moments when she was enjoying herself at the beach, and had happily posed for the papparazis present there. This image does influence the meaning in the sense that it shows that people in the western world do not consider nudity of a woman as something obscene, rather it is a reflection of the fact that in the western world the male gaze empowers women and it does not seek to suppress women. This goes as far as who clicked the image and the context of the image (Collins, 2017).
The target audience of the image is definitely her fans and her admirers. It also would not be very wrong to say that the image was also supposed to play the role of a source of sexual stimulation for the women, and a model for the women folks to imbibe the idea of being an ideal attractive woman who is desirable to a man (Collins, 2017). That accounts for the purpose of the visual representation of the actress. The motivation for the visual work is the interest of the papparazis to capture every moment of the celebrities and if it is that of a female one, then the saleability and the sensational factor of the image shall be heightened. That is after all the professional stringency of the papparazis (Collins, 2017).
The symbolism of the image lies in her skimpy dress, the bikini, which was used by Madame Le Pen to demonstrate what France ought to be and what code of conduct should the outsiders observe when they step on to the soil of France. The smile on her face represents her joy which is somehow related to the fact that a free woman who has the liberty to dress freely, exposing a lot of skin, is essentially happy and confident (Collins, 2017).
The image represents a cross cultural context in explaining the ideas of gender norms and sexuality as different in the west and the third world. The western world does not shy away or have a negative attitude towards exploring or being explicit about sexuality (Carr, 2018). This makes the western civilizations seem much more open and friendly towards the women folks, and the supposed stringencies of gendered code of conduct is somewhat nil. While in the cultures which forbids women to express their beauty, to be vocal about their sexuality are lower forms of culture and must be having no place in the western world. This is what the image seems to convey in this context (Carr, 2018).
Femininity has been portrayed as an object which seeks completeness in being gazed at, and masculinity as the portrayer of femininity, the one to decide the ideal woman. The image of Bardot is but what the men desires women to be, regardless of the fact what women wants to project themselves (Carr, 2018).
These ideals definitely harms the women belonging to cultures of the eastern civilizations as the entire construct belittles their significance their claim to womanhood and freedom. The image represent cultural and ideological colonialism. Thus this image evokes the image of ridicule for the eastern civilizations and celebration of the victory of masculinity over femininity despite empowering them (Carr, 2018). 
References
Amthor, J. (2015). The Male Gaze versus Female Self-Determination in Ekphrastic Poetry.
Carr, A. J. (2018). Viewing Pleasure and Being a Showgirl: How Do I Look?. Routledge.
Collins, L. (2017). Mulvey, patriarchy and gender: expression and disruption in visual art. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 15(4), 415-420.
Redirect Notice. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&edata-src=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwix6_jp5bTdAhWLPY8KHYGNArAQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gettyimages.ca%2Fdetail%2Fnews-photo%2Fcannes-film-festival-1953-french-actress-brigitte-bardot-news-photo%2F592973800&psig=AOvVaw1N5N2BIn_9fAqJW_4jYewz&ust=1536818664978248

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