In my one brief shining moment at graduate school, I had to read about the male gaze. Or, more precisely, read about the disquisition about the male gaze. "In feminist theory, the male gaze expresses an asymmetric (unequal) power relationship, between viewer and viewed, gazer and gazed" (thank you, Wikipedia). I also had to write about what I had read, distilling others' opinions but never venturing my own. This last constraint probably accounted for the brevity of the shining moment. Outside the ivy'd towers, any woman who has walked past a construction site in the city already knows pretty much all she needs to know about that gaze.
It would have been much more interesting to me to read and write about the feline gaze, as has poet Jean L'Heureux. L'Heureux means the happy one, and perhaps some of that happiness resulted from observing and being observed by cats, rather than reading up on the scholarly disquisition, and from writing poems rather than graduate theses. Just an opinion, folks. Here's the poem:
The Thing About Cats
Cats hang out with witches quite a lot:
that's not it.
The thing about cats is
they're always looking at you.
Especially when you're asleep.
Some cats pretend they're not looking
until you're not looking.
They are not to be trusted.
Some cats scowl because they're wearing
imitation fur. they feel inferior.
Some other cats look at you straight on
so that you can't drink your drink
or make love
but keep thinking
that cat's looking at me straight on.
But all cat's do the same:
they look at you
and you look out
What I'm saying is
why are they looking?