Probably the best and most accessible explanation of the male gaze that I’ve come across.
Male gaze= shots of women in a way that reinforces how straight males see sex objects
And that even though filmmakers are starting to include shots of men that objectify them—for the benefit of female/gay men—-that typical inclusion is significantly different than the way the male gaze is shot.
—the shirtless man is usually shot from farther away (not up close and intimate)
—the shot is static—not moving (panning) over the shirtless man
—that the man’s whole body is showing (not fragmented into parts)
—and the fact that the shot usually reinforces the man’s body strength, (which reinforces positive stereotypes for straight males as well)
And the fact that absolutely NONE of these apply to this shot of Cas!!
It’s up close—-the camera pans slowly over him—Cas is fragmented—and Cas is not showing any typical musculature or body strength that straight males would find reinforcing.
So completely coincidentally, SPN shot Cas in this scene according to all the conventions of introducing a female love interest….and defied all those same conventions for tossing in a male sop to female gaze.
He’s just a nerdy looking dude in a coat and suit that is being shot as if he is the object of desire for the supposedly straight male who’s staring at him like he’s the last cookie on the plate.
And Dean’s hungry.