The Trifecta Of Harm: The Male Gaze, The White Gaze, And The Christian Gaze

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The Triple Poison Threat To Humanity: The Male Gaze, The White Gaze, And The Christian Gaze

Are human beings divisive by nature? Perhaps, but then again, all of our shared hates and prejudices are learned. If we put two babies in a room, all they will see is the curious potential for fun, no matter what gender, color or religion they are.

The reason small children grow into intolerant, elitist adults is because we're taught from birth that because we're born a certain way, we're better than others who are not like us. Does everyone buy into this? Thankfully, no. And while there is good reason to rant and rail, we can feel a modicum of gratitude that in the long run, it really is "not all men," "not all white people" and "not all Christians" — a critical clarifying point.

And yet — while not all — there are most certainly some men, some white people, and some Christians who act as destructive human forces working hard to take us all down.

Behold: the Male Gaze, the White Gaze and the Christian Gaze

Let's first talk about what exactly a 'gaze' is, so that we can proceed in clarity.

A 'gaze' is a viewpoint that — because of its tenacity and longevity — becomes an unquestioned perspective which, in turn, is adopted by the masses.

We are born into societies that honor the 'gaze' and we become slaves to it, simply because we never think to question it — it's that insidious.

Questioning a gaze usually brings about the ostracizing and removal of the questioner. If there was ever proof that we are a herd of cattle, rather than an intelligent mob of human thinkers, we only have to look at how we accept and gobble down the group-think we unconsciously allow ourselves to be a part of.

Blind faith in someone else's perception, no matter how awful it feels, is self-induced slavery and is a direct product of how we allow ourselves to be 'gazed' at.

While there are many viewpoints that we follow, none are as far-reaching as the gazes called Male, White and Christian. And we have all suffered dearly due to the systemic drain on humanity these gazes have forced upon us.

The Male Gaze

Imagine being born a woman. You come into the world and automatically, you are labeled as inferior to men. This is the male design. You will be taught that you are weak, that you are not worth as much as a man, and that your goal in life is to take care of a man and bring his children into the world, someday, if you're lucky. 

While you're a young girl, you will be told not to wear certain types of clothes, as to not stir up the passions of the men — any men — who might cross your path that day. You must make it convenient for men to walk through the world, which means you must always be aware of their sexual attraction to you. If you express yourself sexually, you will be considered a whore: a term held dear by men of all ages.

You will hear over and over how men love women, but you realize very early on that it's not women certain men love, but their body parts. If you mention these body parts by name, you will excite these men sexually, as they love the names almost as much as they love the body parts. You will learn that your body is your only currency around these men. You also learn that most transactions between men and women are sexual, but you will disregard that intuition and fall in love with a man, believing that the man you found is special.

Some special men, meaning some special married men, meaning some special men who hold the hearts of women who trust them completely ... cheat. The internet has made that very easy. If you are a single woman on the internet, don't be surprised when some of your married male friends get flirtatious with you, but understand this: if you flirt back, it means you've accepted all the degradation to come. The Male Gaze only sees the endgame: they will beg women for nudes, send dick pics to them, and tell them all about their journeys in masturbation.

Many men believe women are flattered by this constant obsession with their body parts. Imagine being a woman! Imagine what it feels like to be constantly approached by men who have just snapped photos of their penises with the intention of sending these shots to impress you. The Male Gaze grants itself the right to do such things.

The Male Gaze is not restricted to men; unfortunately. Through training and brainwashing, women too, drink this poison and become as toxic as these men — and women too, begin to see things through male eyes. It is why we hate ourselves during our youth, why we judge our bodies, why we always feel ugly, fat, outcast, abnormal. 

The Male Gaze has very little tolerance for that which is not considered perfect — meaning pretty, sexy, heterosexual, physically ideal and mentally subordinate. The Male Gaze sees strong, smart women as a kink, a fetish. "Ooh, I loves me a strong woman!" Her intelligence or strength is merely another body part.

The Male Gaze takes us all down because those who see through it, see themselves as superior and entitled, thus all those who do not see with this gaze are considered inferior, valueless and worthy of their oppression.

Imagine being a woman and saying all this. The Male Gaze interprets this bit of calling out with, "What a bitter nag this one is. She needs to get laid." Because the Male Gaze sees all solutions as possible — so long as a penis is involved.

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The White Gaze

Imagine being born Black in America. What a hard life you are immediately thrust into. You'll get taught right from the start: White people are the only people worthy of living fine lives. You'll have this beaten into your head, in hopes that you, too, can grow up persecuted, afraid, and hopeless. If you believe the White Gaze is as superior as it tells you it is, then you will find every moment of your life to be a struggle for recognition. Because, even though you were born perfect, you were born non-white, and under the rules of the White Gaze, you are inferior.

As a non-white, you will always be described as such. "Yeah, this Black guy came into the shop..." "It was a Latino dude..." "The Asian lady over there..." The default skin color of choice is always white, under the White Gaze.

You will be befriended by white people so that they can prove to themselves that they're 'not like the rest.' You will be made to feel that no matter how open the society is, you'll never fit in. If you're Black, you get to see how the White Gaze judges your skin color, your body and your hair. You won't be allowed to wear your hair naturally, wrapped up, in dreads, or in any kind of fashion that falls short of emulating white people's hairstyles.

Your achievements will always be preceded with, "Congrats to the first Black woman..." or "Did you know the guy who invented 'so and so' was Black?"

The White Gaze demands supremacy, it considers itself superior in every way possible, even desirable — why would anyone want to be anything BUT white, declares the White Gaze. Alas, the White Gaze takes it a step further and says, "If you're not white, you're not worth protecting."

It's the White Gaze that keeps on electing white politicians to high offices. When Barack Obama won the primary election over Hillary Clinton, it was not only on his merit but on the fact that this country hates women as they do Black people. Clinton may have been white, but she was under the scrutiny of the Male Gaze, which trumps — no pun intended — all gazes in its destructive path. Once white men are in office, the trickle-down affect is built to oppress all people of color.

The White Gaze turns the Black Lives Matter movement into a meme, then grows bored of it after a few weeks of giving it attention. The White Gaze has its people afraid of anyone who isn't white. The White Gaze has people checking the demographics of a neighborhood before they move in to it.

I once invited a Voodoo priest to come visit me at my house. He accepted the invitation. I asked him, why is Voodoo portrayed as such an evil, scary thing? He told me that it was Hollywood that designed this image.

White people need a boogeyman to fear and thus destroy, so they created movie images of Black people looking like monsters, filled with anger, bloody rage, and murderous thoughts about white people. Voodoo is one of the most beautiful religions but the White Gaze just couldn't accept that Black people could do anything other than commit crimes, so they insured that for years to come, we'd all perceive Black-based religions as uncivilized mania. 

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The Christian Gaze

Imagine being born a Jew in America. Or a Muslim, Hindu or an Atheist? Imagine being a freethinking non-religious person, like myself, and seeing that there is a default religion that you are somehow supposed to know of and be a part of?

The first thing you come to realize is that you're not welcome. Christianity is the default religion, meaning, all words and actions eventually must fall under the rules of a book you don't believe in. No matter how good a person you are, if you are not Christian, you're going to some place called Hell, where you will burn for all of eternity after your death. The Christian Gaze may tolerate you and all of your many talents, they may even use your genius or ability to further themselves along, but in the end, it is they who are good, and you who are bad. 

The Christian Gaze gets to make all the rules. You're an abomination if you're homosexual, and if you are a woman, your purpose is to procreate for a man: that is your job, according to the Christian God. 

The Christian Gaze makes superstars out of Televangelists, and allows people like Joel Osteen to feel safe in their million-dollar homes, while people go homeless and starve to death.

The Christian Gaze insures that white, Christian politicians get into office, so that the Christian agenda can lawfully be forced on to every person alive. If you aren't Christian, the Christian Gaze will single you out and make sure you feel threatened. 

Imagine being a non-Christian born today, in America. It's as if the country greets you with a sign that says, "You're not welcome here. Deal with it, sinner."

The Christian Gaze takes us all down because those who see through it, see themselves as superior and entitled, thus all those who do not see with this gaze are considered inferior, valueless and worthy of their oppression.

After learning about the Three Poisonous Gazes, the term, "Under His Eye" gets a whole new meaning, doesn't it? And it's a bit of a wake up call when we realize just how influenced we all are, the way we just take things for granted without analyzing their worth. 

Is the Male Gaze really something that benefits humanity, or has it become irrelevant in today's world? Is the White Gaze something we can eventually work our way out of so that we can truly live and let live, while recognizing the many shades of humanity, in peace and harmony?

And what of the Christian Gaze? Can we ever get to a place where see past the limitation of this solidified point of view and come to realize that other religions and ways of thinking are equally as valid? Perhaps, with positive effort, one day very soon we can adopt a gaze of 'live and let live,' where we are all recognized as human equals, forging our way through this thing called life, each of us on our own path, each of us learning to respect one another.

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Dori Hartley is primarily a portrait artist. As an artisan, she is a silversmith, a sculptor, a doll maker, a muralist, a faux painter and a costume designer.