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Article Title :

Eroticizing Femininity: Women as Objects of the Male Gaze in Abdelkader Lagtaâ’s A Love Affair in Casablanca

Feminist Research

7 (2023)



patriarchal hegemony , male gaze , femininity , female body , commercial film

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This article aims to interrogate the portrayal of the female body and the sexual politics of the male gaze in ‘Abdelkader Lagtaâ’s A Love Affair in Casablanca’. It argues that the cinematic discourse that contests patriarchal hegemony through liberating the female body objectifies and fragments women’s identity. Hence, the erotic representation of the women characters in Lagtaâ’s film empowers patriarchal hegemony by gratifying male heterosexual desires. Therefore, this article analyzes and examines the film’s text and iconography to examine how Lagtaâ contradicts his liberal attitudes vis-à-vis the emancipation of women from the suppressive sways of patriarchy. Additionally, his commercial film approach stimulates the pleasure in looking and reinforces the subjugation of women. Therefore, although the film director has tried to give the main female character a central role within the film narrative, he could not go beyond the representational politics of defamation against femininity and gender identity.

This article interrogates the portrayal of the female body and the sexual politics of the male gaze in Abdelkader Lagtaâ’s film vision.

The film’s text and iconography unearth how Lagtaâ contradicts his liberal ideas vis-à-vis the representation of women.

The image of Seloua, the main character, stimulates the spectator’s need to feed his ego by identifying with the male protagonists and their phallocentric hegemony.

Through the gaze of Jalil and the camera lens of Najib, Seloua’s body is turned into a sexual icon; it is displayed for the entertainment of male spectators.

Lagtaâ has had the courage to contest and transgress the social norms surrounding the notion of sexuality in Morocco.

In the dramatic view of Lagtaa, women are portrayed according to monolithic gendered stereotypes that men construct to perpetuate their power in society.


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