We had long discussions in school about this image of mine and how it relates to the male gaze (aka i’m a pervert). For me, when I took this image I was thinking about the all the stripes on the dress and the lines of the trash can. I also found some dark humor in the legs against the trash bag. Unfortunately, I can’t escape the youthful decapitated feminine body that are attached to those visual elements. But for me, I think the picture would be just as successful with the legs of an obese man wearing stripped pants.
But regardless of my thinking with this image, it is often viewed by women (and men) as a heterosexual male gazing at her ass. There are so many pitfalls and problematic spaces that photography enters. And often with BFA/MFA degrees people become trapped into making bizarre and off the wall work that doesn’t make any sense unless you’ve read 500 pages of theory by Sontag, Mulvey, and other writers most people have never heard of to contextual the work.
This isn’t to try and bash on feminism or the very real problems women face in the art and business world dominated by white men. It’s a comment on how everything can be problematic if enough minds deliberate on it and to not let that scare someone into making abstract work about nothing.
More of ethics and photography here