Dollhouse is a television show about actives (both male and female) who are sent out into the real world after being put under a treatment which could either wipe the active’s memory or add new memories to the active’s memory bank. Actives are chosen based on the clientele that comes into the Dollhouse. Dollhouse is all about an undercover company called the Dollhouse who take people in, wipe their memory, implant new memories based on the client who ‘rents’ them out (they could be a backup dancer, undercover cop, a date, a significant other, etc.), is given to the client, sent back to the Dollhouse once the client’s done with the active, and then the active’s memory is wiped again (or so it’s thought).
One of the things that Joss Whedon focuses on in Dollhouse is the ‘Male Gaze’. Right away in the first episode and in the first scene, a women and a man are seen dancing in a night club after coming in off of motorcycles. The women is seen dancing in a skimpy sparkly white dress and one of the very first camera shots shown is angled upwards looking up the woman’s dress. Then theres a shot of the man that was first seen gazing at her while she’s dancing around. This is a prime example of the ‘male gaze’ that Joss Whedon implements in Dollhouse. Another example of this is when an old friend of a familiar active in the Dollhouse continuously ‘rents’ her out so that he could use her for his own benefit like he wanted when he first met her as a person and not an active. These scenes can also be seen as objectification of people, particularly women, which is what Joss Whedon’s intention was for the entirety of the show. Joss Whedon continuously uses the Dollhouse to show the ‘male gaze’ as well as the objectification of people which goes against the people who thought that Joss Whedon was in fact not a Feminist because he came up with this show. Joss Whedon clearly shows his femininity by implementing these two concepts in his show.