Two Takes on the Art Film “Magic Mike”

July 2, 2012 § Leave a comment

This weekend I had the brilliant idea of seeing Magic Mike, a movie about male strippers, with my boyfriend. Probably unsurprisingly, we ended up having two very different reactions. Both Chris and I published accounts of the movie we each thought we saw on Modern Primate. From Chris’ article:

…what made me uncomfortable was the audience of middle-aged women shouting catcalls at the screen the entire time. It felt to me like the subtext was a simple “women get objectified on screen all the time, now it’s our turn, ladies!” … As the women in the audience hooted and hollered, I felt my sympathy for any woman who ever complained about objectification shrink.

From my take:

[…] I thought the film was doing something much more interesting than merely inverting straight male objectification of women. It created a space where a roomful of people—people whose sexualities have historically been, and in many quarters still remain, pathologized—could unapologetically (if drunkenly) declare their own desire. This is rare, and from my perspective, positive. Women don’t always have the option to say I’D HIT THAT in mixed company, and neither do gay men. Straight dudes have that monopoly locked down. Of course, not all straight dudes exercise what I’ll not-giving-a-fuck-edly call straight-dick privilege, but if they wanted to, straight dudes can and frequently do publicize exactly what they’d like to do with their genitals without facing much or any social backlash. Not to mention the fact that you can’t watch a movie or turn on a premium cable channel without being slapped upside the face with precisely the points of anatomical interest that straight dudes most frequently want to rub their penises on or in honor of.

Chris’ full article is here, and mine is here.


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