This weekend I found myself in a really bizarre position.
My husband and I were sitting on our couch talking, and while I was droning on about something, he was mindlessly scrolling through his Facebook feed on his phone. In the middle of one of my sentences, he let out a big, dramatic sigh.
“My friend just posted on Facebook about how she’s going to see Magic Mike and is just so excited about it.”
“Yeah, I’ve been meaning to blog about Magic Mike,” I replied, “so I’ll probably go see it. You know, for research.”
“Do you really need to see it for research? I mean, you know what it’s about.”
“Yeah, but I want to form an educated opinion,” I offered.
“No, you just want to go see someone you wish I looked like.”
Whoa. Pump the brakes there, Dan. You’re not allowed to be insecure about your body. I have a patent on that. That’s my job and you have no right to feel that way. I can drool over hot dudes all day and you need to be comfortable enough in your own skin to let me do that.
By the way, to catch you up in the event that you’ve been living under a rock: Magic Mike is a film in which Channing Tatum plays a stripper. That’s all I know about it. I assume there is some semblance of a plot, but honestly, who cares? It’s Channing Tatum! Stripping! No redemptive quality (read: art) required!
Like Dan’s, my Facebook feed is also all a-flutter with my friends posting about staring at a mostly-naked Channing Tatum for 110 minutes. And I mean, who could blame them? That sounds like it can’t be a bad way to spend a Saturday night, especially if you fork over the big bucks to see his junk in 3D.
I guess I can’t fault them for wanting to spend time gawking at a scantily clad man (whose abs are, to quote Emma Stone from Crazy, Stupid, Love, “basically photoshopped!”). Except for the fact that if this were a movie about a female stripper, we’d all be up in arms over it.
Could you imagine what our Facebook/Twitter feeds would look like if it was Magic Melissa instead? Starring, oh I don’t know, Rachel McAdams or ScarJo? I can’t help but think that things would look just a tad bit different. I have a feeling that my girlfriends, the same ones publicly proclaiming their overactive salivary glands over Channing Tatum, would be disappointed that, yet, another film has come out that hyper-sexualizes and objectifies women. How dare you, Hollywood. How dare you.
So why is it okay when it’s Channing Tatum? Why is it that we can objectify men without blinking but get pissed off when a female celebrity expresses some sort of sexual prowess, whether it be in a magazine or movie or what have you? And what about when a dude cat-calls us on the street? Typically, when this happens, we scoff, then publicly scorn the “damned media” and “society” for reinforcing the idea that objectifying women is okay.
Now. I’m not saying you’re a horrible person for wanting to see Channing Tatum strip. Please don’t get me wrong. I’d be lying (and also implying that the blood in my veins runs ice cold) if I said I wasn’t somewhat interested in seeing the movie. But what I am saying is that we can’t be pissed off about our men ogling over women in the media and then turn around and do the exact same thing. Either we love it, or we hate it. Either it’s acceptable or it isn’t. We can’t have our cake and eat it, too.
(Considering the subject matter, that’s a really awkward phrase to use. I apologize.)
What do you think about Magic Mike?