Kate. Books. Comedy.

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MAGIC MIKE AND THE FEMALE CRY FOR SKIN ONSCREEN

I haven’t seen Magic Mike. I really don’t have any desire to do so in the near future. I’ve heard that it’s your average rom-com with very few scenes that deliver what the females and gay men came for: hot bodies and sweet asses. I’ve seen a lot of women on Tumblr complaining that there weren’t enough stripping/nude scenes, so they have resorted to making GIFs of the naked, sexy scenes.

That entire paragraph was uncomfortable to write. Why, you ask? Do I have some problem expressing my sexual needs? Am I a religious prude who thinks it’s nasty and shameful to watch men parade around in G-strings? 

Hell no. I’m your lady friend who expresses her sexual interests so openly that men and women find my sexual attraction commentary uncomfortable. I’m the girl who emasculates and objectifies men for fun. It’s my favorite pastime. I can make a guy lose interest in me in record time, simply by ignoring all the intelligent things that come out of his mouth and treating him like a visual meat feast whose sole purpose is to sexually excite my eyeballs. 

I’ve always done this, and not just as feminazi revenge for the way women are treated in our sexist society (though that plays a small part). I do it because I’m not dead from the waist down. I do it because most women have a sex drive equal to men. We’re just not allowed to openly express it. And if we do, men think we’re sluts who want to be sexually objectified and degraded. What I truly want is for women to have the freedom to express their sexual needs without being treated like a whore. What I want is for men to stop treating females as though we were put on this Earth so they’ll have something to ram their dick in.

When I first heard about Magic Mike, I immediately thought of one of my favorite films from the 90s: The Full Monty. I cherish it not because it excites my ovaries to the point of explosion or features chiseled bodies pelvic-thrusting for my visual pleasure. I like it because there’s an actual story beyond the male stripper gimmick. There are unique characters who are complex. The character development doesn’t sound like something out of a Harlequin romance novel (Really?? Magic Mike just wants to build custom driftwood furniture for a living? Really?? Really.)

I’ve read several articles criticizing Magic Mike for being an average romantic comedy and not delivering the goods. And for completely ignoring the fact that gay men exist. The Full Monty isn’t a romantic comedy, though it does feature scenes of romance and comedy. It’s a genuine story about unemployed men who need to make some cash. It also features a homosexual relationship that isn’t overtly cliched. It’s not a ‘token gay’ relationship. They don’t make a big deal out of it. Two of the male strippers just happen to be gay, and they just so happen to find happiness with each other. None of the other men make a big deal out of it. None of them puke because their manhood has been jeopardized. The other characters are actually happy for them. 

My only wish is that someone could make a film about female strippers that is as respectful and well-constructed as The Full Monty. And that’s what really bugs me about Magic Mike. It’s being treated as the lady film of the millennium, catering solely to the hetero-female crowd. And what do Soderbergh and his band of male filmmakers think women want? A little skin, but mostly generic romance, where the “bad” girl is chastised and shamed because of her sexual openness and the “good” girl who’s anti-stripping gets the guy.

And that, Mr. Soderbergh and company, is utter bullshit. Women are objectified CONSTANTLY in our society. Men are objectified so little that when a male stripper movie comes out, it’s treated like a special event. I feel like Hollywood is saying, “here’s your strippy bullshit rom-com, Woman. When you’re finished watching it, get back in the kitchen and make me a fucking sandwich”. 

I don’t want to objectify men in the same way women are. This isn’t a “let’s level the sexual playing field by treating men like sex dolls” scenario. The way to correct this is to stop objectifying everyone. Stop writing “TITS OR GTFO!” parts for women. I read several reviews for The Dark Knight Rises that praised Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane as one of the most complex and fully developed performances in recent film history. Anne Hathaway was praised too, but only for her fully developed breasts and ‘sexiness’ onscreen. Our society thinks being a talented actress means you have enormous tits, but all of the bones in your body are still visible. Being an anorexic with breast implants is considered talent.

I don’t want our entertainment culture to continue devolving into a nonstop meat parade. Instead of bringing the men down to the degrading female level, why can’t we let women rise above the sex doll label?