This probably sounds so obvious that it should go without saying, but if you’re a straight guy, you probably shouldn’t go see Magic Mike in the theater.
Whitney had been excited to see the movie for weeks, and although I didn’t exactly share her sentiment, I agreed to go with her. I wasn’t quite ready to admit the reasons that I didn’t want to see the movie, and I knew that any other reason would make me seem homophobic.
Sitting through Magic Mike was an extremely uncomfortable experience for me. It wasn’t because of the scene where Matthew McConaughey gyrated behind Alex Pettyfer as he taught him how to dance. It wasn’t because of the scene where Joe Manganiello pumped up his blurry penis before going onstage. It wasn’t because of any of the homoerotic themes of the movie which, in my opinion wasn’t nearly gay enough for something hyped as The Greatest Gay Movie Ever Made – I mean, I don’t recall a single openly gay character in the movie.
No, 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 Melissa from Power Animals put it so gleefully…
I could say that while I feel bad that we are entering a time when young men are having just as many body issues as females because of the increasingly unrealistic body images out there for both genders, I feel it is the only way men can understand the pressure that the male gaze in media puts on women and thus help us all work towards mutual change. I could say a lot of things about the objectification of women and men and what it means for all of us but what I’m going to really go ahead and say is this: ABS! CHESTS! GYRATIONS! DANCING! CHANNING TATUM’S AWFUL ACTING: WHO CARES! ALCIDE!!!!!!!
As the women in the audience hooted and hollered, I felt my sympathy for any woman who ever complained about objectification shrink.