Anyways, the new Terminator was playing and after that, Magic Mike 2. I figured ‘happy wife, happy life’, right? I can take a few hours of bad movie.
Now, I’m going to get this out of the way right from the beginning – I thought the movie was all kinds of mind numbing boring. There was really no plot or story line; no real action and once you’d seen the first dance, you’d seen them all. Every dance resembled the one you’d seen before. The characters weren’t all that great. I was constantly annoyed by Mike’s need to always keep his ball cap on at a weird angle.
About a half hour in I started to develop a headache. To be fair, it wasn’t just because of the movie. I was tired and that was probably the main cause of the headache but Magic Mike 2 certainly wasn’t helping the situation any. I kept wondering when the story line was going to pick up. When was the movie going to start?
By about the middle of the movie, I started wandering off in my thoughts. I’d realized this was as good as the movie was going to get. It was a war of attrition and I was hell bent on winning.
But what I started to think about was this: if this were a movie about a bunch of female strippers, would it have been received the same way as this movie?
I think not.
If this movie featured females showing off near-impossible bodies, stripping for men and pretty much being their play-thing, I’m fairly certain it would be labeled sexist. After all, those men are just as objectified as any woman in a similar movie. Every time I read a feminist article, I can find out how men objectify women. Is this movie not the same thing but in reverse?
I mean, you can’t tell me the movie was big because it has a stellar story line.
So I did a google search and not much is being said about the objectification of the male body, with a few exceptions, such as this one:
I’ve read several pieces about how the objectification of male bodies in Magic Mike is often more funny and ridiculous–or cringe-worthy–than it is sexy; how the film purports to glorify female pleasure but is, in fact, simply traditional, male-dominated sexism in a new package (yes, “package”); how the fervor of female moviegoers surrounding this film (and, for that matter, the Fifty Shades book series) not only suggests that ladies haven’t been getting what they need in the bedroom, but also heralds the arrival of a new cultural era that acknowledges, and even caters to, female pleasure.
But discussion of the moral implications of drooling over the on-screen washboard abs has been strangely absent from the conversation.
I imagine Magic Mike and Magic Mike 2 are around for the same reason that films featuring over-sexed female cast members exist – sex sells. That’s what people want to see. As long as it sells, it will continue to be made.
But let’s not pretend like Magic Mike films aren’t just as sexist as some other movies. If you’re talking about putting undue pressure on women to look a certain way through popular media, Magic Mike does that to men in spades. It talks up how women aren’t getting what they need in the bedroom. It shows off male bodies that just aren’t realistic to most men. I could work out constantly and probably never achieve the type of body highlighted in Magic Mike. And it also showcases women basically throwing themselves at these guys (sexist to both males and females) because they look nice and muscular.
Sex and sexism are everywhere. That’s because they sell movie tickets and pack people into theaters. Hell, I just wish it didn’t have to be as mind-numbingly boring and predictable as Magic Mike 2.
Can someone pass me the remote, please?