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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Robbing Ourselves of Magic (Mike)

Okay, people. You probably saw this one coming... *obligatory Magic Mike post!*

Anyone who isn't living under a rock in the Christian blogosphere has written about it, so I'm throwing in the towel and giving my two cents.
For starters, let's be real - I can't blame any woman for wanting to watch Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey prance around half naked for 110 minutes.

That being said, here are some random thoughts regarding the movie and culture at large:

1. What is porn?
Unfortunately, our society has a very narrow definition of pornography. Many do not classify films/pictures/literature as porn unless it is inherently derogatory or violent. Oookay, let's be real - all pornography is derogatory. Derogation of women (and some would argue, men) is inherent to porn. Porn isn't just found at sketchy websites - it's in movies, shows, and books we encounter everyday. Ya know that steamy scene in The Notebook? In my book, that's porn. I know people who have never "watched porn" but used everyday, common movies and books to masturbate, because for them, that is porn.

2. Men aren't the only ones who use porn.
In a study conducted by MSN, 41% of women admitted to intentionally downloading pornographic pictures or images. This study was conducted online in 2004 - a fact that indicates usage is probably higher 8 years later. And, for the record, when I say "men" and "women" I don't mean anyone who is out of college and has their own mortgage. I mean boys, pimply teenagers, grandpas, girls, awkward middle school girls with braces, college-aged women, and mothers. Statistically, people see pornography for the first time at the age of 11.

3. Reverse reverse (every.body.clap.your.hands.!)
Let's reverse this scenario. Let's say a movie about female strippers came out starring a talented, cute actress (think Rachel McAdams). Your boyfriend/fiance/husband was so excited to see it with 6 of his closest guy friends. Ladies, would you pat him on the back and send him off with a kiss to the theater? Probs not. You would likely be furious. I know I would be.

For some reason, we as a society at large think reversing stereotypical gender preferences will even things out. Like Melissa Jenna said,
It is not okay to sexually objectify people. Just because evidently this summer we’re all about objectifying men, that doesn’t make it okay. It’s not like there’s a scale, and all these years, it’s been heavy on the objectification-of-women side, and we need to balance it out by objectifying men now. It doesn’t work that way. The only way we “balance the scale” is by quitting objectifying anyone, and leaving the scale empty.
4. We're robbing ourselves of magic.
By allowing entertainment and society to define sexuality for us, we rob ourselves of imaginative, creative power that is a gift from God. Raquel Welch, in an interview with Men's Health, criticized pornography for forming ideas of what is sexually good by saying, "Nobody remembers what it’s like to be left to form your own ideas about what’s erotic and sexual." Isn't that the truth!? As a society, we don't even realize our view of sexuality is handed to us on a silver platter. So much of accepted female behavior is a derivative of stripping and/or pornography: bikinis, thongs, and Brazilian waxes, for example. I'm not saying we all need to go burn our bikinis and start wearing granny pannies. However, I do think that, male or female, entertaining ourselves with explicitly erotic material robs us of the magic of defining sexuality for ourselves.


  1. THANK YOU!!! Could I please share this through a link on my blog?


    1. I would love that! Your blog is great! Just add a link up to my blog and post away :)

  2. Great post! I've been saying this all along: no WAY would I want my husband to go see a similar movie about female strippers! So I think it's respectful to him that I don't see Magic Mike.

    1. Thank you, Jessica! I am totally on board with that logic.

  3. I completely agree! Unfortunately, I do know a lot of women who are probably saying exactly what the quote your referenced pointed out--"well he can do it, so I can, too!" Sad our culture has come to that! I clicked through and read the Raquel Welch interview. Fascinating! I wonder if she felt that way at the beginning of her career? Really interesting, too, her point about Marilyn Monroe being unhappy...I know I'm guilty, myself, of thinking I'd be happier if I were skinnier, or prettier, or...whatever. Not true!!

    1. That is unfortunate :/ I LOVE that Her.meneutics article that features Raquel Welch - it's so interesting! The psychologist in me eats it up :)