Elizabeth Greenwood on “Magic Mike”:
Soderbergh uses the guys’ impulse to get naked for money as emblematic of the raw deal all Americans have been handed in the 21st century. But unlike with female strippers, the motivation for these men to shed their G-strings is assumed to be purely…
Really liked this essay, and it makes some amazing points about stripping and Magic Mike (especially with regards to the film’s criticism of our current capitalist culture) but I wish she had taken it one step further: this *IS* a tragic film, it’s just that we’re not conditioned to see it as such. She forgot to mention (or has been conditioned like the rest of us to ignore?) *SPOILER ALERT, KINDA* the tragedy that is Adam’s storyline, *END SPOILER ALERT* and that the reason the audience believes Mike when he says that he is not his job is because we WANT to believe that he is not his job because we LIKE him. By that point in the film everyone in the theater has a major crush on Channing Tatum and can’t wait to see him cry in a darkened SUV. I really, really doubt a heterosexual dude seeing the film would believe that line. Or he’d only believe it so far as he knew he wasn’t his job too.
Also, if I’m remembering correctly, didn’t a little film called Flashdance have a major female character that was a stripper and also wasn’t her job? I think the double standard here is not how male vs. female strippers are being portrayed, but how we end up viewing them.
Still: good stuff.