Everyone knows about Magic Mike hitting theaters. Tons of my girlfriends have been talking up a storm about it. At first I reacted negatively to it: after all, its a movie about male strippers. I have no interest in going to a strip club, and wouldn’t be okay with going for a friend’s bachelorette/birthday party. I wouldn’t judge them for going, but I would choose not to.
Then two things happened in my head. The first is a reaction many women had: its socially acceptable for men to enjoy this kind of thing, so why can’t I? Not really in Christian circles, but it’s generally more recognized by general population that men go to strip clubs. Some of my favorite shows have scenes that take place in strip clubs (How I Met Your Mother, anyone?). I also have an underlying fear of coming across as a prude/’good kid’/holier-than-thou kind of person. I’m a Christ-follower, and that 100% affects the decisions I make. But I never want to make decisions in such a way that alienates the people around me who don’t follow Christ, or makes them feel judged for acting differently than me. I also know that sometimes Christians can condemn actions that Jesus probably wouldn’t condemn. Maybe that’s have a beer with friends, or hanging out with people who reject Jesus, or a hundred other things. But that’s another soap box. Basically, whether I decided to see or not see this movie, I wanted to make the decision with purpose. Part of me wanted to go, just because it would be the unexpected thing for me to do. I like surprising people.
Then I came across this blog: melissajenna.com/2012/06/30/50-shades-of-magic-mike-in-which-i-am-very-uncool/. I don’t know the woman who wrote it, but her thoughts really helped me process. It’s definitely from a Christian perspective, but I would encourage anyone to read it and think about it. Even if you don’t believe in Jesus’ existence or deism, I really appreciated how she talks about the things we put into our bodies and our minds matter. If I’m seeing a movie about the stripping industry (while I don’t know how the plot ends, the preview certainly glorifies it), how does that affect my relationship with my fiance or my expectations about what our married relationship will look like? Or if I wasn’t engaged, how will that influence the way I think about expectations from my (current or future) boyfriend or what our dating relationship should look like?
But the biggest thing that hit me what her paragraph about looking at it from a guy’s perspective. If the roles were reversed and my fiance went to a movie centering around female strippers doing what they do, it would really bother me. If my brother and his friends were raving over the latest Playboy spread, I would want to have some serious conversations with him. How then do I justify seeing Magic Mike?
I can already think of some people (both women and men) that will be ticked off with this post, in one way or another. This is not meant to rain judgement or condemnation on anyone who’s seen it already, or anyone who hasn’t and is planning to. This post is more meant for the women out there who find themselves in the place I was: they want to make a thoughtful decision about whether they see this movie or not, but don’t really know how to go about making that decision. This woman’s post summed it up better than I ever could, so hopefully that helps some of you.