mike. magic mike.

"Channing All Over Your Tatum" is when I first gained respect for Channing Tatum, because he thinks the fawning over him is hilarious, but he also basks in it at the same time.

“Channing All Over Your Tatum” is when I first gained respect for Channing Tatum, because he thinks the fawning over him is hilarious, but he also basks in it at the same time.

I saw Magic Mike: XXL yesterday, which means I’m only catching on to pop culture things a month late instead of years. I’m growing! Or I’m just funemployed and have time to do things like go to the movies.

I’ve never seen the first movie, which I know is a huge problem because sequels such as these are incredibly complex and require much background knowledge the way sequel books in YA trilogies do. So I suffered greatly, but I made it through.

I have absolutely no problem looking at attractive men, and I greatly appreciated that they were all different colors, they were none of them unintelligent, and at least some of them were legitimately talented actual dancers, so mad props. I did not realize, having never been to any sort of strip club, that so much of male stripping would just be thrusting. I mean, I guess pole dancing is incredibly phallic, so I shouldn’t have been surprised, but female strippers don’t, as far as I know, actually stick their crotches in men’s faces while dancing. They only have fake sex with fake phalluses, which is safer for them, I’m sure, and also preserves the distinction we like to have that stripping is not prostitution. These male strippers had fake sex with real women’s faces and crotches.

The joke is that movies like Magic Mike allow women to turn the tables on objectification and do so with men’s bodies. That’s true in that I don’t believe there was a heterosexual woman in that theater who did not enjoy the washboard abs frequently displayed, especially since there was every type of male aesthetic represented. Continue reading

seeking: more books about the slutty friend

I read Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight the other day and didn’t much like it. You can read my review of it at GoodReads if you’d like to know the full reason why. I ended the review with a note that I actually found Amelia’s friend Sylvia rather intriguing, and I would totally be willing to read a book about her (though probably only if someone other than McCreight wrote it; see GR).

It seems perfect timing to talk about why Sylvia is neat, given that Kelly and Kimberly at STACKED have been doing a week dedicated to feminisms and books anyway, and since the Andrew Smith thing, and since in general, women get the short end of the stick on most things. You need to get over there and read those posts, posthaste.

So Sylvia. She’s Amelia’s “slutty friend,” and the school’s Gossip Girl blog writes about her a lot. It’s funny – while I think McCreight wanted her to be one-dimensional and bitchy and oversexed, she actually comes across as the most realistic, complex, and interesting character in the book. Sylvia clearly likes sex and feels safe doing it. Awesome! She also gets with lots of different guys and doesn’t feel bad about it. Good for her! She gets ragged on by everyone for this. Terrible, but verisimilitude! She suffers from depression, clearly, and probably makes some bad decisions because of that, but it’s not a direct depression–>slut equation. It’s more like empowered sex+name calling=frustration AND self esteem issues+depression=bad coping mechanisms happening at the same time, so I can totally see how it is easy to get reductive and see the more tired, common narrative of depression–>sexual deviance. Continue reading

i accidentally secretly watched the entire twilight saga

Bored, dead-looking (ha. pun kind of intended), suffering through a horrible job.

I got a DVR this summer, and I’ve been really enjoying it. Too much. It was a terrible idea to purchase. Wonderfulterrible. It sure makes for more time wasting, but also more efficient time wasting, because no commercials. Y’know.

Anyway, it also makes for noticing when embarrassing things are on television so that you can record them – you know, just in case you’re really bored. Because you don’t have enough hours of television recorded already. And that is how I ended up watching the entire Twilight saga recently.

My history with Twilight is as follows: saw the movie New Moon in theaters with my sister because she begged me and because you shouldn’t really make a new mom sad. I had never read the books or seen the first movie, but whatever. When you live in society and pay even half attention to things, you know how to participate in conversations about Twilight or To Kill a Mockingbird without having read them. A few years later, in grad school, I had to read Twilight. So I got the first two installments, albeit out of order, against my will. And I felt done. Continue reading