Female Desire in Magic Mike

Stevens discusses in her article the different portrayals of women in Magic Mike, quoted as represented as either “sexually-promiscuous, exploitatively filmed, usually topless hangers-on of the male strippers who both literally and metaphorically represent the protagonists’ downfall, and attendees of the male revue who are portrayed as either drunken, childish floozies or desperate, unattractive objects of ridicule.”

In Magic Mike, the few smart and intellectual women also hate the male stripper world. For a movie with a supposedly unique portrayal of female desire, the representation of women adheres to a strict dichotomy  that leave out any acknowledgement of women who are both driven and smart yet also have very real sexual desires that they want to fulfill (perhaps by watching attractive naked guys dance). Does Magic Mike  create a space for women to embrace their own sexual desire or rather does it perpetuate the idea that female desire is only ok when it involves pleasing men?

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One thought on “Female Desire in Magic Mike

  1. In her article, Smith writes that “The women in the diegetic audience of the strippers’ performances may be ridiculed, but it is still their hungry gaze we are invited to claim as our own.” I tend to agree with the her previous assessment that the women in the film are shot with “virgin/whore dichotomies” that insult and degrade the very audience the film is marketed towards. I do think that the movie creates a space for (straight) women to begin to be more open about their sexuality but the movie also subjects them to the virgin/whore dichotomy shown in the movie.

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