Magic Mike’s Mixed Gaze

In the article “Gazes, Pleasure, and the Failure of Magic Mike” Smith points out that audiences are invited to claim the female spectators gaze, but that the male gaze is simultaneously enforced in the movie. While the audience watches spectators for all of the dance scenes, the primary story is told from the perspective of the two male leads.

So, are we encouraged to understand/ identify with the male perspective/gaze of females in the movie to reinforce stereotypical gender norms, including male control, GRANTED female desire, domination, and phallic worship? OR are we encouraged to challenge typical gender roles through the “active” female desire to fetishize the male body? Which do you believe is more substantial?

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