New Perspectives or the Same Old Magic ?

In the article, “(Un) Feminist Guilty Pleasure,” the author praises Magic Mike and Channing Tatum for providing an opportunity for those individuals who have engaged in sex work to “tell their own stories” and cast their experiences in sex work in a positive light. Is this truly the case, in that Magic Mike’s character creates a “new” perspective when he recounts his experiences positively when faced with individuals stigmatizing him for engaging in sex work? Or does this narrative shift throughout the film to reify existing norms of couching sex work in terms of shame or immorality?

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One thought on “New Perspectives or the Same Old Magic ?

  1. I think you pose a really interesting question. My first reaction to watching the film was that “wow, this is a really positive portrayal of stripping (something which I think is generally looked down upon).” I can’t help but wonder how this would have been different if Mike had been a woman. However, Brooke’s character serves as a reminder that stripping is not a “legitimate” job and even Mike doesn’t see this as something he is or wants to do forever, it’s merely his means to make his custom furniture. Ultimately, the fact that he doesn’t overtly try to hide the fact that he’s a stripper (especially from Brooke, whom he’s interested in) shows that is, in fact, a “new perspective” as there doesn’t seem to be a sense of shame. So, for me, my first reaction seems to hold true, even though Brooke’s character complicates that slightly.

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