Queerness and “Magic Mike”

In her article “(Un)feminist guilty pleasure: I don’t want to critique Magic Mike,” JOS asserts that the movie “moved out of a strictly hetero lens” by including a gay subtext. However, the film also seems to reassert the primacy of heterosexual relationships through emphasizing both the Kid and other’s female romantic conquests and Mike’s pursuit of Brooke. Does the film’s queer subtext function to aid heterosexuality? To what degree does the movie create space for queerness?

 

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One thought on “Queerness and “Magic Mike”

  1. Good question! I got the vibe that the film’s way to include queerness was in many of the scenes backstage behind the curtain of the strip club. For example, there’s a lot of closeness with the men, touchy, feeliness going on, hugging, cupping each others faces when they’re excited etc…there’s a scene where one of the guys is using a sewing machine, which stereotypically is a woman’s machine. (I guess that’s kinda random, but worth pointing out).
    However, the scene that struck me as the “most homosexual” was when Dallas is helping Adam get into shape and teaching him how to dance erotically at the gym. Dallas is very comfortable with touching Adam’s hips, chest, pelvic area etc…I don’t know if that means Dallas’s character would accept homosexuality, because he still objectifies women a lot, and we don’t know of any intimate male relationship outside of the story. Keep in mind, Dallas has to train his crew for the job, so it’s hard to read if he also gets sexual pleasure out of it. But I would like to point out, that the scene reminded me of the relationship between the ancient Greek masters and their young apprentices. Dallas is like a mentor, and traditionally, a lot of the apprentices in ancient Greece had sexual relationships with their mentor. (Plus there’s a shout out to Ancient Greece in the movie: on stage there’s a golden statue of a naked, ancient Greek guy). So maybe Dallas does get pleasure from taking the young ones to the gym and getting them excited?
    To me, it seemed like there was some degree of queerness that opened up in the film, but then it ended. It is as if the directors wanted to put a cap on queerness by ending it with Brooke and Mike getting together. The role of queerness was a side dish, and almost something to laugh about. It’s sort of like, “yeah we accept it but…this is how the story is really supposed to end: girl with boy and they lived happily ever after”. I don’t know. I’m still puzzled.

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