Magic Mike. It is a movie about male exotic strippers who shake, strip, dance, and gyrate for their female audiences. The first one made 160 million dollars worldwide.
People (I would venture to say mostly women) paid 160 million dollars to watch pornography that is passed off as a big, comedic, popular blockbuster movie. Pornography, by definition, is sexually explicit material intended to sexually arouse. Magic Mike fits well into that description.
And not only that, it seems as though we as women paid so much to watch the first movie that they are gladly giving us a second serving in Magic Mike XXL. Read the reviews of the first movie and you will read about heavy sexual dancing, nudity, rampant casual sex, drinking, drug use, and excessive profanity. By their attendance in droves, the women of our world declared it...please, give us more. And not only are they giving us a sequel, dozens of media outlets speak of how eagerly we as women are awaiting the release of this film.
I'm sorry, did they say film, or filth?
In a clip from the Ellen Degeneres Show with the world-renowned So You Think You Can Dance star "Twitch", Ellen talks Magic Mike XXL with him, jokingly stating, "[In this film] you make a dramatic change in character from a man who wears clothes to a man who does not wear clothes..." and all the women in the audience proceed to hoot and holler like he is a piece of meat. She asks if they want to see a clip of him "making his presence known in a room full of lustful ladies (Vibe.com)" and the women shriek and cheer. Ellen vigorously fans herself after a clip is shown of Twitch gyrating as the women in the dimly-lit room scream and throw money at him.
Ellen also had a sit-down conversation with Channing Tatum about the film, in which he discussed what it was like to dance around in a thong and proceeded to say, "There's nothing -- there is very little left to the imagination."
I take offense to the popularity of Magic Mike's success for many reasons, two of which I want you to consider if you have already planned your date with your girlfriends to see Magic Mike XXL.
As a Christian, I believe that every person born to this Earth is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). In 1 Corinthians 6:19, Paul states, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body." I teach young women across America about modesty and how we can glorify God with our bodies. Many people teach young women about modesty based on the premise that it helps our brothers in Christ in their struggle for chastity. Indeed this is true, but I take the approach that women are to dress their bodies with dignity firstly because God dwells in their bodies. God dwells in the body of each and every person created, and if I respect my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit -- I am to treat the bodies of others as temples of the Holy Spirit.
Treating someone's body like a piece of meat strips (excuse the pun) that person of the God-given dignity they hold inherently within. Watching extremely muscular, oiled-up men prance around in thongs shows an utter absence of respect for a man's inherent dignity and worth. It is watching pornography that objectifies men rather than women, and for some reason it is declared okay in 2015. It is declared entertainment. It is declared a comedy.
There is nothing comedic about the objectification of a body, whether that body belongs to a male or female. The objectification of the human person by way of pornography is a two-way street. I want no part of it. And neither should you.
My second question I present to you is this...since when are we, as women, okay with supporting something that passes us as women off as shrieking animals with no control over our sexual desires? This movie hired 900 extras - nearly one thousand women paid to stand in strip clubs and throw money on stages where women are objectified day in and day out - paid to stand and scream and cheer as though lust has overtaken their entire being - paid to act like animals. Why are we okay with this? We are more than our sexual desire, we are more than our passions, and we are better than treating men like objects. Paying to watch women act like lustful strip-club-goers states the complete opposite of all these truths. I am not sure a movie with the genders reversed would be allowed on the big screen. But then again, our society is crossing new lines of decency by the day.
Not only that, as women we are called to be intellectual, sophisticated people capable of thinking deep and beautiful thoughts. We are called to class. We are called to beauty. These movies do not promote depth or substance in any way - it is quite the opposite - they promote everything shallow and patronizing. By paying to see this movie, you are declaring that yes, you are okay with women being presented as shameless, voracious slaves to lust. You are stating that yes, this is the kind of entertainment we as women love, that you can expect us in large crowds because very few of us are still interested in showing up in droves to anything with depth.
In conclusion, I am asking you to refrain from supporting Magic Mike XXL. Maybe that means backing out on the ladies night, or changing your months-anticipated plans to see it, or perhaps that means sharing this article with a friend who planned to see it. Sure, one woman staying home from this movie will not make a huge difference in the box office numbers. However, choosing not to see this movie saves your mind, your heart, and your soul from watching filth, saves you from being continually desensitized to pornography in our porn-saturated culture, and keeps you from contributing to the objectification of the human person. Choose good for yourself and declare yourself too classy for this waste of time and money. Give a friend a call, go get coffee, and spend your evening talking about deep and beautiful things instead...I assure you it will be much more enjoyable, fulfilling, and meaningful.
(Thanks to my friend Matt Fradd over at ThePornEffect.com for lending his expertise to this article.)