While fretting over her graduate research on Emma Lazarus’ literary fight against anti-Semitism, Shoshana Martyniak found herself pregnant with her second child. A bit surprised, she refocused: leaving her almost decade-long writing instructor job to run a monthly Jewish publication, she became, quite literally, the VOICE of the Delaware Jewish community. When she’s not editing someone’s writing, searching for the perfect cover photo, or avoiding the supermarket, she can be found toting her baby around her very real American Shtetl. In her spare time, she’s been known to teach a class or two on Judaism for Christians. She blogs at Zatvik Pregnancy and tweets @shoshuga. Shoshana lives in Wilmington, Delaware with her very own Giant Gentile, seven-year-old son, baby daughter and lackadaisical American Bulldog.
Girls (or women in stripper heels) and the odd man poured into the theater. The noise was deafening. The giggling made me twitch. In fact, I started twitching as I walked through the doors of the theater. My best friend, who was equally twitchy, joined in my endeavor to discover the big deal about Magic Mike.
You don’t know me, but if you did, you’d be all too familiar with my Things That Make Shosh Uncomfortable Pinterestboard. My best friend, DEHausfrau, started it as an homage to women swooning over naked men, Ryan Gosling, overly-teeny bikinis, the use of the word HOT and, of course, Fifty Shades of Grey among other things that “make Shosh uncomfortable.” Since you don’t know me, the whole board makes me look like a big fat prude. If you knew me, you’d know that I’m probably the least prudish person in the world. I’m cool with cleavage and tattoos; pin-ups and sex toy parties. But there is something about open ogling that makes me extremely uncomfortable.
So why Magic Mike? One, I felt like I couldn’t rightfully complain about something I hadn’t actually seen. Two, maybe the movie would prove me wrong. Maybe I’d get caught up in the half-naked slithering male bodies and washboard abs, and screaming women… and then again, maybe not.
You don’t know me, but I usually try not to touch my phone during movies. However, I made an exception. The gaggle of girls was too engrossed in sweaty dancing men to notice my tweeting.
In mid conversation, the straightest dudes ever stepped over us. I forgot what I was saying. #MagicMike
I had to take a break and hide in the bathroom. It was like home, except a movie theater. #MagicMike http://pic.twitter.com/okmbwrrx
Wow, this is some awesome acting. And by awesome, I mean…#MagicMike
You’re not really clapping? Are you? Are you on crack? #MagicMike@DEHausfrau
You get it. I hated it. I’m not some New Yorker review that leaves you confused at the end. The real question is why? As I said, I’m not a prude. Sex is great. Having sex with whomever floats your boat is great. I don’t cringe at open marriage, though I’m convinced few people can pull it off. However, watch your porn, read your dirty books, dream of putting your hand up your boss’s skirt all you want. I simply don’t want to hear about it. If it’s not about you wanting to have sex with me, then I really don’t care. In fact, I more than don’t care, it disgusts me. When you call someone hot or HAWT, as forty-year-old men who are acting like teenage boys text it, you aren’t saying “Wow, that is certainly a beautiful woman. Look how lovely her dress is.” You are saying, “Man, I want to drag that chick on the floor and fuck her brains out and not have to see her again in the morning….shhhhh…don’t tell my wife.” The second the word HOT comes out of your mouth, you are announcing to the room your intention to fuck. And I mean fuck. To say it means anything else is a boldface lie and a plot testosterone-fueled men thought up because they thought they were being tricky. Guess what? You’re not. And somehow, many men didn’t get the memo that maybe they might not want to talk about women in public. I’m not sure if anyone told you this, but we’re listening. Even if we aren’t the kind of girl you want to fuck, we still have ears. Quite frankly, no one wants to hear where you want to put your dick. You may think you know where you’re friend wants to put his dick, but I bet you have no idea.
I know, what does this have to do with Magic Mike? Magic Mike bothers me because the women flocking to this movie are acting like men. And they are using feminism as an excuse. “We can do what we want! We can objectify men the way men objectify women. It shows how powerful we’ve become! Roar.”
Really? It shows your power? You’ve gravitated toward the most primitive thought-process of men and you call it an evolution. Calling men hot, hooting and hollering over washboard abs makes you a powerful woman? Again, I’m all for having a strong sexual identity, but is screaming out our primal urges in public really the forum we want to express our desire for power and equality? One minute you’re calling for equal pay for equal work, respect in the workforce, a room for pumping, paid maternity leave, and the next you want to be able to pinch the mailroom boy’s butt or ogle the 22 year-old intern at the office Christmas Party. “Oh my G-d Mary! Did you see how HOT Tommy is? Look at how his pants show his cock.”
I call bullshit. Women have been arguing about the price of wanting it all, is this really what it means to have it all?
If you weren’t aware, the movie was directed by a man. Thus, it was the male version of what he thinks is female fantasy. And somehow, these women have bought it. They’ve screamed about it proudly. As if female sexuality has finally been dealt with on film. Really ladies, does Mathew McConaughey gyrating on stage realistically show all your sexual fantasies? In our marathon to become men’s equals, we’ve somehow forgotten that men and women are actually different. Men have testosterone coursing through their brains every second of every hour of every day. They have to work against that testosterone in order to act like presentable human beings. We don’t. I’m not saying women don’t like sex or that women don’t find men attractive. Clearly, women talk about sex. I’m convinced that women talk more about REAL sex then men do. However, in order to claim our sexual identity, we don’t need to be men. We need to be women.
Magic Mike makes me uncomfortable because women’s reactions seem inauthentic. Is this what you want sex to be? Is this how you want men to continue to act? We want men to respect us, to see us like human beings, to let us use the word “vagina” in the Michigan State house, and yet, we read books about rich men who control every aspect of our lives and insist we don’t work, we dress up in sexy dresses and stripper heels to watch plotless movies about strippers, who don’t even actually strip, and we wonder why no one is taking us seriously.