Things That Make Shosh Uncomfortable : Magic Mike

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Shosh is taking over today!

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.

Let me give you a sample:
Shosh Martyniak ‏@shoshuga
I’ve never been in a theater this loud. #MagicMike

@DEHausfrau is right, I’m already uncomfortable. #MagicMike#ThingsThatMakeShoshUncomfortable

Whoa, three pairs of stripper heels just walked by me. THEY CAN’T SEE YOU! #MagicMike #ThingsThatMakeShoshUncomfortable

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

I want to hide under every table in this movie. #MagicMike
If this was a drinking game @DEHausfrau would be on the floor drunk every time I said, “oh, Jesus Christ.” #MagicMike

J Steinberg ‏@DEHausfrau
#matthewmcconaughey gyrating#ThingsThatMakeJennUncomfortable

J Steinberg ‏@DEHausfrau
At some point, I got really bored and started working on an email.#MagicMike

J Steinberg ‏@DEHausfrau #channingtatum dressed as Marilyn Monroe saying “nuts on your head” #ThingsThatMakeJennUncomfortable

Remember that part when the chubby girl hurt the stripper cuz he picked her up? Not funny. #MagicMike #ThingsThatPissShoshOff

Wow, this is some awesome acting. And by awesome, I mean…#MagicMike

Gotta see about a girl. #MagicMike #helpme

You’re not really clapping? Are you? Are you on crack? #MagicMike@DEHausfrau

@babyelephantpoo there was a lot of butt and one pair of boobs. No boy parts. #Praisethelord

I was so traumatized, I had to calm myself by singing #thespicegirls on the drive home. #MagicMike

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.  

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  • Julie

    Everything here that you wrote is EXACTLY why I do not want to see this movie. Thank you for saving me the $$ in the end.

  • Mitchell Brown

    This is great. And it’s great because you completely lost me about a third of the way into it and then brought me all the way back, to the point where I was giving you a vigorous “Eff yeah!” in my head. You have a new fan. 

  • Travis Sloat

    So I can’t call chicks “hot” anymore? Is that the point of this? I have a shirt that says “I <3 My Hot Wife." Can I still wear that in public? I understand that this post was so much more than that. But as a guy who doesn't care about female ogling, I'm asking about the part that's relevant to me. I call women, including my wife, "hot." That doesn't mean that every time I use that word, I want to f*ck them. I'm not trying to be the "focus on one point of the post that really doesn't matter that much because they don't want to address the issue" guy, but seriously. I want to continue to be able to use the word hot. 

    • Shosh M

      My husband just said, “there is no way you can use the word hot with out meaning you want to f them. Otherwise, you’d use another word.”

      • Mason Stewart

        I concur with your husband: the vernacular in question (as seen on t-shirts for men, women and most unfortunately, pre-adolescent children), is illustrative of our media enabled hyper-sexualized society. On a separate note, Soderberg is one of my favorite directors. Perhaps the flesh pot setting of the film was intended to forward satiric commentary whereby unwitting ticket buyers walked out of the theater with a newly found need for existential inteospection. Or not.

        • Shosh M

          I feel that anyone who walked out of that film with a shocked feeling of the stripper life, are probably pretty sheltered. As I said to someone on Facebook, it certainly was not Boogie Nights. If it was meant to deep, it was a very lazy attempt at thoughtfulness.

  • Lady Estrogen

    Well said! “Mature” women behaving like they are on a freshmen year girls gone wild makes me more uncomfortable than the flashing of any buldging thong. Gawd!!

    • Shoshana Martyniak


  • Dockfam

    I went to the movie and I enjoyed most of it but there were a few uncomfortable parts….overall it was kind of…. Boring. All the crazy hooting and hollering women from when the movie started, weren’t making a sound when it ended. I don’t think anyone expected it up actually have a plot. Lol. I tell you what made me uncomfortable? The movie preview before Magic Mike for that one coming out where the 2 girls run a phone sex business out of the house. Now I won’t be seeing that one!

    • Shosh M

      I actually tweeted about that preview too. I agree on the boring factor. As a friend of mine pointed out, this isn’t really a movie review, it’s a cultural criticism. That was my intention. I didn’t feel the movie itself was worth any deep thought. It was the women I needed to talk about.

  • Leighvslaundry

    I care so little about the film that I had to look it up when all the ladies were checking in at “Magic Mike” on their Facebook pages. I’m pretty comfortable being a big ol’ indifferent feminist dork who pays little attention to what the other girls are doing.

    I like the cut of your jib, btw.

    • Erin Margolin

      what’s a jib???

      • Shoshana Martyniak

        According to Urban dictionary, it means your way of thinking.

      • Leighvslaundry

        My grandma used to tell me this all the time growing up. It means that I like Shoshana’s take on this…it’s sassy. Sometimes I talk like an old person, yet another shining example of my dorkyness.

        • Shoshana Martyniak

          My husband just said he loved your use of the term jib; he thinks more people should use it.

  • Vidya Sury

    Magic Mike. Obviously I live under a rock. Which is under a pile of rocks. Which is under a mountain. Yeah. Now I want to see Magic Mike, but don’t want to, at the same time. It is so much fun to read your take on it, Shosh. Enjoyed this post! 😀 And I like your style!

  • Laurel

    I have no desire to see the movie (even though I kinda love Mcconaughey, I am a sucker for an accent) and I do find the hoopla ridiculous. 
    But, isn’t referring a female reaction to acting like a man, sexist in itself?  Their reaction is their own, many of the people I know who are gung ho about this movie, do act like this- and I suppose you can call them “manly” qualities.  Men and women are different as you say,  but I think they both can be inappropriate hornballs!    

    • Shoshana Martyniak

      My real point, and maybe this isn’t totally clear, is that their is a difference between public and private behavior. People are more than welcome to do whatever they want in private and say whatever they want in private, but once you are in public, you need to be more thoughtful of what you say and how you act. In general, women are better at not screaming out their sexual desires in crowded rooms. It’s not that never do it (clearly they do), but men do it more. I personally don’t think we should be emulating that behavior. 

  • Gooddayregularpeople

    So very true. How can we tell others how to act, and then we do this?

    This weekend, at a water park, I saw so many copies of 50 shades laying splayed open on pool chairs.

    A kid could walk over at any time and open to any page, and you wouldn’t have enough bleach in the world to wash that poor things eyes back to the state of unseen.

    • Shoshana Martyniak

      I was behind a woman in line at Barnes and Noble. She was buying the book. She looked at her friend and said, “hmmmm, maybe I should get a book cover…”

      I could write a whole other post about Fifty Shades (oh, right, I already did). I read all three, and I’m still trying to get a handle on the appeal of Mr. Christian Grey…

  • Terri Sonoda

    Haven’t seen the movie but I’m guessing your “review” is spot on, opinion parts and all. Nothing at all prudish about that. Just the facts. I love Matthew M, but not enough to sit through that movie. I am enjoying the various reviews across the blogosphere.  This was one of the strongest, opinion-wise, and I loved it.  Thanks! 

  • Angel Shrout

    I did go see the movie and I have to say for about 150 women in the theater we were not that rowdy. There was a penis shot, albeit one in a penis pump. I think the whole point for me was a man coming to realize he could do more than what he was. I have no doubt that the allure of stripping loses it glitter for all who do it, the money is great but the rest leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I however did like the film. But again our group was not that rowdy nor were any of us dressed like strippers.. but I totally see your point. 

    • Shoshana Martyniak

      I forgot about the penis pump…

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