A question about Magic Mike

Switchbreak wrote:

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and address what I see as the central false equivalency in this thread.

Starting from the most basic premise: Sexism against men, if we are speaking in the same terms used when talking about sexism against women, does not exist. It is imaginary. A fantasy.

There is a kind of old equation defining what I'm talking about here: Sexism (and other isms) = Prejudice + Power. That is to say, sexism is not an individual act but an underlying system of oppression by which men gain and defend their power in society. An individual man certainly can feel objectified by a movie, but that objectification does not then go on to define and limit the way that society values him.

Going to the other example raised, when men at a workplace make plans to go visit a strip club, they're working inside of and reinforcing a system that holds up the workplace as a place for straight men and is hostile and alienating to everyone else. Despite everything, it's a system that still exists and still pays out very real and measurable dividends to men, still penalizes women. When women make plans to go see Magic Mike that is simply not what is happening. There is no double standard, what you see are two very different things.

I find all the talk of "women turning the tables" a little disturbing, because what it looks more like to me is men who feel like they have been wronged somehow, like something has been taken from them, jumping at the opportunity to grab what they see as a weapon from their opponent and get some hits in for their team. It's an idea that I think ignores the larger context in which we live.

Semantics, they're a bitch. I do think the "*ism = prejudice + power" is a great way to think about it. I would wager a lot of people use "*ism" when they mean prejudice, as opposed to the systemic effects of it, which leads to a lot of crossed wires.

There are some really pretty offensive portrayals of men. However, people generally laugh them off as being BS, so they have a negligible impact in the larger world.

Personal example, for illustration: I get pretty tired of catching hell from co-workers and all for being the one that does most of the cooking in the family. The applicable prejudice is, roughly that "men can't cook" (I'll get to the other half in a second). It's mildly annoying, but has about as much impact on my life as a whole as running into a doorframe. I'd rather not, but it's really not what a sane, sober, or grounded person would call actively harmful. There's no actual societal power behind the ism there. There's also the other side of that prejudice, that I'm cooking because my significant other is failing in some way. (Which generally has more of a bite to it.)

Now, if you look up the thread a bit, you'll see several goodjers mentioning their run ins with less harmless prejudices. Because there's actual societal power behind them. So they actually effect things.

Here's the thing: You can call out harmless prejudices without invoking some false equivocation. And even people who do try to do just that sometimes get shouted down by well meaning people. A hunch tells me it's a small portion of the reason the "men's rights" thing has gotten so radicalized. (People are also assholes, so that's probably more a factor.) On custody law, they have a point. Getting full, or even _equal_ custody as an unmarried guy is... problematic. (99% of the rest of it made me want to bleach the stupidity from my brain with a hammer and a bottle of rum.)

Personally, I'd like to live in a world where prejudices of all sorts were regarded as idiotic, not just balanced, and that requires attacking them everywhere.

Switchbreak wrote:

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and address what I see as the central false equivalency in this thread.

Starting from the most basic premise: Sexism against men, if we are speaking in the same terms used when talking about sexism against women, does not exist. It is imaginary. A fantasy.

There is a kind of old equation defining what I'm talking about here: Sexism (and other isms) = Prejudice + Power. That is to say, sexism is not an individual act but an underlying system of oppression by which men gain and defend their power in society. An individual man certainly can feel objectified by a movie, but that objectification does not then go on to define and limit the way that society values him.

While I'm willing to agree that there really isn't an equivalent amount of damage done to men by sexism and gender assumptions, I really wish you wouldn't use the word fantasy or try to infer that there is no damage done to men by these assumptions. Most people in the thread agreed that while the behavior can be reversed, society simply doesn't support bias against men in the same way it supports bias against women. But that doesn't make it okay. "It doesn't really matter, what harm is it actually doing" is one of the most basic ways to dismiss destructive, sexist behavior. So yes, it's a double standard because the term "double standard" applies when two identical behaviors are met with different results. What you described is exactly that. While the term "double standard" itself might feel like a whiny complaint rather than a clinical description of what's going on, there's not a lot I can do about that.

And, in some ways, men deal with sexism in the exact same ways women do, just not to the extent. No one has said the amount of damage is the same, so you're not really addressing a false equivalency. One thing many folks tend to forget is that sexism doesn't have to be perpetrated by people of the opposite sex. Our system of law, which can be arguably stated is run by old white men, is extremely biased against men as caregivers. In a divorce, a man is effectively guilty until proven innocent when it comes to establishing his reasons for custody.

This is in no way me trying to say "See it happens to men, too, so it evens out!" or whatever. Is this (or the myriad small but incomparable other examples) as bad as sexism against women? No. But no one has said that, not in this entire thread.

edit: I guess what I'm saying is that narrowly defining "sexism" down to only acts that are supported by society as a whole is really very narrow. If I apply to one job and I'm denied because the hiring manager thinks men aren't as good at it, but the chance of that happening to me again is infinitely low, that doesn't make the first act somehow "not-sexism".

Bloo Driver wrote:

So yes, it's a double standard because the term "double standard" applies when two identical behaviors are met with different results. What you described is exactly that.

But the actions aren't identical unless you ignore context, which is exactly why I called it a false equivalency.

edit: I guess what I'm saying is that narrowly defining "sexism" down to only acts that are supported by society as a whole is really very narrow. If I apply to one job and I'm denied because the hiring manager thinks men aren't as good at it, but the chance of that happening to me again is infinitely low, that doesn't make the first act somehow "not-sexism".

It's certainly an incidence of prejudice, and you could define it as sexism if you want (like Kannon said, semantics) - but what gets confusing is remembering that sexism defined this way, as prejudice without the systemic part, is not the same thing people are talking about when they talk about sexism against women. It's something of a logical trap to start comparing the two.

I don't mean this in a combative way, just an observational one - I think you're needlessly splitting a hair, here. For example -

Switchbreak wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

So yes, it's a double standard because the term "double standard" applies when two identical behaviors are met with different results. What you described is exactly that.

But the actions aren't identical unless you ignore context, which is exactly why I called it a false equivalency.

The actions are identical. The outcome is not. That is practically the definition of a double standard. What makes it okay (or less bad, depending) is the possible outcome on a case by case basis. And that's really the important part to remember, because the argument is self-defeating. When you say that sexism against men just doesn't exist because the ramifications are not the same when compared to women, that's not even true in every single case. I think the logical trap here is that the argument you're making is, at the end, saying "we can't call anything that happens to men sexism", which I really don't think is correct.

Bloo Driver wrote:

I don't mean this in a combative way, just an observational one - I think you're needlessly splitting a hair, here. For example -

Switchbreak wrote:
Bloo Driver wrote:

So yes, it's a double standard because the term "double standard" applies when two identical behaviors are met with different results. What you described is exactly that.

But the actions aren't identical unless you ignore context, which is exactly why I called it a false equivalency.

The actions are identical. The outcome is not. That is practically the definition of a double standard.

I wonder if Switchbreak means the actions are identical, but the outcome is not, so even though the standard for judging outcomes is identical, the...verdicts(?) are not.

It's the outcomes that are being judged, not the actions. Outcomes=actions+context.

CheezePavilion wrote:

It's the outcomes that are being judged, not the actions. Outcomes=actions+context.

I'd like to think the actions are judged as well, personally. But I can see people going with the "no harm, no foul" line of reasoning here. It just seems to me like it'd backfire pretty spectacularly.

And how much money do you think these girls make? You seem to have this notion they're all walking around with wads of cash, but outside of a few headline acts that just doesn't happen. Often they aren't paid a wage at all - it's all tips. And they pay the house for right to work the shift. The money isn't that much better than the average waitress, especially once they've paid their cut to the house and the support staff. I often saw girls end up in debt to the house by the end of the night. The girls who just served drinks did as well or better than the dancers. One of the links I was looking at characterized $44,000 a year as high pay. Not exactly high rolling.

It's taken me awhile to respond because I don't want to come off like a Dick Wolf (the Penny Arcade kind, not the producer behind some of America's most beloved cop dramas).

If you take a look at the so-called "10 worst jobs in America," you'll see that those jobs often involve low pay and dehumanizing conditions. According to the list, the average waitress/dish washer makes less than half of the strippers who are making $40K a year. Additionally, several of these jobs (butcher, oil rig worker, soldier and logger) involve horrible and dangerous conditions where your chance of a brutal death or maiming injury are relatively high. If strip clubs were better relegated, it would still be a hard job but one that was less dangerous and better paying than a lot of jobs out there.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-1...

Now, this doesn't take away from the large numbers of strippers who report sexual assault, stalking or attempted rape on the job. Those conditions are unacceptable and the vice squad should be looking to run stings on abusive customers rather than regularly trying to bust the dancers. Local politicians have a lot of control over whether strip clubs get licensing and they should be using that power to put pressure on the club owners to protect their employees and pay them fairly. But from what I've seen it's usually a case of the family values politicians who rage against strip clubs but could care less how the workers are treated, and less scrupulous politicians who take bribes to look the other way. That's at least how things played out a few years ago in the Seattle/Tacoma area, where organized crime was paying off key members of the City Council so that their strip clubs would get preferential treatment (including no police investigations of possible forced prostitution).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strippe...(Seattle)

As a final note, I'd like to link to the following transcript of an ABC Primetime special on what it's like to work as a stripper. It's a balanced perspective that takes a hard look at the many hardships that women who go into stripping face, as well as some of the reasons why they find their jobs attractive.

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/stor...

Not responding directly to anyone here, just sharing a few thoughts that have been percolating.

In theory I see very little difference between someone, man or woman, taking off their clothes for money on a stage and someone doing it on screen. Hell, I think if someone want to make money having sex for cash then it's fine, in theory.

The practice however is very, very different as most people have said.

Thanks to being marginalised and criminalised only the worst elements own strip clubs, so the women who do it suffer terrible abuses of many kinds. I knew one girl who was a stripper who liked the job when she started, but I lost contact with her after a while so I don't know how it went for her. The chain she worked for had a semi-decent reputation for how they treated their dancers though.

The guys I knew who were strippers, had a lot of sex, as Mex says mostly with married women. So it's fallacious to say that women go purely for titillation. But the power dynamics between male strippers and their clients and female strippers and their clients are, sadly, very different things. And a male stripper isn't going to suffer the same kinds of abuses at the hands of their employers that a female stripper is.

Ultimately I think people need to get over the stigma of sex and exhibitionism to the industry can be regulated properly. I honestly think that stripping should be an empowering job if club ownership and abuses are controlled.

DSGamer wrote:

#1 - Magic Mike is an entertaining movie that's actually a little more interesting than you might think. So the women squealing in the theater are kind of missing the point.

I beg to differ:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/88aic.jpg)

MEEEYOW!!

I wish I knew how to build abs like that.*

*while retaining my mostly sedentary lifestyle.

Seth wrote:

I wish I knew how to build abs like that.*

*while retaining my mostly sedentary lifestyle.

Meth habit and a TENS unit?

The /Filmcast episode is worth a listen for some anecdotal tales of the theater experience. One of them, I forget which, noted people leaving "as the figured out it was a real movie," which is kinda funny. Also great:

Spoiler:

One guy's theater exploded in appreciative cheers in the first scene with beefcake. In the next scene, there's apparently topless Munn, and one lone male voice yells "WOOOOOO!" which is pretty hilarious.

That ab plan sounds like it could work for me.