I was asked to write a review for Magic Mike, so Jen and I went to see it last night. We arrived at 7:00 p.m., and were promptly informed that the next four showings were sold out. So we decided to come back for the 10:00 p.m. showing. We returned at 9:10.
When we got there, the lobby was packed. Hundreds of women were jostling in line, and I spoke to several who had formed a group of their friends to come see the movie as a girls-night-out. When the movie began, there were whoops and cheers. Dozens of times during the film, an audience member would catcall or shout out a suggestion that the actors "lose the pants" or "show us the goods" (both direct quotes). During scenes that didn't involve oiled beefcake cavorting to dubstep, people complained aloud that the movie needed to "get back to the good stuff". All of these yells and suggestions were viewed with general approval.
Am I wrong that this makes me slightly uncomfortable? If a group of men in an office environment were to loudly proclaim that they were organizing a Showgirls viewing party, and couldn't wait to see all that flesh on display, the reaction would be generally negative. At best, they would be accused of objectifying women, at worst, a potential HR issue. If men yell out in theaters for a girl to show her breasts, we're disgusted.
I believe in women's rights, completely and absolutely. I think behavior that marginalizes or objectifies women as sex objects is unacceptable, and while I've certainly been guilty of it at times, I don't consider it something to be proud of. So why is it okay in the other direction?