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Magic Mike XXL arrives in theaters this week, and the sequel is such an unapologetic show of gratuitous, gyrating man flesh that it got us thinking about male objectification. When exactly did Hollywood start tapping into what women want to see, you know, sexually?
Somehow it was newly hunked out Chris Pratt who put his finger on the prevailing attitude behind some of the biggest movie franchises in the last five years (or whenever Twilight premiered). The Jurassic Park actor addressed the public thirst for his muscled bod with BBC Radio 4, saying:
I think it's appalling that for a long time only women were objectified, but I think if we really want to advocate for equality, it's important to even things out. Not objectify women less, but objectify men just as often as we objectify women.
Whether or not the Pratt prescribed, no-questions-asked male objectification is a capital Good and Right trend, the female gaze is getting more and more air time. See Outlander, for example. See Broad City. See Chocolate City (seriously, see it). See the brief history of male shirtlessness in film above, and then gather amongst yourselves and discuss. Here are a few discussion questions to help facilitate conversation:
1. Do you know what the female gaze is? Can you please tell me?
2. If a young Denzel Washington and an older Denzel Washington fought for your eternal love who would win? Be honest.
3. What are the pros and cons to requesting "beefcake" as your wedding cake?
4. What's the difference between Chris Pratt and Chris Evans? Be concise.
5. True or false: We should have just spliced together clips from the first and second Magic Mike, set it to "Pony," and called it a day.