Magic Mike is about…What?!?

I was at the store a while ago to get water for our office. I don’t usually have any issue with slinging three or four cases of water into a cart and then into my SUV. As it turns out, though, it’s a bit difficult to sling 36-bottle-packs around, when one arm is IN a sling.

(Sling = long, at-this-moment-irrelevant story. Focus on the water.)

I managed to shimmy two cases into my cart with one arm, wedging the basket against the shelf with my foot. Impressed with my own abilities, I knew, however, that I wouldn’t actually be able to get them out again.
Moral of the story: it’s a lot easier to put things in, then it is to take them out.

I was considering this and the many examples I could use to reinforce this mini-life-lesson to myself, when it occurred to me: this is the solution to my Magic Mikeproblem.

See, I have been noticing several Facebook friends posting cheerfully about their plans to go see Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike film. For those of you who haven’t heard about Magic Mike, it’s about a male stripper.

Yep.

Call me old-fashioned, but I was surprised to see more than one young woman I know sharing their excitement about watching Channing Tatum do stripteases, which is essentially what they were saying when they publicized the fact that they were going to a male stripper movie.

Now, these are WONDERFUL young women. Sweet gals.

So I was puzzled. Why in the world would these beautiful people, all of whom I KNOW are looking forward to marriage, or who love their husbands very much, chooseto engage in things which undermine the very relationships which they either enjoy or anticipate the most?

Unless, maybe, (maybe), they didn’t realize that’s what was going on, which is what I definitely prefer to think is going on with the sudden stripper blitz, as opposed to willfulundermining.

I’m possibly about to offend somebody here, but I hope not. Because, if I didn’t think well of these women, I wouldn’t bother to say a word. So, please know that I’m putting this down in writing BECAUSE I think you’re amazing girls, and because I think you deserve more than tear-away pants on a two-story screen.

You deserve to be cherished by someone who knows and loves you, and is committed to you – not just to be entertained for a few moments.

And that somebody who does cherish, love, and commit himself to you, deserves the same thing back.

Watching strippers is incredibly unloving towards our fellow human beings who are actually doing the “performances”. Not only does it objectify them by reducing their body to an item for consumption or a source of pleasure, but participation in this kind of “entertainment” also has serious repercussions in other areas – for those “performing” AND those viewing.

We also need to keep in mind that our loving, Heavenly Father spent a whole commandment on “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.” This also applies to women coveting other women’s husbands, and Channing Tatum is married. (Even if he weren’t, he isn’t MY husband, or YOURS, which means we have no business coveting him in any way whatsoever.)

Let’s start with this: I don’t actually know a single woman who isn’t bothered by her husband/fiancée/boyfriend viewing pornography. Puts up with it, sure, that’s possible. Shrugs it off and chalks it up to “boys being boys”, sure, that happens. But not even bothered a single little bit, wouldn’t even change it if she could?

Uh…duh.

But, our men are supposed to be totally okay with us viewing porn? Because, ladies, that’s what stripping basically is, regardless of the stripper’s gender.

If we wouldn’t want our men to do that to us, why would we do that to them?

As women we often have the privilege of being the means that God uses to draw men closer to Himself. I’m not necessarily often good at it, but I really do try to love my sweetheart and to be a means through which he experiences the love of God. And I’m betting most of you try, too. We’re called to that, girls – it’s wired into us, it’s part of our path to sanctity, to God, to an eternity in Heaven. I heard once that both men and women manifest different traits of the Creator. Example: women manifest, among other things, His beauty.

Think about that: we are called to show God’s beauty to the world. The deep, profound beauty of a holy love and quiet service to our brothers and sisters, drawing them closer to the One Who loves them, closer to Heaven. The admiration of our eyes, the affection of our hearts, the moments of our lives…these are things God has given us to give our husbands, serve the Church, bring glory to our Creator, and attain holiness. Spending these precious currencies on things which have no lasting value is a deeply tragic loss. And it’s not so easy to gain back.

It would have been easier for me to pull those cases of water back out of the cart with one arm and load them into my car then it will be to reclaim our spent affection from one object – Channing Tatum in his Magic Mike character, for example – to give it back to our husbands. They will feel compared to the first object of our love if we can’t do it. They shouldn’t ever feel compared, they should have our whole hearts, and to give them our whole hearts we have to protect those hearts fiercely from a world that tries to steal them away.

This is partly why porn is so harmful to relationships, because we feel compared to the computer-enhanced people that are being viewed. It makes us feel lacking, not-enough, insufficient, inadequate.

 “Your boyfriend may appear inadequate.”

One of the TV spots (which I was inadvertently exposed to) for Magic Mike screams those words in big block letters, then flashes images of strippers followed by a character from the movie saying snidely “Can I get an Amen?”

This is not “okay”, or just “entertainment”, this is serious. Even if the gentlemen in our life shrugged, laughed it off, or rolled their eyes – this is damaging. It is damaging to give the admiration of our eyes to a man who is not entitled to it.

Which men areentitled then?
  1. 1.     Your husband
  2. 2.     If you’re not married, but you’re in a relationship which is discerning marriage, to that gentleman (I refer to mine as my “sweetheart”) J
  3. 3.     Our Lord in the Eucharist, the perfect Man.

C.S. Lewis remarked on it with these words:

You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act—that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you come to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let everyone see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food?

Dear ladies – we need to follow the advice given in the Song of Songs on this matter. Three times, in three separate places, the exact same words are used as a caution: “I charge you, my daughters…do not stir up nor awaken love until its own time.”

Protect your heart for your husband, don’t give it away for the pleasure that lasts only a moment.
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8 thoughts on “Magic Mike is about…What?!?

  1. I am a husband of one of your good friends. I am extremely happy to hear some speak up on how wrong this movie is. I hear on the radio and talk amongst catholic women on how much they are looking forward to this movie. I was very disturbed when my own wife said that she wanted to see it. Thank you for this article, i hope it reaches the hearts of all women.

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  2. Everyone has a right to thier opinion?…..This is why we live in America? It is a movie? JUST A MOVIE….I am one of the women I am sure you are referring too…My husband and I trust,respect and admire each other! You are reading in to this “Movie” not “porn” as you put it way too much….I did not finish reading the essay you posted…However, we all can probably agree that God is first in our lives! That's a given….
    Laughter is what works for our family…To me and several women from our church agree that this is funny, the title alone is hilarious:)
    By the way, I have not seen the movie and have no intention on doing soooo.
    But I could not pass up this opportunity to reply…
    Keep this in mind that the bible also says that thow shall not judge one another. Seriously, you need to ask your self if the men in all our lives or even you had seen the movie Burlesque? Hangover? Bridesmaids? FOR GOODNESS Sakes!!! It's funny, you gotta laugh and be comfortable in your own skin?????? Dont you think?!

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  3. I believe you missed her point, she is cautioning young women and women in general to be aware of the choice they are making in watching this movie. it is because we laugh it off that is the problem, we send a message that its okay. It is not just a movie, i am sure if they made a movie which featured female strippers and basically nothing else to entice people to go see the film, you would be outraged if your husband thought it was “just a movie”. its beyond disrespectful and just because its guys in the movie its considered funny. we keep laughing off immorality in films and in modern society, we have become like everybody else around; so those who do not know Christ see no difference in Christians… there are other ways to find laughter in your life, and being comfortable in your own skin does not mean subjecting yourself to this type of movie. and the Bible also says even looking lustfully at another man is cheating which is what would be happening if women go see this movie…. how can this be respectful?

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  4. Thank you to the author of this post. You understand something, that a lot of people do not. We are called to be “set apart” by God. Our enemy doesn't come at us full speed, he eases up on us, and that's exactly what is occurring with these books like 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike. “It's just a movie” is part of the process of it slowly becoming normal in your life. Porn has destroyed a many of men and families. Now the attack is implicitly and slowly taking over the heart of the families by stealing mom's heart. Everyone does have an opinion and a right to do as they wish, but you would speak up if someone was about to drink poison, and that's exactly what's happening.

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  5. I have not seen the movie, and I am not certain if I will. However, I can honestly say that my only interest in it is that I loved Channing Tatum in the original step up movie for his actual dancing and that is what I would want to see in this movie. I have seen the trailers and it does look like he does some actual dancing. These men have beautiful bodies and they work hard to get them, I do not have a problem with people appreciating the human body as the work of art it is. (I certainly have nothing anyone wants to look at) I also do not believe that the ladies I know are looking at these men lasciviously at all but rather in a light hearted, appreciative manner. I certainly do not think anyone is looking at matthew or Channing in a covetous manner either. I for one am not drawn to pretty faces or hot bodies. I fell in love with my husbands attitude. (Weird I know) I also love Johnny Depp. yes he is good looking, yes he is rich and famous, but I am drawn to his acting, and the fact that he hates to do pretty boy roles. This indicates some depth of character to me.
    I, do not feel judged, however I do feel that each person has their relationship with God and should be allowed to make a decision for themselves. I do appreciate your post, it certainly gave me pause for thought and made me question a few things. Thank you.

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  6. I really appreciated the people who pointed out how we keep laughing off immorality in our culture. If no one went and watched hilarious immoral movies, Hollywood would begin to make hilarious movies that were not immoral. When we just shrug our shoulders and laugh we give our approval. There are many movies that people tell me are hilarious, but I choose not to go see them.

    Jesus tells us not to judge others, but the whole statement is about being held up to the same standard of morality that you are holding others up to. Matthew 7:5 very clearly states to “remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” It doesn't say to ignore immorality or sin because we need a laugh. The earlier part of Jesus' homily found in Matthew 6 he talks about the eye being the lamp of the body and if the eye is bad, the whole body will be in darkness. It is easy to see how pornography can fit this description, but as a culture we have been taking an awful lot of baby steps towards the darkness. I don't believe the author is trying to judge anyone. It just looks like she is pointing out the dangerous and slippery slope that our culture has embarked upon. I think St. Paul said it best when he told the Philippians, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” I know it can be difficult to find comedians and comedies out there that fit this very high bar, but they do exist. Kuddo's to with a Stalwart Heart for holding us up to this sometimes very difficult standard.

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  7. Excuse me for saying so but saying you want to watch a stripper to appreciate their dance moves is somewhat like men who say they subscribe to Playboy for the articles. It is probably true that Tatum is a good dancer (I saw “Step Up”) but if we know that the movie is about stripping, can't we forego this one opportunity to see him exhibit his dance skills? Also, you don't have to see something to appreciate it. You can appreciate their efforts at staying fit and healthy without watching them pump and grind.

    These thoughts generally do not stop at, “Wow, what a wonderfully tone, athletic body! I didn't know a man (or woman) could move that way.” But rather, the thoughts continue down that path to “what I could do with five minutes with him (or her)!” And generally it would be in a sexual direction.

    In other words, the appreciation is not geared toward that object's ability to help lift heavy objects at the next youth garage sale but rather something untoward.

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