Part of me hates to admit this, but I did read all three 50 Shades books and while I enjoyed them, I had some major issues withe the books. However, my opinion on the books is irrelevant. Instead I want to focus on the hullabaloo surrounding the 50 Shades books and the new movie Magic Mike.
I’m not sure if this attitude is right or wrong, but lets reverse each story. For example–in 50 Shades it is the female character who is the dominant and finds submissive men and engages in BDSM. I’m not a huge romance reader, but I imagine there are novels out there with this theme. However, are they as popular as 50 Shades?
What if, Magic Mike is a tale of female strippers. Yes, female stripper movies exist, but were they advertised like Magic Mike? Did men line up with advanced tickets and get tipsy before the show, yelling and clapping at the screen? I can’t say for certain, but my guess is no.
If we reversed the roles, this is what I think would happen:
50 Shades: Women would applaud Ana’s character. Even if the dominant character wasn’t applauded, nobody would argue about male (submissive) treatment. While 50 Shades is incredibly popular, there is a large, vocal, population who disagrees with the treatment of Ana (the submissive, although technically she’s not really submissive).
Magic Mike: There is no way the marketing scheme would ever pass go. Women would not stand for men lining up in theaters across the country objectifying the actresses. Sure, men do this in regular movies ( as do women, hello Avengers!) however an overt marketing plan like Magic Mike’s only works for women.
Again, I don‘t know if this is good or bad. Sure, I’d like men and women treated equally, however I’m not sure that is possible. Perhaps it’s a part of our nature, or perhaps the message is ingrained into our culture’s mentality.