The Hidden Feminism of Channing Tatum

Channing Tatum Feminist

I don’t know that much about Channing Tatum. I know he used to be a male stripper and that he’s pretty funny. The only movies I’ve ever seen him were the wrestling one with Steve Carell and one I had to Google search just now. “end of the world movie james franco.” It was This Is The End.

I specifically remember thinking he was cool in This Is The End because of one particular scene. He was in a gimp suit and got down submissively on all fours at one point. I’m pretty sure he acted like a dog and was wearing a leash. It was funny, and something I’m not sure a lot of male actors are secure enough to do on screen for a few laughs, or accustomed to doing thanks to the lopsided “artistic” sexual portrayals/exploitations of male vs. female actors in Hollywood.

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It reminded me of when I lived in Chile post-undergrad and my boyfriend at the time was trying yoga with me for the first time ever. We were watching a Yogamazing video podcast and, like at the beginning of many yoga sessions, we started by doing cat cow pose. That’s the one where you’re on all fours and arch your back to stretch your core muscles like a cow, then make a cat back to stretch out your back. Then you repeat for a couple of breaths and move on with your life.

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For some reason, after one try of these cat cow stretches, my ex became really angry. “I’m not doing this anymore! I HATE IT!!” When I asked him why, if something hurt, etc., he wouldn’t give me a clear answer, which angered me even more because whatever I’m thinking is wrong always leads to a 100% worse scenario. Is it because he has some cartilage stretching deep inside his body that doesn’t allow him to move well, and if he snaps it he’ll die? Is he jonesin’ to do a #2? Is he about to lay down a huge cheesy blaster? Is it because that’s what I look like when we do doggy style?

And that was it. I couldn’t stop thinking about that last one. I became convinced–and still am to this day–that that’s the reason he threw a literal fit about doing those yoga stretches. I’ll never know for sure if that was actually the reason because he strangely wouldn’t tell me–but I can’t let go that it isn’t.

I’m not really the type to start blaming myself for other people’s problems with sexism and the patriarchy. It’s honestly really sad to think about some man hypothetically believing a stretch is too feminine for him. But it does make me livid that he might have felt ashamed or less than doing a pose I do for exercise AND sometimes when we’re doin’ it. Well then, why the fuck are you asking me to bend over in the bedroom if you can’t even do it during yoga? If it’s that embarrassing for you, maybe it should be that embarrassing for me. *And so on until we all die from starvation and being lame af.*

That’s why I’m amazed every time I see Channing Tatum move his body. He is an incredible dancer who doesn’t, according to Sexist Stereotypes for Men, look like he would be. I haven’t seen any of the Magic Mike movies, but I have seen clips and am shocked at how confident and free he looks doing dance moves that most men would probably not attempt. Even more recently his incredible Lip Sync Battle where he dressed in drag as Beyoncé and fucking killed it dancing–and dressing–like her.

 

It’s honestly a breath of fresh air to see him not only pull off her moves, but look truly free and happy doing it–without the burden of cultural patterns of oppression weighing down upon his incredibly sculpted male physique.

Not that white straight dudes need a ton of attention right now in this country, but I could have used this Channing Tatum dance moment to show my ex that men can move their bodies in lots of different ways–and that doesn’t make them less of a person, a man, or whatever you want to call yourself. It’s also pretty insulting to be ashamed of being feminine.

The cultural importance of a straight cisgender dude dancing in drag, lip syncing with Beyoncé, on cable television, to a song called “Run the World (Girls)” is one huge point for feminism in 2016. Let us celebrate Channing Tatum for helping tear down the sexist patriarchy one hair flip, hip shake and back bend at a time. Just remember, boys: love like you’ve never been hurt, sing like nobody’s listening, and dance like Channing Tatum is watching. Feminism 2016™.

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The non-existent feminism of Selena Gomez

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I can’t get behind this cover for Selena Gomez’s new album “Revival”

In her new autobiography, “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs,” Grace Jones puts modern pop stars on blast for failing to be shocking by trying to be shocking:

 “They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts – that is the status quo.”

Ms. Jones is so right. It’s not shocking AT ALL anymore when modern pop stars do something “shocking.” You know what would be shocking? Madonna making an age appropriate album instead of making us pretend for the millionth year in a row that she’s 21.madonna steve buscemi

That’s why when I saw the cover for Selena Gomez’s upcoming album “Revival,” I was nothing but disappointed at it’s sad attempt to be shocking, because I was unaware that patriarchal nudity was still considered shocking.

For real: Is she challenging the patriarchy by showing us her naked body on this album? Is she challenging rape culture? Exploring her own sexuality? Promoting feminism? A woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body?

Based on the lyrical content of her latest single “Good For You,” I don’t think so:

Gonna wear that dress you like, skin-tight
Do my hair up real, real nice
And syncopate my skin to your heart beating

‘Cause I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
I just wanna look good for you, good for you, uh-huh
Let me show you how proud I am to be yours
Leave this dress a mess on the floor
And still look good for you, good for you, uh-huh

First of all: honey, it’s 2015. NO.

Second: These lyrics are all sorts of NOPE.

The song was written, unsurprisingly, by three men and one woman.

Let that sink in like a long, wet fart from a stranger 5 minutes into your hour long bus commute. A 23-year-old female pop singer is singing a song written by dudes, about wanting to please dudes and look good for dudes. In 2015. It’s not as if songs like these haven’t been hitting our mom’s Dodge Caravan radios for decades/millennia, but the tides have turned. Rihanna is known for not writing her music, but at least she has the intelligence and will to curate empowering music like “Bitch Better Have My Money” that tears the shit out of the patriarchy.

More and more people learn about what rape culture is everyday. Feminism is discussed daily in the media. And “Good For You” is nothing if not another tired attempt at perpetuating harmful patriarchal ideas, like women only wanting to look good for the male gaze, or that anybody not going to their senior prom is wearing an updo. Which begs the question:

WHY IS A FEMALE POP STAR SINGING ABOUT LIVING FOR THE MALE GAZE IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAINSTREAM FEMINIST MOVEMENT?

Was Selena so hungry for a hit song that she didn’t care about the contents? Did her label make her do this? Is her career managed by 40+ year old men who have total boners for the patriarchy? All signs point to probably. This is hardly the first time she’s sang a song that is decidedly anti-feminist (no wonder Rihanna passed on “Come and Get It“).

It would be one thing if feminism wasn’t being talked about EVERYWHERE. Or if Taylor Swift, arguably the queen of the entire music industry right now, hadn’t ignited conversation about the importance of being a feminist for the past year. Or if Britney wasn’t tell all men to “suck my fucking toe.” Or, you know, if THE Beyonce hadn’t performed in front of a GIANT SIGN that literally said FEMINIST on MTV.

 

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SLAY BEY BEY

It’s very true that pop music has not always politically correct or woman-friendly (Blurred Lines, anyone?). But we live in a really special time in mainstream music right now where women are writing and producing their own music more than ever before in a typically male-dominated industry. Taylor Swift, Grimes, Katy Perry, SIA and Lady Gaga, to name a few, all have a heavy hand in writing, composing and producing their own music. It’s amazing! It’s inspiring! And it’s about goddamn time to have actual female perspectives via the written word in mainstream music.

It’s one thing if you’re writing your own music about loving the male gaze, or wanting to look good for that Canadian human mop Justin Bieber. But it is quite another to not even be involved in writing the gross songs that support the patriarchy. Good thing you’re teaching all your young, impressionable, coming-of-age fans that it’s cool to do everything you can to please men sexually. How progressive of u.

Lorde famously called Selena out in the press for singing anti-feminist songs. And she’s right. There’s no place for this in mainstream music anymore. Popular culture is changing, women in music are more empowered than ever and ain’t nobody got time for that male gaze shit. I get dressed for ME, I wear lipstick for ME and so should YOU, Selena. You, your fans and top 40 radio deserve better than this. It’s 2015©.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

 

How a Woman’s Orgasm Can Save a Man via Jezebel

 

What an amazing picture (so true) and an interesting article on female orgasms and the possible rise of men who feel less like pieces of shit ’cause they actually know how to please a lady.

The comment section of this article is interesting too, because the topic of faking orgasms is brought up. Faking orgasms will make us lose the fight against the terrorists, ladies. Plus it makes dudes think they are good at something they clearly are not. Honesty is key, especially when you’re naked.

How a Womans Orgasm Can Save a Man.