Things only girls notice in Magic Mike

The year was 2012. "Gangnam Style" dominated the airwaves, Curiosity landed on Mars, and President Obama won his second term in office. That was also the year that we got to see a whole lot more of Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey than ever before, as they stripped down to their skivvies for Magic Mike.  

The movie has more than rippling abs and gratuitous grinding, though we are definitely 100 percent here for that. For one, the acting is quite good, and the plot is pretty elevated for a film about male strippers. Plus the dancing is incredible — Tatum had serious moves.

Although men were definitely the minority in theater audiences, plenty of dudes came out to see the film. However, ladies definitely picked up on things that guys didn't grab — and we're not talking about Tatum's abs or McConaughey's backside. So here's a wrap-up of all of the things only girls noticed when watching Magic Mike.

Of course Adam got into the club

When Mike and Adam first meet on the construction site, it's pretty clear that Adam has zero game. He doesn't dress to impress, and his social calendar isn't exactly booked. But it's also pretty clear to the ladies that he's a good looking guy who's in great shape. That's… hard to miss.

To that end, it was a little difficult to believe that Adam would have trouble getting into a club. Has anyone there actually looked at Alex Pettyfer, the actor who played Adam? He's an Adonis! Still, Mike makes a big deal about how shabby and unkempt Adam looks, and says he owes him one as he ushers him into the club. But it takes more than a red hoodie and and a v-neck to make Pettyfer look unattractive.

So we're just not buying it. A guy that smoking hot could get into any club, regardless of what he's wearing. And it's not just the cougars who would "eat him up" either — he brings the house down at the Xquisite dance club later, and ladies of all ages were in the crowd.

"She came here to be bothered"

Magic Mike is a pretty progressive film that manages to avoid most misogynist pitfalls. And while it only barely passes the Bechdel Test (some disagree), Brooke is a developed and interesting character with real autonomy. Even Joanna has sexual agency and a mind of her own.

But the film is not without its fails. In fact, one happens just after Mike and Adam enter the club, while Mike is preparing to get his hustle on. He tells Adam to go talk to a woman at the bar wearing a tiara and a sash. When Adam hesitates, saying that she doesn't look like she wants to be bothered, Mike disagrees. "Look at what she's wearing. She came here to be bothered," he replies.

Not so fast, Mike! You can't assume to know what a woman wants based solely on what she's wearing. So wearing a tiara and sash at a club isn't an invitation to be "bothered" — any woman will tell you that!

The men actually touch each other!

According to an article in The New York Times, most modern American men don't feel comfortable touching other men in a platonic manner. They're afraid that having physical contact with other men implies that they're gay, or somehow less of a man, so often they just don't do it. That's a shame, as the benefits of touch are well-documented.

So it's notable that the men in the film seem much more comfortable being physical with one another than most dudes actually are. Mike isn't afraid to put his arm around Adam, for one. Backstage, all of the men are totally at ease with each other, high fiving and sometimes hugging. And we definitely saw Dallas teaching Adam how to grind without an ounce of shame. 

It's refreshing to see straight men so comfortable with other men! Dudes might chalk it up to them being strippers, but women recognize it for what it is: healthy platonic touch, which women are generally more comfortable doing.

​Mike's pick-up moves at the club wouldn't fly

We know that Mike is attractive, and that he has charisma for days — he's not called magic for nothing! And if he came up to you at a club, you'd probably want to dance with him, especially with those killer moves. But his club hustle isn't quite as convincing as his torso thrusting, and that's because of his endgame. 

So when he, with the help of Adam, is able to convince women to come see him perform at a strip show, we're a little skeptical. What woman wants a random dude to sweet talk her, only to find out he has an ulterior motive: to watch him take his clothes off, and pay him to do it? Plus, when women do go to strip clubs, it's often in groups, and usually for an occasion like a bachelorette party. Other than that, we get enough unsolicited pics in our inboxes these days. Hard pass!

​We wish men groomed like the strippers in the film

If you're going to be bumping and grinding on strangers, and thrusting your nethers in people's faces, you'd definitely prepare for it, right? The strippers in Magic Mike sure do, from working out to purchasing undergarments to mastering their dance moves. It seems like a no-brainer if you want to make good tips.

The men are no slouches when it comes to personal hygiene, either! Before they hit the floor, they make sure that they're looking and projecting their absolute best. They shave their bodies, make sure they smell nice, moisturize their skin, and make sure (ahem) everything looks nice for the ladies in the crowd. They even worry about the amount of calories in alcohol, something usually women do — we certainly don't advocated disordered eating for any gender, but it's refreshing to see our everyday reality experienced by men. If only the men in everyone's lives put the same amount of effort into grooming. Dudes, take notice! 

It's men who are objectified, not women

Gender inequality in Hollywood is pervasive in many ways, according to the 2016 annual Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California. Notably, women are almost three times as likely to appear nude or partially nude on screen than men are. So we ladies know we're much less likely to see dudes in their birthday suit next time we catch a movie a binge a Netflix show. We're used to it.

But Magic Mike is the outlier in this regard. While you do see women in bikinis, the film shows men in states of undress far more often. The strippers at the Xquisite dance club are howled at by crowds of screaming women, solely for their bodies and their ability to move them — no brains or personality is necessary. This is a notable reversal, as usually women occupy those roles in film. But for once, the stripper with a heart of gold is a actually a man, turning the usual stereotype on its head. 

Finally, female pleasure gets the spotlight it deserves!

Magic Mike may not be a perfect film, but one thing it really gets right is its celebration of female pleasure. For one, the movie is about male strippers, whose job it is to titillate groups of women. That means the ladies watching the movie get a bit titillated, too. Certainly the casting choices helped with that!

But the film takes it a step beyond that, especially with the choreography. Of course the strippers get super sexy with some of the individual women in the audience, grinding on them in a variety of blush-inducing ways. And they don't just hop on top and mime some uber-thrusty intercourse (though that happens too, which we approve). They also simulate performing oral sex on women, showing that there's more to sex than the missionary position. That's definitely not seen often in Hollywood films, which might not occur to male viewers. It definitely occurred to us, though!

Mike's big ask to Brooke is… mediocre

From the moment that Brooke and Mike meet, sparks fly. The chemistry between them is obvious throughout the entire film as they exchange witty banter and hang on each other's every word. Even when they're arguing, the attraction is palpable — a tribute to Tatum and Horn's acting skills.

All of the tension and build-up makes you anxious for them to hook up, already! But when Mike finally summons the gumption to ask Brooke on a date, it's a total letdown. Instead of being a smooth lady's man, he turns into an awkward teenage boy. As they sit together over beers waiting for Adam, Mike asks her, "You wanna get somethin' to eat sometime? I don't know, just like, get some food?" 

Really, bro? Then when Brooke probes and asks if it's "like a date," to which he responds no. Every woman in the audience let out a collective sigh of disappointment at this scene. You would think he had better game than that.

The ending was sweet, but Brooke could do better

Finally, at the very end of the movie, and after some intense soul-searching on behalf of both parties, Mike and Brooke finally hook up. We don't get to see much, but that seven hour lovefest surely had to break the tension between them.

But for ladies watching the film, you can't help but be a little skeptical that the lovebirds will live happily ever after. In reality, would Brooke really sleep with Mike and still be interested in him after everything? We don't buy it. Yes, he finally quit stripping. But homeboy doesn't have a job, and he just sacrificed the bulk of his life's savings to bail Adam out of debt from drug dealers. Brooke may think that's sexy, but being broke isn't something you put in your Tinder profile.

There's no question that Mike's a hottie, but he doesn't have a plan that's actionable anymore. In fact, the whole thing plays right into the old trope of women wanting a man that they can fix. That's kind of a let down for a movie that seemed to be more woke than that.