Diablo Cody Points Out the Ol' Channing Tatum Stripping Double Standard

Illustration for article titled Diablo Cody Points Out the Ol' Channing Tatum Stripping Double Standard

Regardless of how you feel about the polarizing writer/director Diablo Cody (Young Adult won me over, I gotta say), , it's nifty that she co-chaired the third year of the Athena Film Festival, an annual showcase for the works of women in the film industry. Vulture caught up with Cody to discuss Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty Oscar snub ("Are they still patting themselves on the back for giving it to a woman once before? Did her previous win [for The Hurt Locker] fill the quota or something? [...] I ran into the bedroom as my husband was getting dressed, yelling, "Kathryn Bigelow wasn't nominated! It's pathetic!") and this year's Athena-featured doc Women Aren't Funny.

Some people really get off on that [mentality], and if you argue with them, you're only feeding the trolls, indulging them, giving them that negative attention. But the fact that even some women would say women aren't funny is what's really frustrating. It's part of the problem. I feel like one of the reasons we're not hired more to write and direct is that some women are complacent and want to be part of the boys club, and part of savoring that acceptance is following the rules. And that's dangerous, to be scared to offend anyone.

Advertisement

While one-time exotic dancer Cody puts some emphasis on the "loophole women" who undermine others in order to be part of the boys' club, she does address the radically different response that former Tampa stripper Channing Tatum has received in Hollywood and in the public:

I find it very interesting that a man can be a stripper, talk about it openly, go on SNL and parody it in several sketches, and nobody accuses him of leveraging his sexuality to get ahead. They applaud it. And he did make a quality film, and it obviously did really well, and it had a certain pedigree - it wasn't trashy - but I do not think a woman would be treated the same way. I'm living proof of that. A woman's sexuality is dangerous and threatening and dirty, and for Channing, it's a charming tool in his arsenal. And I love Magic Mike. I love Channing. This is in no way a diss on him.

'Diablo Cody on the Athena Film Festival and Male Versus Female Strippers' [Vulture]

DISCUSSION

portraitofmmex
PortraitOfMmeX

You know what? A man can be a stripper and it is NBD because male sexuality has not historically been used as a weapon to subjugate men. A woman's sexuality is dangerous in part because it has historically been used against her. It isn't because we're afraid of empowering female strippers. It is that female strippers are by definition participating in a system of their own subjugation, whether or not they feel that they are. So one could argue that being a stripper makes you a "loophole woman," from one perspective.

In a perfect world this would not be the case, and women could express their sexuality in any way they like and their choices wouldn't be laden with the baggage of hundreds of years of sexual violence and oppression and gender inequality. But unfortunately, it is, and it's a little disingenuous not to address that facet when making this sort of comparison.

Please don't jump all over me with your anecdotes of being a powerful feminist stripper. I get it. On an individual level, it isn't always quite so problematic. But speaking culturally, it's something to consider.