Guilty Guilty Guilty

22 Aug

So, the movie Magic Mike.  It came out recently and none of you should be surprised to hear that my mother asked me to go see it with her.  And when I was in the theater I had this… um… feeling.  It’s not the feeling you’re expecting.  It’s the same feeling I had when I saw Brave and when I watch True Blood or How I Met Your Mother.

The feeling is the peculiar mix of enjoyment while very consciously trying not to notice certain… qualms.  So I’m going to steal a term from feministing.com and call Magic Mike an

(Un)feminist Guilty Pleasure

and simply choose to move on with my day.

“Being a feminist doesn’t mean suddenly no longer liking problematic things. If you stopped liking everything that was sexist in media and entertainment there would be no media or entertainment left. Being a feminist, to me, is being aware of what it is you’re liking, and of its problematic aspects.” [x]

So this probably makes me a bad feminist right?  This and enjoying Taylor Swift?

You may have learned by now that Sociology majors don’t make the best movie dates, and odds are we Soc majors have probably annoyed our friends on more than one occasion. Those of us trained to think sociologically simply can’t accept anything at face-value, even when we desperately want to. Furthermore, we possess the annoying habit of explaining this fact to others.You begin to notice times when your family laughs at a commercial while you’re debating the effects of its use of gay stereotypes. Your friends might be moved to tears during a heart-warming drama, but you’re busy identifying the replication of racial power dynamics. And when you get roped into playing dolls with your little cousin, you interrogate a five-year-old about why boy dolls can’t cook dinner, too.

Even if we spoil a friend’s favorite Disney movie, those things aren’t necessarily all bad – and thinking in a sociological style is important. No matter the field you ultimately end up in, there is tremendous value in questioning a presented “fact,” in understanding different viewpoints, and in recognizing the social assumptions existing within the seemingly mundane. Learning sociology shouldn’t be about memorizing solutions to social woes, but examining the world from a lens that aggregates each piece of the puzzle, and seeing the big picture when most do not.

So remain critical of the world around you. The beauty of the sociologically-enthused is that we aren’t know-it-alls with every answer, but we do know, before we accept anything, what questions should be asked.

Sometimes it means holding a truth in your mind and consciously ignoring it, but I guess we all have our crosses to bear.  I still think this is better than the alternative.

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