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The Full Monty? Meaning construction and performative possibilities in media depictions of the male strip show

by Katy Pilcher (2021)

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Abstract:
This article questions the progressive potential of media depictions of male strip shows. I examine two overriding discourses within media representations, comparing these to the experiences of male dancers and female customers gleaned through ethnographic fieldwork in two strip venues. Namely, the media’s portrayal of the masculinity of male strippers as ‘fragile’; together with the construction of dancers as ‘fantasy’ subjects who know ‘what women want’. The article interrogates these constructions in relation to a critique of women’s opportunities to exercise an erotic ‘gaze’; the operation of racist and classist discourses of consuming ‘difference’ and Othering customers; and male dancers’ attempts to construct a viable sense of workplace self in the light of negative constructions of sexual labour.

Keywords:
Class, gender, male strip show, media, racism, sexuality.

(Katy Pilcher, Sociology and Policy Department, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK. Email: k.pilcher@aston.ac.uk)

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Pilcher, Katy
The Full Monty? Meaning construction and performative possibilities in media depictions of the male strip show.
In: Sexualities 24,4 (Jun 2021), pp. 574-591.
https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460720927641

[Free fulltext:]
htm: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1363460720927641
pdf: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1363460720927641
epub: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epub/10.1177/1363460720927641