We’re at the dinner table last night when we see an ad for some super-explode-y, CGI-filled, alien-invading-looking movie. Naturally (and immediately) my interest is piqued.
“Hey,” I say, “rewind what.” (If you don’t have the television on during dinner, then please congratulate yourselves for not slogging along in the cultural morass that is my life.) “I believe I’d like to see that film.”
Fletch rolls his eyes. “Of course you would.” He takes a bite, chews thoughtfully and then mentions, “I think Channing Tatum may be in that movie,” which causes me to make what can only be described as an unholy noise coupled with a mass intake of breath.
He rolls his eyes again. “I don’t get it – how come women are allowed to ogle Channing Tatum with impunity?”
I reply, “Because my interest in him is innocent. I don’t want to marry him. I want to be married to you. I don’t even want to make out with him. Pretty much my plans for Channing Tatum include gawping and giggling.”
“Let me ask you this – what would you do if I went all Pavlovian like you do every time you hear his name? What would you think if I was apeshit over… give me the name of some big female star today.”
“Um… Miley Cyrus?”
“Ugh. No. How about… Scarlett Johansson? What if I carried on like you do? What would happen? Listen, I know what would happen. You’d punch me.”
I nod. “Most likely, yes.”
“That doesn’t strike you as bullshit, like a massive double-standard?”
I take another bite of my dinner and nod. “It’s totally a double-standard.”
“How is that acceptable?”
Well, that is a puzzler.
I quietly reflect for a moment while I work it all out. I snap my fingers. “Got it! It’s because for every dollar a man makes, a woman typically makes seventy-seven cents. Those twenty-three disparate cents are our justification.”
“So what you’re telling me is because of pay inequality, you’re allowed to ogle Channing Tatum as though you were a Teamster on a construction site?”
“Yep. Those twenty-three cents allow us to say whatever we want. That disparity is what I call the Channing Tatum Tax.”
This statement leaves him speechless, as well it should.
Now, when’s Magic Mike on again?