Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu in Hustlers(Alison Cohen Rosa/STX Financing LLC) The opposite of slut-shaming: ‘female empowerment’ through stripping and hustling
Blame Madonna that media praise for the movie Hustlers defends female exploitation as female empowerment. But Hustlers has shallower roots than any Madonna film or music video. It’s a piece of unoriginal indoctrination, pushing the new vengeful wave of self-promotional, misandrist feminism. (The Kitchen and Widows recently peddled the same.)
Every scene in this caper-voyeur flick lays out the greedy, heartless schemes run by a group of NYC strippers led by Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), Destiny (Constance Wu), Mercedes (Keke Palmer), Annabelle (Lili Reinhart) and Diamond (Cardi B). They become drug dealers and extortionists to Wall Street businessmen while whining about the 2008 financial crisis. Exploiting themselves to exploit the men who exploit them is tautology that makes sense only to feminist ideologues and Hollywood panderers.
Despite Millennial blather about female agency and economic equality, Hustlers is in a familiar line of post-Madonna Hollywood procurement fantasies. Each woman’s sob story about abuse and resentment brought me back to a 1990 incident: A middle-aged female friend interrupted a group of adolescent girls fawning over Julia Roberts