Hooks states, "Like many females in Lee's audience, I have found his representations of women in general, and black women in particular, to be consistently stereotypical and one-dimensional" (555).Supported by a litany of films that back this theory up such as Sexism is the familiar construction that links [Spike Lee's] films to all the other Hollywood dramas folks see.
Hooks states, "Like many females in Lee's audience, I have found his representations of women in general, and black women in particular, to be consistently stereotypical and one-dimensional" (555).Supported by a litany of films that back this theory up such as Sexism is the familiar construction that links [Spike Lee's] films to all the other Hollywood dramas folks see.Tags: Online Newspaper ResearchEssay Talent ShowBusiness Plan For AppsCollege Student EssayCause And Effect College EssayEssay Grade Level CheckerHomework CouponGood Introduction For A Research Paper
In particular, Sophia, Malcolm's white seductress and Betty Shabazz, Malcolm's black wife, are fixtures assembled to fulfill stereotypical roles of white temptress and black domesticity.
However, Lee's orientation of female dichotomies, Sophia and Betty, ultimately limits his ability to fully explore and realize the historical depth of Malcolm X.
Although introduced within the first thirteen minutes of the movie, as bell hooks recognizes, Lee spends almost half of the film focusing upon Malcolm's relationship with "white" Sophia (557).
When Sophia is on screen, Malcolm is in a state of mental squalor; her presence is the thematic thread of greed that runs through the fabric of the films narrative.
Malcolm further proclaims that his mother's attitude "had a profound affect on me because most of our sisters have been raped or violated by the white man.
So the black man can't wait to get his hands on the white man's pride, the white woman." This concept of reestablishing blackness through ownership of white women is clearly stated in this scene but visually depicted during "Sophia's story." Although Malcolm does not directly tell Sophia he is exploiting her in order to reclaim ownership of his black manhood, his actions indicate otherwise. Betty Shabazz is the model of female domesticity.Introduced as a woman who teaches "home arts" and nutrition within the Nation of Islam, Betty is emblematic of Malcolm's shift from hustler to political scholar.However, this method proves to be inadequate, for as Lee infers, in order to fully acquire control of his black identity, Malcolm must seek to identify himself without cross-racial comparisons or interactions. Although the Sophia scenes may accurately capture Malcolm's mentality during that time of his life, the role of Sophia throughout the movie operates to equate to the white ownership.Just when the viewer might possibly be alienated by the radical take on issues in a Spike Lee film, some basic sexist nonsense will appear on the screen to entertain, to provide comic relief, to comfort audiences by letting them know that the normal way of dong things is not fully challenged.(hooks 556) Hooks posits that Lee "goes all Hollywood" and conforms to hegemonic standards in order to maintain some level of voyeuristic normalcy., the female characters function as fixed figures positioned to illuminate the evolution of Malcolm X's black masculinity. Stevens, Lee "fuses notions of blackness with his picture of manhood by constructing an idealized femininity that functions most significantly as a prop for masculinity" (294).Moreover, Lee presents women as static polar images, either prostitute or virgin, in order to project an authentic manifestation of Malcolm X's black personhood.Throughout the film, Sophia (Kate Vernon) functions as the yardstick by which Malcolm's developing consciousness can be measured.Sophia becomes the location of temptation, greed, "hustling," and a lack of consciousness.