Just finished watching She's Gotta Have It on Netflix and all I can think is that there are too many black feminists on twitter for this to be a thing. How did this happen? Again? Do people really not read bell hooks? Does Hollywood really not know how fucked up the shit they are making is? Look, I've read shit. I know that this show is another great example of hegemony replacing itself. I know that Hollywood is great at feeding people crumbs. They have mastered the act of presenting women living unhealthy lifestyles as women having autonomy and agency. I know that they are great at appeasing black folks a little so that way they won’t complain to much. Or so that if they do complain they can just pinpoint to the “progress” we are making.
I understand. I do. I'm just tired of television disappointing me! Let’s start with my biggest pet peeve about the show. The whole thing was about how the main character, Nola Darling, had 3 men in her life who saw her differently. Each of them wanted to possess her but didn’t see the “real” her. Through the series she ends up fighting them on this, seemingly placing herself first. It seems like it would be a nice enlightening feminist show. Wrong! She never tries to explain herself to them ever. If they said something fucked up or sexist she would leave and not talk about it. She never talked about how she felt. Not even with her therapist. She has serious issues going on but they are downplayed and portrayed as feminist.
What could have been an uplifting and inspiring ended up being another show that pigeonholed black women as unlovable, angry, always dissatisfied, and inferior. Her friendship squad is filled with judgmental females just like her. I say judgmental because they never support each other. Most of their interactions ends with them condemning each other for their choices. If there is love there I missed it.
Each episode she does this thing where she’s like, I am liberated because I have sex with multiple men and women. If they don’t like it, fuck them! I am an independent black woman. And each episode I waited and waited for her to do something liberatory. She never does. Her career, family life, friendships, and romantic relationships remain stagnant. There’s no personal growth. So it’s weird that people are writing the show off as this woke masterpiece. What I do see are reviews listing the fact that Spike Lee directed and wrote this along with other women and then going on to explain how great the show is. Apparently women can’t write bullshit reflecting the patriarchy! I'm taking a stand. I can't deal with these nonsense reviews saying the show is about black women gaining agency and autonomy when it’s obvious that she does anything but that.
I’m sick and tired of shows like this. I’m sick tired of these stupid ass slave movies Hollywood keeps making. I’m tired of living my life without a black Stranger Thing’s or a black Game of Thrones or a black Black Mirror. And I’m only 23! Am I going to have to live my life like this? Never seeing proper representation done well?