Archive | feminism RSS for this section

Jenny & Marina’s First Kiss From The L Word Lesbian Television Series.

I miss the L Word, it was a groundbreaking show about lesbians falling in love in Los Angeles.

I love the L Word it is a superior show than Queer As Folk. I felt the L Word was more authentic to me, more real even though it was a television show. Queer As Folk, I didn’t like it due to the underlining issues of racism and the lack of minority characters on the show.

I thought the L Word was a sexy, hot show, and this clip is hot! I don’t understand the complaints about the actresses being feminine? Why can’t a television show have feminine lesbians? There was one butch character on the L Word Shane and she is a complex and interesting character.

In this clip, Jenny is drawn to Marina, but she is confused about her sexuality. Marina seduces Jenny in the bathroom kissing her passionately on the lips.

Later on in the first season, Jenny realizes she is a lesbian and she dumps her boyfriend. The L Word was on Showtime in the United States for six season and got cancelled in 2009. We really need a new television show about lesbians. Some people complained that the L Word wasn’t racially diverse enough, although there were some women of colour characters such as Papi, Tasha, and Carmen.

Other people said the L Word was stereotypical in the sense that the cast was glamorous. However, since when is television supposed to reflect real life? Don’t most people want to see attractive and beautiful people fall in love? I like the L Word despite the flaws because it was nice to see a show specifically about lesbians. Often, lesbians are invisible in the gay community, and the L Word provided a space specifically for women. I also learned some things about the lesbian community watching the show. I only own season 4 of the L Word on DVD but I plan to buy the box set of the series.

Is The Character Olivia Pope On TV Show Scandal Just The White Man’s Whore?

I agree with the black lady’s You Tube critique of the hit ABC show Scandal that the character Olivia Pope is the white man’s whore. I understand, that a lot of black women love Scandal because it is the first show since 1974 to have a black lady in the lead. Olivia Pope isn’t a mammy or a maid which is often a popular representation of a black woman on television. Remember, Nell Carter’s 1980s hit show Gimme A Break? Carter’s character was a maid for a white middle class family.

A common image of a black woman on television is to be mammy the black female character is usually overweight, unattractive, a loudmouth, and of course asexual. On another ABC show Grey’s Anatomy, Chandra Wilson’s character Dr. Bailey is a mammy she doesn’t really have a life of her own. Dr. Bailey is tough but she’s also very loving and nurturing she conforms to the black mammy stereotype.

Scandal is different from Gimme A Break and Grey’s Anatomy because Kerry Washington is a very attractive black woman she’s presenting a more feminine image of a black woman. Washington’s character on Scandal Olivia Pope is intelligent, sexy, and she gets to wear fancy clothes. However, beneath the surface, there are some subliminal messages that I find unsettling.

Scandal presents another stereotype of the black woman, the oversexed black whore. There seems to be no in between for black female characters on television they are either maids, a mammy, or a whore.

First, the relationship between Olivia Pope and President Grant is based on lust and sex that’s it. The You Tube critique is correct, Olivia Pope is the white man’s whore because she isn’t getting what she wants which is a loving relationship where is treated like an equal. One argument is, Scandal is a television show so why can’t black characters be flawed just like white characters? There is some veracity to this argument that black characters do not need to be noble saints.

However, given the fact there are very negative stereotypes about black women in pop culture in relation to sexuality Scandal simply engenders and reinforces these representations of black women.

Second, Olivia Pope sleeps with the President but she’s not his wife she’s his side chick, she’s the mistress, the jump off but she’s not his wife. Olivia Pope is never going to be more than the president’s whore that’s all she is. President Grant gets to have sex with Olivia and go back to his wife Mellie and have sex with her too. President Grant is getting what he wants a lot of sex without the commitment from Olivia Pope.

I don’t think Olivia Pope is like Sally Hemmings, but I do believe there is a strong power imbalance in the relationship.
Shonda Rhimes the executive producer of Scandal is also a black woman but she doesn’t have a problem making Olivia Pope so weak, fragile, and vulnerable.

Third, Scandal isn’t a positive image of a black woman because it depicts the black woman as being licentious and all about sex. The interracial relationship is hidden from the public’s view it is treated as though it is a secret not something that people should respect. Yes, certain characters are aware of the interracial affair but the general public do not. The fact that the interracial relationship is a secret simply magnifies the fact it is considered negative and bad.

I believe the interracial element to Scandal is indeed it is still taboo for a black woman to have an affair with a powerful white man. The Scandal is indeed the interracial relationship it is considered dirty, dangerous, and could be disastrous.

Where is Olivia Pope’s dignity? Doesn’t Olivia have enough self respect to break off a relationship with a man who clearly doesn’t love her?

I am aware that Olivia Pope did have a black male love interest in the second season but the black senator was an old man. The black male love interest wasn’t someone who could have become a serious threat to President Grant.

Hopefully, as Scandal progresses Shonda Rhimes will allow Olivia Pope to become more independent from President Grant but I doubt it. The audience seems to like Olivia Pope being the white man’s whore which is sad. Scandal isn’t progressive the program depicts black women as loose sluts willing to drop their panties for powerful white men.

Liberal Party In Province Of Ontario Chooses Kathleen Wynne First Female & Lesbian Premier!!!!

Wow, this is wonderful, the Liberal leadership race is over and former education minister Kathleen Wynne is now Ontario’s first female and lesbian premier! Wynne is open about her lesbianism it not the core of her identity but it is simply a part of her.

During Wynne’s victory speech, she thanked her partner Jane for her support and got a huge applause from the audience. It might not seem to be a big deal that Wynne is Ontario’s first lesbian premier but it is a breakthrough for the gay and lesbian community in Canadian politics. It means that the Liberal Party sees Wynne as someone they can count on and people are truly progressive and open minded.

Wynne is a solid leader and it is very encouraging that  the province of Ontario continues to move towards modernity.

Christina Aguilera Is Back Official New Feminist Video Your Body!!!

After Christina Aguilera’s  last album Bionic bombed two years ago some people thought she was finished. I thought Bionic was a solid album I was stunned that if quickly fell off the Billboard music charts.  However, the NBC talent show The Voice has helped keep Aguilera in the spotlight. Now, Aguilera’s new album Lotus will be released in November. The first single from Lotus, Your Body is doing well and climbing the Billboard charts.

The beginning of the video is funny there is a public service announcement that no men were harmed.

According to some critics, since Christina is a mother and over the age of thirty she needs to tone down her sexuality. However, I think this form of sexism is nonsense, Christina is a grown woman and she has a right to sing about sex.

Your Body is a feminist song, because Christina is taking control and liberating herself by having sex on her own terms.

In the Your Body music video, Christina is reclaiming her sexuality and singing about a one night stand and enjoying sex. Since men can enjoy sex and sing about one night stands why can’t a woman? I don’t see the big deal, women have a right to enjoy sex just like men. Isn’t it a powerful statement for a young female entertainer to speak frankly about her sexuality? I think this video is powerful because Christina is not being shy she loves sex.

Feminist Writer Peggy McIntosh Incendiary 1988 Essay White Privilege Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

“I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”

Peggy McIntosh

Through work to bring materials from women’s studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are overprivileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged. They may say they will work to women’s statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s. Denials that amount to taboos surround the subject of advantages that men gain from women’s disadvantages. These denials protect male privilege from being fully acknowledged, lessened, or ended.

Thinking through unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon, I realized that, since hierarchies in our society are interlocking, there was most likely a phenomenon of while privilege that was similarly denied and protected. As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.

I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools , and blank checks.

Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable. As we in women’s studies work to reveal male privilege and ask men to give up some of their power, so one who writes about having white privilege must ask, “having described it, what will I do to lessen or end it?”

After I realized the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious. Then I remembered the frequent charges from women of color that white women whom they encounter are oppressive. I began to understand why we are just seen as oppressive, even when we don’t see ourselves that way. I began to count the ways in which I enjoy unearned skin privilege and have been conditioned into oblivion about its existence.

My schooling gave me no training in seeing myself as an oppressor, as an unfairly advantaged person, or as a participant in a damaged culture. I was taught to see myself as an individual whose moral state depended on her individual moral will. My schooling followed the pattern my colleague Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow “them” to be more like “us.”

Return to the top of the page

Daily effects of white privilege

I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.

1. I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time.

2. I can avoid spending time with people whom I was trained to mistrust and who have learned to mistrust my kind or me.

3. If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.

4. I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.

5. I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed.

6. I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely represented.

7. When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.

8. I can be sure that my children will be given curricular materials that testify to the existence of their race.

9. If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.

10. I can be pretty sure of having my voice heard in a group in which I am the only member of my race.

11. I can be casual about whether or not to listen to another person’s voice in a group in which s/he is the only member of his/her race.

12. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods which fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

13. Whether I use checks, credit cards or cash, I can count on my skin color not to work against the appearance of financial reliability.

14. I can arrange to protect my children most of the time from people who might not like them.

15. I do not have to educate my children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection.

16. I can be pretty sure that my children’s teachers and employers will tolerate them if they fit school and workplace norms; my chief worries about them do not concern others’ attitudes toward their race.

17. I can talk with my mouth full and not have people put this down to my color.

18. I can swear, or dress in second hand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty or the illiteracy of my race.

19. I can speak in public to a powerful male group without putting my race on trial.

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world’s majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the “person in charge”, I will be facing a person of my race.

25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children’s magazines featuring people of my race.

27. I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out-of-place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance or feared.

28. I can be pretty sure that an argument with a colleague of another race is more likely to jeopardize her/his chances for advancement than to jeopardize mine.

29. I can be pretty sure that if I argue for the promotion of a person of another race, or a program centering on race, this is not likely to cost me heavily within my present setting, even if my colleagues disagree with me.

30. If I declare there is a racial issue at hand, or there isn’t a racial issue at hand, my race will lend me more credibility for either position than a person of color will have.

31. I can choose to ignore developments in minority writing and minority activist programs, or disparage them, or learn from them, but in any case, I can find ways to be more or less protected from negative consequences of any of these choices.

32. My culture gives me little fear about ignoring the perspectives and powers of people of other races.

33. I am not made acutely aware that my shape, bearing or body odor will be taken as a reflection on my race.

34. I can worry about racism without being seen as self-interested or self-seeking.

35. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.

36. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it had racial overtones.

37. I can be pretty sure of finding people who would be willing to talk with me and advise me about my next steps, professionally.

38. I can think over many options, social, political, imaginative or professional, without asking whether a person of my race would be accepted or allowed to do what I want to do.

39. I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race.

40. I can choose public accommodation without fearing that people of my race cannot get in or will be mistreated in the places I have chosen.

41. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.

42. I can arrange my activities so that I will never have to experience feelings of rejection owing to my race.

43. If I have low credibility as a leader I can be sure that my race is not the problem.

44. I can easily find academic courses and institutions which give attention only to people of my race.

45. I can expect figurative language and imagery in all of the arts to testify to experiences of my race.

46. I can chose blemish cover or bandages in “flesh” color and have them more or less match my skin.

47. I can travel alone or with my spouse without expecting embarrassment or hostility in those who deal with us.

48. I have no difficulty finding neighborhoods where people approve of our household.

49. My children are given texts and classes which implicitly support our kind of family unit and do not turn them against my choice of domestic partnership.

50. I will feel welcomed and “normal” in the usual walks of public life, institutional and social.

Return to the top of the page

Elusive and fugitive

I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down. For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy. If these things are true, this is not such a free country; one’s life is not what one makes it; many doors open for certain people through no virtues of their own.

In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily experience that I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive.

I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a patter of assumptions that were passed on to me as a white person. There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turn, and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any move I was educated to want to make. I could think of myself as belonging in major ways and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.

In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.

For this reason, the word “privilege” now seems to me misleading. We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower certain groups. Such privilege simply confers dominance because of one’s race or sex.

Return to the top of the page

Earned strength, unearned power

I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength and unearned power conferred privilege can look like strength when it is in fact permission to escape or to dominate. But not all of the privileges on my list are inevitably damaging. Some, like the expectation that neighbors will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in court, should be the norm in a just society. Others, like the privilege to ignore less powerful people, distort the humanity of the holders as well as the ignored groups.

We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies. For example, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, should not be seen as privilege for a few. Ideally it is an unearned entitlement. At present, since only a few have it, it is an unearned advantage for them. This paper results from a process of coming to see that some of the power that I originally say as attendant on being a human being in the United States consisted in unearned advantage and conferred dominance.

I have met very few men who truly distressed about systemic, unearned male advantage and conferred dominance. And so one question for me and others like me is whether we will be like them, or whether we will get truly distressed, even outraged, about unearned race advantage and conferred dominance, and, if so, what we will do to lessen them. In any case, we need to do more work in identifying how they actually affect our daily lives. Many, perhaps most, of our white students in the United States think that racism doesn’t affect them because they are not people of color; they do not see “whiteness” as a racial identity. In addition, since race and sex are not the only advantaging systems at work, we need similarly to examine the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethnic advantage, or physical ability, or advantage related to nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.

Difficulties and angers surrounding the task of finding parallels are many. Since racism, sexism, and heterosexism are not the same, the advantages associated with them should not be seen as the same. In addition, it is hard to disentangle aspects of unearned advantage that rest more on social class, economic class, race, religion, sex, and ethnic identity that on other factors. Still, all of the oppressions are interlocking, as the members of the Combahee River Collective pointed out in their “Black Feminist Statement” of 1977.

One factor seems clear about all of the interlocking oppressions. They take both active forms, which we can see, and embedded forms, which as a member of the dominant groups one is taught not to see. In my class and place, I did not see myself as a racist because I was taught to recognize racism only in individual acts of meanness by members of my group, never in invisible systems conferring unsought racial dominance on my group from birth.

Disapproving of the system won’t be enough to change them. I was taught to think that racism could end if white individuals changed their attitude. But a “white” skin in the United States opens many doors for whites whether or not we approve of the way dominance has been conferred on us. Individual acts can palliate but cannot end, these problems.

To redesign social systems we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political surrounding privilege are the key political tool here. They keep the thinking about equality or equity incomplete, protecting unearned advantage and conferred dominance by making these subject taboo. Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.

It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage, like obliviousness about male advantage, is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already.

Although systemic change takes many decades, there are pressing questions for me and, I imagine, for some others like me if we raise our daily consciousness on the perquisites of being light-skinned. What will we do with such knowledge? As we know from watching men, it is an open question whether we will choose to use unearned advantage, and whether we will use any of our arbitrarily awarded power to try to reconstruct power systems on a broader base.

Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley Collage Center for Research on Women. This essay is excerpted from Working Paper 189. “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies” (1988), by Peggy McIntosh; available for $10.00 from the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, Wellesley MA 02181 The working paper contains a longer list of privileges.

This excerpted essay is reprinted from the Winter 1990 issue of Independent School.

Return to the top of the page

Is Halle Berry’s Decline In Hollywood Just Proof Hollywood Is Racist & Sexist Against Black Women?

  

Ten years ago,  Halle Berry was on the top of the world she made history by becoming the first  black woman to win the Oscar for  best actress for Monster’s Ball.   A decade  later Halle Berry’s career is currently in the toilet she is struggling just to get work. Berry’s victory in 2002 was supposed to open the door for women of colour in Hollywood.   High profile black actresses Vanessa Williams, Queen Latifah, and Angela Bassett all turned down the female lead in Monster’s Ball. In fact, in 2002, Angela Bassett told Newsweek Magazine  that Berry’s character Leticia Musgrove was a  “prostitute”.

It might be difficult for people who are not black to understand the anger and disappointment blacks had with Halle Berry. There was a  huge uproar and backlash against Berry for appearing in Monster’s Ball. Berry was criticized by many blacks  and her popularity with black audiences declined dramatically. A common complaint among blacks is blunt, why did the first black woman to win best actress have to screw a white man in order to win? Would Hollywood allow Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, Charlize Theron, or Jennifer Aniston to have an explicit sex scene with a black man and win an Academy Award?

Many black people objected to the explicit sex scene Berry had with white actor Billy Bob Thorton because they felt the film promoted the licentious black whore stereotype. When Berry’s character Leticia Musgrove screamed the line “make me feel good” baring her breasts and nude body this upset many African-Americans.

The Monster’s Ball sex scene also alludes to white male dominance over black women and to the horrors of slavery where black females were raped by white men.

The pornographic scene in Monster’s Ball was similar to a rape scene and not a loving or romantic film scene.

Black women are consistently stereotyped as being lascivious, and sexually available for the disposal of men.  Young black female pop stars such as Rihanna and Beyonce promote the black jezebel image with their sexually explicit music videos!  Turn on  MTV, BET, or Much Music, and the viewer will see young black women dancing seductively in tight clothing  this promotes a disturbing negative image of black females.

Why didn’t Angela Bassett win the Oscar for her incredible performance in the  1993 Tina Turner biopic What’s Love Got To Do With It? Why did a black woman have to take her clothes off in order to  win the best actress Oscar? Was Berry character Leticia Musgrove the jezebel?

In the 1982, the groundbreaking black feminist classic book All The Women Are White, All The Blacks Are Men, But Some Of Us Are Brave,  black feminists argues black women are still placed into sexist categories. A black actress is either the maid, or the whore, but  she is never depicted on the silver screen as a three dimensional human being. Where are the movies with black women in leading roles as doctors, teachers, police women, firefighters, writers, lawyers, politicians, bankers, or dentists?

Last year, the  success of  summer hit The Help received some negative press in the black community because of the black mammy stereotype. Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help is considered a feminist classic by mainstream white feminists. However, in the novel and the film the central theme of the novel  is about Skeeter a young white woman’s evolution and change. The black female characters Minny, and Aibileen are just shadows to Skeeter.

Octavia Spencer won the best supporting actress Oscar for The Help but there was apathetic support in the black community.  The reason is, despite Spencer’s strong performance in The Help she won an Oscar for being a white woman’s maid! Spencer’s best supporting actress win is not progress because it proves Hollywood is still incredibly racist against black actors.

Over seventy years ago, another black actress Hattie McDaniel also won an Oscar for being a maid in the racist film Gone With The Wind. Octavia Spencer’s victory cemented that  fact Hollywood still places black women into restrictive racist and sexist binaries.

Meanwhile, ten years after Halle Berry’s victory she was unable to capitalize off  her success. Time will tell if Octavia Spencer can maintain her success after winning the Oscar.  For a short period of time Berry’s career was successful.

In December 2002, Halle starred with British actor Pierce Bronson and the film grossed $431 million dollars worldwide. In 2003, Halle was the star of the horror flick Gothika and the movie was a huge hit earning $141 million worldwide. Halle cemented her A list status by proving she can headline a movie by herself.  However,  in 2004 Berry’s career hit rock bottom with the disappointing performance in the film Catwoman. Despite winning an Academy Award she wasn’t the first choice which was Ashley Judd. Judd turned down the role for Catwoman and Halle won the part.

On various internet websites such as IMDB.COM, some fans were disappointed that a black actress obtained the lead role.  The budget for Catwoman was $100 million dollars but the worldwide box office was only $82 million. The mainstream media attacked Halle for taking on the role. Although Catwoman was a disappointment, white actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, Angelina Jolie also have numerous bombs in their careers.

The dilemma for Halle Berry was,  since she was the only A list black actress any failure was used to justify the myopic belief black actresses are not profitable. However, the truth is Hollywood doesn’t know what do with a beautiful, talented, black actress.

White actresses also have white skin privilege therefore they are allowed more opportunities to obtain leading lady film roles. An A list white actress such as Nicole Kidman can have a series of  bombs yet  she still have the offers for leading lady roles!

Halle Berry’s career as an A list actress was over after Catwoman she never was offered the same kind of roles her white female contemporaries get.

The Hollywood system still favours white women over women of colour and this is a fact. Mainstream magazines such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, New York Times, LA Times, promotes young white actresses over women of colour. Television shows such as E Talk, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, also have a prominent role of  being a representation for white beauty.

Since Hollywood is a racist dream factory, the white woman is still placed on the pedestal as the ultimate beautiful woman. The image of a  woman in the pop culture that is successful, talented, and attractive is still the white female.  Women of colour rarely ever obtain the high-profile film roles despite being as talented, hardworking or beautiful. Halle Berry has complained in numerous media interviews that she receives the scraps the crappy film roles  that an A list white actress doesn’t want.

Although Berry has a legitimate complaint that she is treated unfairly compared to the A list white actresses, she still had better opportunities than any black woman in Hollywood history. Berry was paid $14 million dollars for Catwoman, she also has endorsements with Revlon cosmetics, and she has her own perfume line.

Berry has also made some poor choices she honestly believed after she won the best actress Oscar for Monster’s Ball that she could cross over to white America.

The dilemma for Halle Berry is, although she is half white she still did not connect with a mainstream audience. Berry attempted to reach the mainstream with her roles in films such as Things We Lost In A Fire, Perfect Stranger, Frankie & Alice. Berry’s recent film the pathetic and dismal shark movie Dark Tide failed to reach an audience.

The quandary for Berry is, she is an aging sex symbol although she looks great and is physically fit she is also forty-five years old. Hollywood is a sexist business and  judged by their age and not their talent. Men are allowed to age in Hollywood gracefully. For instance, Denzel Washington is fifty-seven years old yet since he is a male he still has the opportunities to obtain the high-profile film roles. Will Smith is forty-three years old and Jamie Foxx is forty-four yet their careers are more successful than Halle Berry’s career. Although black men encounter racism in Hollywood they still benefit from male privilege because they are men.

All women in Hollywood are treated to the unfair misogynist double standard that they can only be successful for an ephemeral period of time.  Once an actress regardless of her race reaches the magical age of forty the roles start to dry up. Meryl Streep is the exception to the rule but for most actresses regardless of their talent they are replaced by younger actresses.

Since black women encounter discrimination in relation to their race and gender Halle Berry’s decline is incredibly sad. Unfortunately for Berry, Hollywood replaced her with younger black actresses such as Zoe Saldana, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson, and Meagan Good.

Halle Berry’s contemporaries such as Queen Latifah, Vivica A Fox, Taraji P Henson, Sanaa Lathan, and Gabrielle Union are still working. One problem which Halle Berry needs to address if she wants to make a comeback is to make movies which appeal to the black female audience. Tyler Perry is successful because his movies have reached black women which is a lucrative market which mainstream Hollywood tends to ignore. Black women want to see other black women fall in love, have romantic relationships, and appear in exciting and interesting movies. Queen Latifah has not forgotten the black female audience and this is the reason why her career is currently more successful than Halle Berry’s career.

If Halle Berry wants to make a successful comeback she needs to make films which will win back the black female audience. Berry needs to consider making a romantic comedy or a dramatic film which involves romance.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 274 other followers