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bell hooks

First of all, I like how bell hooks is never capitalized. I suspect that is done deliberately...
Anyways, the interview with bell hooks was incredibly enlightening. The term she uses, "White Supremacist,, Capitalist Patriarchy" sums up through which lens she believes one should analyze media. As consumers and target audiences, we often times take things at face value. We need to understand the deliberateness in which media is produced: by whom, for whom and why. Often times, media is produced to reinforce the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy which is the reality of our mainstream society. First is to be aware of this, to be "enlightened witnesses," then we need to dismantle it by critical analyzing. White Supremacy is a current state of our society and media that seems outdated, but hooks reminds us it is not, through examples of how blackness is used as a resource deployed by white people for their advantage.

This concept is used in the film "Waiting to Exhale," which was produced by white people using the coolness of blackness as a marketable resource. A black person creating media cannot pass through without using white guidelines of what is right. (Spike Lee is critiqued much more harshly than others and not given credit for his achievements.)
Capitalism is a system where making as much money as possible is central to its values. We need to remember that media, the movie industry specifically for this discussion, is just that: an industry. Creating something that makes money. It takes part in the capitalist system and will use whatever ways possible to gain as much profits as possible. Hooks illustrates to us that Madonna clearly takes part in this system by jumping on whatever latest trend makes her the most money. Whether that be playing the innocent girl, a sexy helpless woman, or even playing a feminist.
And lastly, Patriarchy is a social construct positioning males at the top, in control and with the authority. In media, Patriarchy is reinforced by having males at the center of the plot, seen most on screen and speaking the most lines. Hooks points out that in the movie, "Kids," the girls are often seen but not heard.
These three terms put together give us an understanding of how we need to be analyzing movies, according to bell hooks.


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