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bell hooks discussion

I found bell hooks to be really interesting, and I think that she is an incredibly intelligent woman. I feel like she was never really bias, and that she truly thought of things from a much deeper level than most people. I liked how she would talk about something and than there would be a clip along with it that would give us a visual example. After listening to her talk and than watching the clip everything she said was so blatantly true. For example, she discussed how the African American male’s body was sexualized, and than there was the clip from the movie “kids? (which by the way looks like one of the worst movies ever), where there were close-ups of the shirtless young African American boys. It was done in a similar fashion as the way women are filmed with the close-ups of their faces and body parts. The person viewing this scene is totally bombarded with images of the body rather than images that have to do with the story.

I found a lot of what she said in her film to be really true, and often quite disturbing. Her ideas about the portrayal of race were really enlightening to me. I guess when I have watched films with an all African American cast I never thought about how the directors, producers and all the other people behind the scenes were white and probably mostly male. I have watched movies like “Waiting to Exhale,? and I thought that this was a film from an African American female filmmaker’s perspective. Now I know that I can’t just assume that just because the entire cast is African American the movie represents real African American people’s views and lives. Obviously everyone is different, no matter what color their skin is, but I just found this whole discussion really interesting. One can see how maybe the glass ceiling works when bell talked about Spike Lee and his career. It was an interesting point she made about his work being criticized in the press all the time, when he is the most successful African America filmmaker. Another interesting point made was how the African American Woman’s body is displayed in rap videos and films. The woman is usually very thin, light skinned and has straight, silky hair. I thought about it, and I couldn’t think of many famous African American women in the media with dark skin and curly hair. These are things that most people don’t even think about. African American women are completely objectified in rap videos.

I was still a little confused about her term “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.? I looked at the posting on the blog of glossary terms and that helped (thanks). This term totally makes sense, and I think it’s true. Everything in our media is completely controlled by white men. In the film, they showed all the record labels that have rap artists signed to them. All these labels, and production companies are run by the white male. However, the rappers often play into these roles because they get so much money for it. In the end, money is what matters most. It’s so disturbing to think about how our entire culture is largely created by rich, wealthy men. Not only do they control our government, but our pop culture and media too. I agree with bell hooks in that today, the movies have a huge, direct influence in our culture. It was interesting when she talked about how white, suburban boys who may not even know any African Americans watch rap videos and get this idea of what an African American woman and man are like. They might start dressing like a rapper and listening to rap music and think they know everything about African American culture.


I was still a little confused about her term “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.? I looked at the posting on the blog of glossary terms and that helped (thanks). This term totally makes sense, and I think it’s true. Everything in our media is completely controlled by white men. In the film, they showed all the record labels that have rap artists signed to them. All these labels, and production companies are run by the white male. However, the rappers often play into these roles because they get so much money for it. In the end, money is what matters most. It’s so disturbing to think about how our entire culture is largely created by rich, wealthy men. Not only do they control our government, but our pop culture and media too. I agree with bell hooks in that today, the movies have a huge, direct influence in our culture. It was interesting when she talked about how white, suburban boys who may not even know any African Americans watch rap videos and get this idea of what an African American woman and man are like. They might start dressing like a rapper and listening to rap music and think they know everything about African American culture.

Comments

In my opinion, bel hooks can be a little biased. One of the problems I had with the film were some of her examples. I didn't quite agree with her argument that the females in "Kids" didn't have a voice. She felt like the scene where the girls are talking openly with each other about sex and themselves was an unrealistic, faux-documentary scene that didn't really work. I've seen "Kids" a few times and I have never interpreted that scene in that way. I think the scene works and that weakens her argument. I respect bell but sometimes I feel like her evidence isn't strong enough to support her arguments. It's relatively easy for someone to interpret a message in a film to fit with what s/he wants to prove.

I totally agree that it is completely disturbing to think about how our culture is largely created by rich, wealthy men. When people watch movies, especially young men in today's society, see how women in movies are being treated, or put on display, they begin to think it is ok, or normal. They let the media and films paint in their heads an image of how they should treat women. Seeing how women are put on display in films directly influences our culture and peoples views of how women should be treated.

I completely agree with you when you bring up the point about African
American women in rap videos. Throughout bell hooks video that was the one thing i found most interesting and something i watch all the time but never really looked into it that far and you bring up an interesting point that i forgot bell hook even brought up about rarely seeing a women with dark skin and curly hair in the media. I enjoyed your post!

First off great post. There are two things that come to my mind after reading this, like the last person who posted I agree with yours and Bell Hooks' point about African American women in rap videos. After hearing her say that it stuck in my head for the whole weekend so much so that Saturday night I was with my girlfriend watching popular rap videos. After watching about 10 of them Bell Hooks is completely right. Rarely would you see a very dark skinned black woman. Now my other thing I would like to say to you is that I hope the few clips from "Kids" doesn't scare you away from watching the film because I will admit first hand the clips that they showed does not make this film look appealing at all. It is hard for me to call it a good or bad film, but it is one film that I know will never forgot. It left me thinking for days. Maybe you will end up giving it a chance.

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I've found this topic to become actually something which I think I would never understand.