Pillars of Affective Strength

The women in Do The Right Thing are so stereotyped that their supposed allegories  dominate their identity to the point where character development is loss. Characters such as Mother Sister, Jade, and Tina (Mookie’s baby mama) all signify both stereotypes of women of color and work as prophetic storytellers for the men in their lives. Their dialogues and roles revolve around typical preconceived notions of women, meaning these women are usually forgiving, caring, and committed to the men and children in their life. Following these stereotypes up, these women also fulfill preconceived notions of women of color: they are bold in speech, strong, and stubborn. They especially exemplify these qualities when they are around the men in their lives. Mother Sister is always strong and stubborn with Da Mayor, Tina is always stubborn and bold with Mookie, and Jade is also always bold and stubborn with Mookie. The women offer interesting and different perspectives to their male counterparts but they are always seeped in “women of color stereotypes” that sometimes make their commentary less effective in message. For example, Tina will be screaming at Mookie so much that the viewer will pay less attention to what she is saying and more to her outward emotional appearance.

This could perhaps be the point though, that what they say is not so important as how they say it. I think Spike Lee likes the “aesthetics” of black women and finds a special comfort in their strength, how they don’t take nonsense from anyone. So much so that he wrote Mother Sister, Jade, and Tina’s roles for the purpose of providing specific kind of emotional support for the men in their lives.

 

 

Advertisements

Author: Dani

Film enthusiast. Firm believer that Spike Lee is the most cerebral filmmaker post Hitchcock.

1 thought on “Pillars of Affective Strength”

  1. I completely agree with you that Spike Lee intentionally includes these female characters who abide by the women of color stereotypes. But I find it just as disturbing that some of these characteristics is what we hope to see in women: headstrong, outspoken, opinionated etc. Yet, the fact that even women with these characteristics are somehow shut down in this movie with the way Spike Lee portrays the ineffectiveness of their role in male lives only undermines what they actually intend to represent. It is almost like Spike Lee gives them power, but then just as easily takes it away.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s