I grew up in an era where the term, gentrification was still nonexistent. I grew up in a time where if you liked the opposite sex, you were gay. You weren’t seen as pan-sexual. I grew up in a time where we women were told to act like ladies and not tramps. I grew up in the old 90’s where we were only exposed to certain things and social media was nonexistent. What the news told us was “accurate”. Spike Lee regenerating this 80’s film into a Netflix series special has been a great decision. It allowed men and primarily women to converse on sexuality, sexual liberation, body issues, gentrification, self-worth, and more. Here are some of the ways this show was powerfully done and was an aide in a way to this generation.
The Major Problem with Cat Calling
In the series, we saw our lead character Nola Darling discussing her distaste for cat-calling. I don’t care what anyone says, don’t do it. It is harassment and it is offensive to say “ayo light skin, you gotta man… F*CK YOU THEN C*NT” Being a woman should not mean we have to deal with constant harassment in our everyday life. Nola stood up to her harasser and he placed his hands on her. Grabbing her by the arm, she ran away frightened. Creating this wall up with her and those intimately around her. She launched a street art protest to catcalling and it brought her some unwanted attention. This shined a light on what is a real fear for women. One day our cat caller becoming aggressive with us.
The Effects of Gentrification Towards the Community
Gentrification is a term we are hearing everywhere. If you don’t understand why it is a major problem, then take a couple of seats. Imagine growing up in your community. Imagine growing up and seeing the same candy shop, bodega, or environment your entire life. You envisioned it right? Now, imagine some white suits coming to tell you all you have loved growing up is being demolished for high-end condos and overpriced juice joints. I recently had a conversation about gentrification with some friends. Their thought process was that the family should’ve prepared for the changing of times. How can you ever prepare for your entire life to be pushed out because someone sold the building (sometimes without your knowledge) to be built for a more upper middle class demographic? Latin, Black, Asain, and Brown communities are being affected heavily by this. These newcomers come in and instead of respecting their environment, they want to change it to fit their standards. So transplants, respect your environment and the people who have created its history. Know your place!
Women Not Being Ashamed of Themselves
Nola had three guys plus a girl (spoiler alert) and she didn’t allow anyone to call her a freak. Nola was allowed to be herself and her girlfriends expressed nothing but jealousy for having three fine men. She smoked weed when she was stressed. She wore a tight dress to express a point that no one has a say on what belongs on her body. She even cut off anyone if they didn’t fit into her lifestyle. Now, homegirl wasn’t perfect but she embraced herself to the fullest. Something that we forget to do as women. We allow ourselves feel ashamed of the littlest things. If we bought a dress instead of saving that money. If we go on one too many dates instead of settling on one loser. Again, I blame society and the way it taught women to feel ashamed. Nola Darling and her adventures taught me that being a woman is a tough job. Being a woman in the arts is no walk in the park either. But, I am glad this show was revamped for modern times.
If you haven’t watched She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix, please check it out.