Claudine – Romantic vs Sexual Deviant

Consider the conversations we’ve had about love object vs sex object and write about how it relates to Claudine. I would like you to read this article, “Six Annoying Women Character Tropes in Black Romantic Comedies,” there is a section that relates to Claudine. I also added an article about The Moynihan Report that provides some background history to period the film was shot. Incorporate the readings from our class, plus our discussions about the above topic with the two articles into your post. Here is a link to the film for those of you who missed the 2nd half

Warning: Before posting, write your thoughts in a word document. Please check for spelling and grammar and read it out loud to make sure your points make sense. If possible have someone read them as well, to make sure your argument/thoughts are clear. Make sure you are presenting your ideas to the best of your ability.

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22 thoughts on “Claudine – Romantic vs Sexual Deviant

  1. “The black woman’s debased sexuality, long amplified on the big screen, comes to the forefront in these films as normative behaviors for black women, generally. These women are not “love objects,” and, given their persistent filmic coding as “over-sexed,” they cannot be perceived as objects of love” -Chapter 3

    I would like to start off with this quote from chapter three. As we were discussing in class about the sex object vs. love object, Claudine in my opinion is leaning more towards the sex object. Even though at the end of the movie she marries the guy, she first had sex with him on the first date! Making her a sex object indeed. This sexual coding for black women in movies is incredible. They are being characterize as a sexual deviants not looking for love just someone for sex and or to take care of their kids. Black women are never portrayed as a romantic heroine only seeking love, sexual activity ALWAYS has to come into play. A black woman solely seeking love and not sex in a movie is rare and almost obsolete. Being a love object is being someone who wants love and tender care. Being a sex object is wanting nothing but sex. Claudine I feel like wants to be a love object where she wants a man in her life, yet they portray her as a sex object by her having sex on the first date. Also her daughter being pregnant at the end is just running the cycle of black women being nothing more than a sex object. The young girl spoke about her baby father being there for her and caring but the mom knew it was nothing more but a repeating cycle of herself.

    The next thing I wanted to address was the stereotype of black women being the, “welfare queen”. Growing up in harlem, I’ve definitely heard this stereotype ALOT. I don’t think it’s fair that black women are the only ones being accused of messing with the system. They’re definitely many white single mothers who have done the same thing, and this is why the government system has changed its welfare system. I agree with the article in which society portrays single black women as needing help. There are many successful black women who definitely do not need help from the government. The media keeps brainwashing society to think only a certain way about certain race groups and it needs to change.

    I like the part in the article where it says black women’s baby father’s are in jail or dead beat. I feel that this is the number one stereotype and assumption there is about the baby father’s of single black women. This stereotype needs to be thrown out the window because it’s ridiculous. Society is making it seem that only black men are hoodlums or dead beat fathers. I know many single white women who are raising their kids on their own, why aren’t they being thrown into this stereotype as well? It’s all because of race division that is still going on today. Also the article discusses how not having a father in the picture, the boys wouldn’t “pull up their pants”. They are basically trying to say that colored women can not control their kids. Which of course is an assumption. But of course in the movie Claudine, James Earl Jones comes into the picture and talks to each kid and someone changes their views or supports them. Especially at the end when the oldest kid was running away from the cops, James was there trying to help him.

    In the book Manatu discusses how white women need to be more aware of what’s going on to black women in society. That as a woman, we need to stick together no matter what race we are. I have to agree with her here, because if the dominant group was more aware of the challenges colored women faced, maybe change will occur at a faster pace rather than the occurring devaluation of colored women in whole.

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    • Theora, this was very well written and it shows you took a lot of time and energy in your posting. Your connection to the articles and the film are also very good. In regards to whether Claudine is a love object or a sex object, I think she is both or at least transitions from a sex object to a love object. I think Claudine always wanted to be a love object but because of her history excepts that she is viewed as a sex object and becomes what everyone sees her as. I agree with you when you reference Manatu’s comments about women supporting each other. I’m not sure you understand the history of Black women and women of color being called colored, there is a long complicated history so I would try to understand it before you consider using it again.

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  2. The film Claudine began somewhat tricky. She is a single parent of six children with different fathers. One can assume that she could be considered as the sex object because she parented children that didn’t have the same parent. One could also assume that she was open with her sexuality and enjoyed sex since she continued to produce children. However, as the movie begins she’s hesitate to date and appears as if she hasn’t dated in a while. Maybe she was learning and trying to start on a new leaf instead of getting with a man and getting pregnant again. Though when she began seeing roop, she jumped into the relationship very quickly. And her kids kept antagonizing her about making sure she doesn’t come out pregnant again. Her kids were very loud, and obnoxious. As a single parent, the film presents how difficult it was for to have much control of her kids. So to me, I was on the fence with putting her in a certain category. She was the sex object because she jumped into relationships very fast and slept with them, she had many kids, lived off welfare and accepted gifts from men. On the other hand, she could be the love object because in reality she utilmatelty wanted love, affection and a secure relationship. Even though her life didn’t start as if she were the love object. Yes she’s on welfare and hides her job but I don’t believe it had anything to with her being some type of love or sex object. She was trying to survive through are hardships and struggles of her life. For the most part, she didn’t use her body to get what she wanted.

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    • Tercy, again I would have liked to see you use the reading to build your argument. Also, it appears as if you didn’t read any of the articles either. But, your empathy towards Claudine as a single mother and a possible love object shows you have a deeper understanding of her. You seem sympathetic to Claudine as a sex object struggling to become a love object. And that Claudine, didnt use her body the same way as Coffy did.

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  3. The character Claudine can be seen as both a love object and a sex object. She is seen as a love object because in the end of the movie she is about to get married, yet she is seen as a sex object because her relationship was only based upon sex in the beginning.In the book African American Women in Cinema, the love and sex object also relate to race. The love object would be considered women with lighter skin while the sex object would be women with darker skin. The love object is seen as desirable and worthy of love while the sex object is not valued as a romantic partner. Claudine also has six children with various men, and she is a single mother therefore she is a sexual being however it often seen as negative. Many times her children tell her that she should not have any more children, or even tell her shes old too old to be sexual.Claudine is also seen as a sex object by the man she is dating in the beginning because she has so many children and there was no man in the picture. Moreover in the movie her sexuality is more explicit, like when she is on the first date and in the bath tub, or whenever she is intimate. In scenes with her children it is as if she would not been seen as sexual. Although Claudine was getting married in the end her wedding was interrupted by police trying to arrest her older son.

    In the article, “Six Annoying Women Character Tropes in Black Romantic Comedies,” Claudine is labeled as a welfare queen which is not mentioned in the book. Claudine is seen as a welfare queen because she uses the system but she also has a job on the side. She is a single mother taking care of six children and at times she can be seen as a matriarch as well because she can be over protective. For example when she looks for the eldest son when he is not home and how she responds to him getting a vasectomy. Also when she finds that her eldest daughter was pregnant she was violent and upset because now she is like her mother in getting pregnant at a young age. She tells her that the baby father is not going to stick around. Claudine as a welfare queen is a stereotype that is still used and talked about today.

    In the Moynihan report there is historical background on poverty and race. When attempting to understand where stereotypes come from it is important t look at the historical circumstances. According to the article there were many single mother headed homes because the justice system was harsher on black men. The article uses Claudine as a reference of how social work was represented at that time. Therefore there may have been women that Claudine represented yet to only depict African American women in a negative light instead of having positive roles also depicted in film is considered one sided. In addition many people internalize the stereotypes as truth or may work hard to not become like the stereotype yet would remain unseen in popular culture.

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    • Sierra, great cross reference of the book and the articles. The Moynihan Report had a serious impact on how Black women were depicted in media and in sociey. Claudine was an attempt to address and possible counter the stereotype of Black women as the “Welfare Queen,” but I believe it also created and continued other stereotypes as Black women as “the other.” Claudine is not really a Jezebel, she has elements of the sex object, but she is definitely not a “Romantic Heroine” either. To this day, young single mothers of color are still fighting the stereotype of being Welfare Queens despite the stats showing there are more young white women on welfare. Although, you made a connection to the reading, use direct quotes from the book. It makes your argument stronger.

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  4. In the film Claudine, Claudine went from sex object to love object. She is a sex object because she has six kids by different men. It seems as if she jumps from man to man based on how close the children are in age. Also, how fast it took her to get intimate with Rupert. They slept together on their first date. In the book Manatau says, how, as presently coded on screen, could black women be seen as feminine love objects? In film, these women are not shown as characters who give themselves time in which to fall in love. Nor are they depicted as allowing men they encounter time or separation such that the imaginative act of “falling in love” can take place; Norma Manatu. African American Women and Sexuality in the Cinema (Kindle Locations 900-902). Kindle Edition. According to Manatau, Claudine should have went out on a few more dates with Rupert before sleeping with him so soon if she wanted to be seen more as a love object verses a sex object. Luckily, Rupert saw her more than just a sexual fling.

    Also, Claudine’s children view her as a sex object. After the date with Rupert and her coming home early in the morning, the children berated and questioned her on what happened that night. They tell her they hope she doesn’t get pregnant and bring another “nigga” to feed. The oldest child, Charles, is worried that Rupert is going to use his mother for sex and discard her like the other guys have done. That is why the kids were reluctant to be nice and get to know Rupert.

    Claudine transforms from exhibiting traits of a sex object to being a love object once Rupert comes in her life. Rupert doesn’t see Claudine as a sex and is interested in Claudine on more than a sexual level. He wants to be in a relationship with her and even tries to get to know her children and build relationships with them. Although Rupert and Claudine experience financial hardships concerning welfare and his check being garnished, in the end Claudine is awarded with marriage and her children finally having a father figure around. The movie goes off with the couple and all six of the children happily walking/running down the street. According to the text, these metamessages, according to Rosen (1973), keep women in check by portraying disastrous consequences for women who seek liberation in their sexuality, and rewards for women who pursue romantic love and marriage. Haskell (1995) makes a not unrelated point. She notes that women are discouraged from expressing their sexual autonomy by on-screen depictions of extreme poverty for those who pursue such liberation. Women who conform to romantic love, on the other hand, are rewarded with hearth and home (Rosen, 1973), social respectability, and protection from destitution and public condemnation (Haskell, 1995; McLean, 1995). Norma Manatu. African American Women and Sexuality in the Cinema (Kindle Locations 801-804). Kindle Edition. Claudine was already living in poverty because of her sexual liberated decisions she made in the past. Now that Rupert is in the picture offering her love, romance, respectability and stability, her life will be much easier now.

    In the article Six Annoying Women Character Tropes in Black Romantic Comedies. Claudine is mentioned as depicting the “welfare queen” stereotype. I understand the stereotype; she is black, with a bunch of kids and is spending up all the government’s money because she is too lazy to work. Well in the film I didn’t see Claudine as a welfare queen. Claudine and her 6 kids lived in a small struggle apartment where she couldn’t even take a shower in her own home because it was too crowded with kids. She ended up taking a bath (with dish detergent) at Rupert’s house. And it seem like she wasn’t getting that much money from welfare. She didn’t have allowance to give her children, rode the bus to work, the kids looked poor. When I think of welfare queen I think of someone balling out of control (having cars, secret houses, expensive electronics, etc.) and receiving money they don’t even need. Claudia and her children were clearly in need (even with the maid job she had to hide).

    According to The Moynihan Black Poverty report, these were the reasons given for why black people were suffering from poverty more than whites: “Several problems create a stubborn tangle that enables poverty to thrive today: Untreated trauma from wars in Vietnam and the Middle East; persistent unemployment; public school systems that offer no vocational training for students who can’t or don’t want to go to college; and a two-tiered justice system that is much harsher on black men.” I believe that causes of poverty goes way deeper than that. What about this country being built on white supremacy and blacks being treated as property, being dehumanized and being viewed as 3/5 of human beings for centuries? When someone tries to refute that with “Well slavery is over. Black people have equal rights now.” But what about racism, institutionalized racism, discrimination and oppression? Those social systems are still thriving in society today with no signs of it ever ending. Of course white people are going to be doing better in society. They cheated and were given a head start in life while blacks had to start 10 steps behind the starting line. Stuff like that isn’t going to change overnight and it may not ever change. I also find it funny that black women are the face of “the welfare queen” stereotype when studies have shown that white women are the #1 receivers of welfare funding. When you are viewed as the social/sexual deviant in society, it is a lot easier for other members of society to believe the negative claims said about you without doing any investigating to see if those claims are actually true or false.

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    • Jasmine, you raised some interesting points that made me think about Rup’s role on Claudine’s transitions. Although, Claudine moves from being a sex object to a love object, she doesnt do it on her own. Its Rupert that serves as a catalyst for her to become a love object when he pursues her beyond their one night stand. Claudine has always been treated as a sex object by the men in her life, Rup was probably the first man to treat her as a love interest. But, when it gets complicated and he doesnt want to deal with the challenges of a woman with six children, he reverts to same pattern of behavior as every man in her life, even her sons. They all abandon her! It is there, that Claudine becomes a sex object again, used and thrown away after the fun is over. Which is what she is used to and expects. Its only when her oldest son champions for her that and Rup comes back around that she once again becomes a love interest, a Romantic heroine.

      The character of Claudine was accurately depicted as a “welfare quee,” which was and still is considered a single mother living off the gov’t, unable or unwilling to work and earn an income. I agree with you that there are several very complicated issues that make this scenario/stereotype much deeper than it looks. Good job!

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  5. I want to say that first off I really liked the movie Claudine, I think the way that the movie portrayed a single woman who was known as the “Welfare Queen” because she had 6 kids. Even with her having the government always checking in on her and having to hide anything that resembles herself to have a job and some type of money she manages to get by. When Claudine does meet Rupert is when everything changes for her. Its almost like she starts living again and finally falls in love with a man who loved her back, they did have an interesting relationship since both of them started together with what I think was different intentions but non the less they stuck together and made their relationship work for themselves which is what mattered. During class we had discussed a love object as: being worthy of romance, non aggressive, nurturing, affectionate, feminine and easy loveable. We also discussed a sex object as being: aggressive, manipulate, lustful, not in relationship, masculine, physical and not worthy of love. In my opinion I feel that Claudine did in fact portray both realms of a sex object and a love object. I feel that she is a love object because she is in fact worthy of love and is very nurturing and I feel that she is a sex object because she is aggressive with what she wants and how she wants it to be done. With the article “Six annoying Women” I feel that the article is exactly what happened in the movie Claudine. Some one who is a good influence comes into the lives of these children and steers them onto something better which is how Rupert is in the movie. I found the article very interesting and worth the read.

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  6. When does a woman expressing her sexual agency become the trope of the Jezebel? Is a Black female character ever allowed to have sex on-screen on her own terms without perpetuate a stereotype? Of course, characters that are posited as sex objects and whose sexuality is exploited for show are both harmful and one-dimensional. However, in deciding that a character who has casual sex is a Jezebel we must make a snap judgment based on oppressive societal rules for appropriate sexual behavior. In class, we discussed the plausibility of Claudine as a sex object. The class decided that Claudine begins the film as a sex object and transitions into a love object because she is initially only interested in a one-night stand and sleeps with Roop on their first date. This argument only works in a heteronormative paradigm of sexual behavior, in which, there is an underlying assumption that the goal of sex is strictly love, or a relationship.

    If we must buy into the dichotomy of sex/love object, it is more plausible to see Claudine as a romantic heroine (love object). Manatu states that “expressions of warmth, gentleness, and tendernesss” are understood in Western culture as “signals indicative of “romantic love”” (p.64). These expressions are played out in the entirety of Claudine and Roop’s relationship. From the start of Roop’s infatuation with her, Roop pursues Claudine with the intentions of building a long-term connection. He brings Claudine gifts, takes her out on dates, and spends time with her family. There relationship even results in a marriage, which is considered the highest achievement for heterosexual couples in film. So, why does it matter that Claudine sleeps with Roop ‘too soon’? The act of sex does not disqualify Claudine from being a love object.

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    • Ariel, you bring up some extremely interesting perspectives! I don’t think Claudine was interested in a one night stand per say but experienced sex as adults do. I do think, it was written that the character didnt expect that there would be relationship beyond her initial encounter with Roop. I do understand your point that in essence a woman should be able to have sex the same way a man does but in the context of the film and the period (70’s), it was actually a very interesting turn of events that Claudine as a woman of color was sort of a “romantic heroine” or love object. Especially, since she her character evolved out of a sex object and welfare queen. You are right, sleeping with Roop doesnt disqualify Claudine as a love object in reality and if it was a film in the last 15-20 yrs but as a film during the beginning of the sexual revolution espcially for women it was a different time. And she was already branded as being a Jezebel as you stated cause she was an unmarried woman with six children from different men. Even now, she would still be stigmatized. Overall, you brought some very enligthtening thoughts to this discussion. Great job!

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  7. In my opinion, I believe that Claudine wants to be seen as a love object but is portrayed as a sex object throughout the movie. Although at the end of the movie she marries Mr. Marshall, she had sex with him on their very first date and this leans more towards being a sex object. In the film, black women are being characterized as sexual deviants that are not looking for love but instead as someone that is looking for someone to have sex with or to help take care of their kids. In films, black women are never portrayed as a romantic heroine that is only seeking for love because a black woman that is only seeking for love and not sex is very rare. Some way and somehow, sexual behavior always comes into role. In the book, Manatu says, “The black woman’s debased sexuality, long amplified on the big screen, comes to the forefront in these films as normative behaviors for black women, generally. These women are not “love objects,” and, given their persistent filmic coding as “over-sexed,” they cannot be perceived as objects of love” (Pg. 66). Being a love object is being someone who wants some loving and care. Being a sex object is someone that does not want anything but sex. Claudine, as I mentioned earlier, wants to be seen as a love object that wants a man in her life but yet is portrayed as a sex object that has sex on the first date. In the film, her daughter ends up pregnant and this can show how there is a cycle of black women being nothing more than just a sex object. Claudine’s daughter speaks about her baby’s father being there for her and someone that cares for her but Claudine knew it was nothing more than a repeating cycle of her.

    The movie Claudine to me was pretty entertaining but what I did not feel was correct about the movie was the stereotype of black women being the “welfare queen”. In the movie, Claudine was seemed as a welfare queen that without the help from the government or Mr. Marshall, she wouldn’t be able to take care of her six children. I do not believe that it is fair that black women are the only ones of being accused of messing with the system because I definitely know for a fact that many single mothers that are white have done the same thing. I do not agree with the article in which how society portrays single black women as needing help. There are a lot of successful black women who do not need help from the government but it is unfortunate that society gets brainwashed so much that is led to think a certain way about certain race groups and I truly believe that this should change. In the article, I did not agree with it when it spoke about black women’s baby fathers being in jail or “dead beats”. Society makes it seem that only black men are losers or dead beat fathers when I know that there are many single white women that are raising their kids on their own. How come they are not being included into these stereotypes? The article also discusses how not having a father; boys would not “pull up their pants”. This can be taken to mean that black women do not have control over their kids (which is not true at all). In the movie Claudine, Mr. Marshall comes into Claudine’s life and talks to each of her six children and is viewed as someone that changes their views on life and that helps support them (kind of). At the end, although not his father, Mr. Marshall was there for Claudine’s oldest child when he was running away from the cops.

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    • Great job Ralph! Good obsersavtions in regards to the stereotypes and tying it to the readings. You are doing a much better job of making an analysis of the films and the stereotypes featured. You mentioned that films never show black women as Romantic Heroines, but there is an element of Claudine attempting to be a love object and a heroine, although maybe not a traditaional one seen in white films. She has films for Roop but there is the complexity of her home life and the challenges of their relationship. She is able to evolve and grow as a character which rarely happens for Black women in American films.

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  8. In the film Claudine (1974), Claudine has six children and lives on welfare. She has had previous relationship in which did not end well because the men usually just leave her and her kids until she meets Rupert who she met while at work. Claudine went from sexual deviant with her previous relationships to romantic when she met Rupert and they went on a date when Rupert asked her on a date and she accepted to go. Claudine was weary of having Rupert around because she was on welfare and if welfare found out if her boyfriends were living and buying things for her then they would have to deduct it from her governmental assistance that she was receiving. Claudine and Rupert were having an okay relationship due to welfare problems and Rupert having to pay for child support in his previous relationship. In the film, Rupert and Claudine and in the process of getting married when it’s interrupted by Claudine’s eldest son who is arrested and Rupert and Claudine along with her kids walk hand in hand in the neighborhood.

    In the article Six Annoying Women Character Tropes in Black Romantic Comedies, states several stereotypes that are constantly played in black films and one of the stereotypes is the welfare queen. The welfare queen is like Claudine who takes advantage of the assistance that she receives from the government although she may have a job and a boyfriend who was giving her things. She was “beating the system”. “Beating the system” is finding other means necessary to receive income without letting the government know. Claudine’s eldest son Charles sees the welfare system as regressive for the African American community and advocates the creation for more jobs for African American community.

    The Manihan report on The Negro Family: The case for National Action was a report that states that Negro families were headed by women, divorce rate was 2 ½ times what it was compared to whites, and the percentage of fatherless kids kept growing. In the article it states that since the Manihan report, it is still the same till this day and the only difference is that a “significant progress for middle-class Blacks but little progress for poor class Blacks.” Ach stated that “If we let kids grow up in poverty, in single families, going to bad schools, they’re going to grow up to become dependent adults. The cycle will just repeat.” This is in relation to the film Claudine because the kids were growing up in poverty, welfare, fatherless, and assume that they were in bad schools that they were going to repeat the cycle that their mother was in. The only child that wanted to make a difference for his family and his African American community was Charles because he realized what welfare was doing to his family and his community.

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  9. Juan, although you made some good points this is mostly a review of the film. You provided some highlights from the film and articles but didn’t give an analysis of the stereotype, Welfare Queen or commented on whether you saw Claudine as a romantic heroine (love object) or a sexual deviant (sex object). In addition, you didnt incorporated any of the readings which I think would have helped you to form a stronger response to the blog.

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  10. Claudine seems to epitomize the welfare queen. She hides her job from social services in order to continue to receive welfare checks from the government. She’s allegedly promiscuous, or at least this is something one might assume since she has six kids. The Moynihan report demonizes black men into absent fathers whom rarely, if ever, provide for their kids, and blames this single mom household on a great deal of economic (as well as social) injustice and individualizes, in the sense that he almost seems to blame black women, for all these negative things that happen.
    She’s also an interesting character because she begins to challenge some of these beliefs about a dichotomy that is assumed about women. The Madonna/whore dichotomy which Manatu connects to the the love object vs. sex object is something that she seems to fluctuate because she’s ‘promiscuous’ but she’s also a mom looking out for her children. She’s also shown to want to settle down. She’s also depicted as responsible in some scenes. There’s at least a little bit of complexity to her character in the scene that she’s not just straight up a ‘whore’ or a jezebel. She’s not portrayed as totally unworthy of love in the way other characters are. Her respectability although questioned isn’t completely lost. It’s maybe a small first step into looking at all the complexities that actually exist in real life.

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    • Monica, although short you made some good points. Claudine is a very complex, she is not a traditional love object as we see with white heroines or a sex object with black jezebels. I would like to hear more of your opinions about The Moynihan report and the dichotomy that Claudine represents. And of course, incorporating the readings are important as well. In relations to black women being seen as true love objects, Manatu states “…the vast majority of love stories in the US films must arrive at the same conclusions: black women experience sex, but not love.” When responding to blogs, always keep in mind that the readings as well as quotes from other scholars or even articles help build your argument.

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  11. The love object and the sex object are completely different in the way that they are portrayed to attain human attention. the love object is always a character that finds love unconditionally. The love object is always a women that is in some kind of control over her life guiding herself to a better state of life.
    As for the six character tropes the movie Claudine definitely displays 5 of them. She has kids out of wedlock and uses her sexual attraction to find love. Claudine is also matronly and strong when dealing with her kids. Claudine definitely also falls under the role of well-fare queen because she is on well-fare, so that is very obvious.
    in most black romantic comedies many of the women fall under one of the categories of the tropes. Claudine covers a large dynamic of character types. Her character seeks love throughout the movie but she is constantly portrayed as a sex object. The man she chooses to be with is scared of her and the commitment of her kids. At the end of the movie she gets married to her lover and eventually does find love as they choose to commit to each other.
    i think that the movie is a great expression of how single women struggle with life and the way that her character relates to a realistic society. Claudine was an awesome movie that shows the struggles of life and concern of both parents and children in a household.

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  12. Watching the Movie the I was very uninterested when i first saw the description in the movie. I just thought it was going to be a plain movie about a black women with a whole bunch if kids on welfare. But when i first had a glance at it i was impressed with the whole dynamic of the movie. I like how in the beginning they just make her seem like a “welfare whore,” just her living of welfare. But watching the movie made me see how she was more of a “welfare queen.” She showed to her viewers that she was a “sexual object.” Besides her raising her 6 children, working a job and living of from welfare she portrayed in the film that she was some type of a “sexual deviant.” In the article, “Six Annoying Women Character Tropes In Black Romantic Comedies,” it states how she was portrayed as an “incapable women to raise her children without government assistance.” This is the reason why she was seen as a “welfare whore” because she wouldn’t leave welfare to make a living out of her work and sustain her children. But the “welfare queen” is not the only thing that she shows in the film of her persona. Claudine shows to be more of a “sexual deviant” because in the movie shes tends to have sexual tendencies. Shes looking for a partner that beside giving her pleasure and company can also become breadwinner for Claudine and her kids. I believe that in the movie they wanted to make Claudine a “romantic heroine” by her seeking affection from a men, who in the movie was the garbage men named “Rupert” that caught her attention. I believed that as soon as they made the role of Claudine have sex in her first date with Rupert they killed her vibe as a “romantic heroine.” Therefore, i believed that Claudine played the role of a “sexual deviant” rather than a “romantic heroine.”

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    • Maria, its great that you were able to develop a better appreciation of the movie. For its time, Claudine made strides in having a black female lead in a film that wasnt the typical stereotype of the Mammy. As we’ve discussed, there are a few other issues with the film in terms of Claudine being labeled as a Welfare Queen as well as a few other stereotypes. Refering to the Moynihan article could have been used to build your argument. You mentioned that you felt that Claudine was more of sexual deviant. I think referencing the reading would have been great way of building your argument. There is a thin line between Claudine being a sex object and/or romantic heroine. Although she has sex on the first date and has different baby daddies, she doesnt sleep around or at least when we see her in the film. She doesn’t use sex to manipulate men or seduce them for her own personal gain. I dont think you are wrong, i think you just need to use the reading and select scenes to build your argument. good job!

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