She’s Got To Have it – Nola and the Social Deviant

Welcome to our class blog. After every film screening and/or with certain topics, you will be asked to comment on the blog. Please incorporate the readings and refer to scenes from class screening. Feel free to add articles, quotes from other books or blogs (please credit your source) as well as film clips that relate to the topic.

First blog posting will be based on the film She’s Got To Have It. Please connect the assigned reading on Black women as the “Other” and the “Social Deviant” to She’s Got To Have It. We, also talked briefly about the concept of the “symbolic whore.” How does that relate to his female protagonist, Nola Darling? Please review the two articles below on She’s Got To Have It and incorporate scenes from the film in your comments/arguments.

She's_Gotta_Have_It_film_poster

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23 thoughts on “She’s Got To Have it – Nola and the Social Deviant

  1. As the movie first beings with Nola being introduced to us, she begins by trying to defend herself and her lifestyle, which is being challenged by the three men in her life, Greer, Mars and Jaime. Yet why should we care about what others think about the lifestyle of an independent and free spirited Nola? The answer is because the setting in which the movie is taking place is that of a patriarchally dominant one.
    We are led to believe whatever these men have to say about Nola is true, unless challenged and proven otherwise by Nola or someone coming to the defense of Nola. Nola simply put is a lady who is polyamorous. Yet within the definition of polyamorous is the notion of consensual; this clearly does not define or come close to what is the situation for Nola, Greer, Mars and Jaime. The three men in her life do not in any way, shape or form want anyone else to be intimate or involved with Nola but themselves. As stated by Norma Manatu, “film has provided perhaps the most explicit and vivid conceptions of the image of black women as ‘oversexed’ (Manatu).” This can clearly be seen during the entire movie concerning Nola and her own sexual freedom, yet this movie could have easily been a start of a movement to show African American women in a positive light, being independent, taking back their voice, or even making a change to the views/stereotypes that have been always attributed to them. Yet as we already know that it isn’t the case but a reinforcement upon the idea that no matter what Nola Darling and other African American women say or do, they can’t view or be viewed in the same light that is given to the dominant group’s “sexual freedom”. Where the domain group’s sexual freedom “can more easily express without much public condemnation compared to black women (Wilson & Russell, 1977).”
    When Greer and Nola are walking together we are depicted this by Greer’s words of stating that Nola has a problem, and it isn’t lady-like.
    Greer, Mars and Jaime portray Nola as a social deviant by how they interact and speak about Nola. To them her hypersexual nature and her dominant ways is not the norm. Within the movie it goes as far as Nola’s father speaking to us about her never being stable and stating that she was never normal. By letting us know that Nola is not normal we are led to believe Nola in the end will ‘cave-in’ and choose to be with one of the three guys she is seeing or choose to be herself and continue on being a ‘social deviant’ or a free spirited person that she has always been.

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    • Larry, as the first to post you brought up some good points in how we are lead to believe Nola is initially portrayed and could have served as a good model of black female sexuality. Your reference to the challenges of Nola being polyamorous is a great example of Nola’s loss of sexual freedom and independence. Your points on how she is not viewed as normal serves to show her more as a social deviant. Some of your examples from the film were general, where few specific scenes would have better supported your quote from the reading as well as your argument. Overall a good job!

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  2. The movie “She’s Gotta Have It” shows how very much embedded are the views of a male-dominated society. Even though Nola Darling appears at the beginning as a sexually-liberated woman who is in charge of her own body, she ends up succumbing to the pressure of the stigma of having a deviant gender behavior, since, according to the men in her life she falls outside the norm, which can be seen clearly when Greer tells her to “go see a doctor”, implying that her sex-appetite – and her wanting to see more than one person – was simply not normal. Although Jaime, Greer and Mars want to be with Nola, they all infer that her actions are inherently wrong, and perhaps that she has a problem. The movie shows that she portrays herself as a “Superwoman” who makes her own decisions and (seemingly) does not ask for approval; and the same time, it is shown how others see her as a sort-of Jezebel, given her stated deviant sexual behavior, analogy mentioned by Norma Manatu in the reading Love and Romance—Madonna/Whore concept: “The meaning of black female subjects on screen is thus settled by resurrecting the old cultural symbol of the oversexed black Jezebel, images arranged in such a way as to carry forward the narrative of debased sexuality.” (p. 5). Interestingly, the movie pushes the boundaries of the male gaze (male audience) even further, showing her being “punished” by Jaime for her behavior in the scene where he rapes Nola, regaining his sexual power through her ultimate objectification, which is something that Norma Manatu referred to in the reading “Love & Romance—Link between romance and the “feminine” , stating that “Having been coded as sex objects, women are then shown to be penalized by the projection of a destitute future for those who choose a sexually liberated lifestyle.” (p. 4). After that incident, Nola is seen completely submitted to Jaime, changing her behavior, ending contact with Greer and Mars, and pleading Jaime to believe her, to love her and take her back; this shows the surrendering of Nola to the restrains of the patriarch society around her, comfortable with the idea that Jaime was going to be the one completely ruling the relationship, which is evident since he is the one accepting her back, and it is confirmed when he tells her “[If you] mess up one more time…” At the very end of the movie, she seems to have reclaimed her sexual power by suggesting to the camera that she and Jaime were no longer together because he “wanted a wife, that mythic, old-fashion girl next door. But it is more than that, it is about control. My body, my mind”, and that was not her.

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    • Deborah, you did a great analysis of the film with little re-telling of the plot. I agree that Nola shows evidence of the superwoman stereotype because of her independence but her story relies heavily on the jezbel stereotype based on the assumption of others. Both you and Larry note that Greer and her father view her as not normal but it really begins when her old roommate sets her up as a social deviant and then uses the other male characters to confirm it through the “male gaze” as you noted. The rape scene is a very challenging and difficult scene because it’s meant, as you indicated, to objectify her, steal her power and punish her. I wonder though, if Nola ever regains her power, sexual or other at the end. Your use of quotes and scenes from the film are good examples of your argument. Very good!

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    • In the film She’s Got to Have It, the character Nola Darling has a very interesting and not often seen in most films role. She is more of the aggressor than the passive, her actions speak more masculine than they do feminine. Nola has basically three men in her lives that are in the palm of her hands and can be called upon whenever she see’s fit. In the outlook of a male Gaze this is unappealing to a woman who has “wifey” material which you see explained by one of her lovers. Specifically Greer is man who wants to change Nola to have the mindset of a wife and not just a “whore”. The Madonna/whore effect always comes into play because as a man we rather have a lady in the streets and a freak in the sheets often said, but Nola was to free spirited and open to be contained. The character reversed the usually man player and having several women being heart broken over one man. Its so interesting even when I think to myself that it feels so normal for a man to be with multiple women but when a woman does it the hate starts and shes every name in the book. The men can do this and women should do that came into play often, especially the with the one on one dialog with Mars. Blaming her past and relationship with her Dad as a traumatic reason why is the way she is. The film has a great concept and should be shown more often though it showed off a black women as a sex symbol it gave a new fresh mix up of what we are so usually accustomed to.

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      • Michael, great observations about Greer wanting to make Nola “wifey”/Madonna material. They all enjoy her sexual liberation and masculine traits when it benefits them only. Both Greer and Jamie want her to be the freak in the sheets but the wife in the streets but dont really want to deal with the consequences of sexuality. Mars has very little to no aspirations so it doesnt really bother him either way. You made some good points but using specific scenes from the film and quotes from the reading would have made your argument stronger. Please incorporate both in future postings.

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  3. Nola is what you consider a true meaning of a symbolic whore because there is no emotion or love that she truly feels for these men. She is free spiritual women , who is very open to her sexuality. Nola starts of like a good girl but in the end she is not really like that. She is an independent feel, whom really she doesn’t care what other men have to say. But then again is this even right to judge a woman or call her sick. Nora Darling perhaps is not sick at all but these men do make her doubt herself as a insecure female.
    Spike Lee commented on his article how he makes this films like this because a lot people like to stereo type certain races and assume the worst out of them. It might look okay for a white women to act like Nora Darling but maybe not for someone of color, which is very wrong mindset to have but this is how these films potray a lot of women of color.

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    • Janyl, I agree that Nola has elements of the symbolic whore but I disagree that she is devoid of emotion or love. Nola has demonstrated and even said that she cares about the men she is sleeping with. She even tells Jamie her feelings for him is different than the other guys. Her independence, as you have noted, and sexually freedom is an interesting mix of Superwoman and Jezebel as well. I think if you were able to connect some of the readings and scenes from the film to your comments, you would have been able to expand on your argument.

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  4. NORA DARLING IS WHAT YOU MAY CONSIDER A SYMBOLIC WHORE BECAUSE SHE HAS SEX WITH NO TYPE OF EMOTIONS. SHE IS INDEPENDENT FEMALE WHO DON’T NEED ANY TYPE OF HELP FROM A MAN, SHE IS OPEN SEXUAL BECAUSE IS FREE SPIRITED FEMALE, IN ONE POINT THEY MAKE HER QUESTION HERSELF IF SHE IS REALLY THIS FREAK AS THESE THREE MEN KEEP POTRAY ING HER AS, TO THE POINT SHE SEEKS HELP.
    SPIKE LEE’S LIKES TO MAKE THESE TYPE OF FILM THAT STEREO TYPE FEMALE OF COLOR BECAUSE IT MIGHT BE OKAY FOR A WHITE WOMEN BUT SOCIETY DON’T FIND IT ACCEPTABLE FOR A FEMALE OF COLOR TO ACT SUCH WAY BECAUSE IS CONSIDER WRONG AND YOUR SICK TO BE THAT SEXUALLY OPEN.

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  5. “She’s Got To Have It” Report and Review

    She’s Got To Have It is a comedy-drama film released in 1986, directed by Spike Lee. It tells the story of Nola Darling, a woman who is sexually independent and does not believe in commitment to a man. In the story, Nola is having sexual relationships with three men: Jamie, Greer and Mars. Each men has a different personality. The one that Nola cares more about is Jamie even though at the end of the movie they are not together. Nola tells Jamie that she loves him but she cannot stick to one man. Nolan believes that her body is “her body” and that she is the only one that can take controls of it. At the end of the movie Nola makes those statements while talking to “us” (looking at the camera).

    I think Nola is represented as a “cinematic other”. I think most people will see Nola as a whore, as an alien. and indeed, fear of being perceived as “prostitutes” or “sluts”, forces a good many black women into over-prudish behaviors (hooks, 1995) both in dress and in manner. Nola has her own reasons why she acts that way. She just does not believe in commitment. Most people, including me, will see her as an immoral person but I do not judge her. She is living the way she wants to live and we all have a choice. Men have the choice is they want to accept Nola the way she is.

    Black women’s bodies, would come to be viewed as symbols of sexual excess, unattractiveness, and immorality-as the deviant sexual other (African American and Sexuality in the Cinema by Norma Manatu). Nola is the perfect example of a social deviant, someone who deviate social norm. In a few scenes, one of Nola’s men, tell her that she is sick and that she needs professional help. Nola does not think that she is obsessed with having sex but she is searching something. It is discussed with the doctor and Jamie that Nola is searching something but we do not know what it is.

    Nola represents a symbolic whore. Even though she tells Jamie that she loves him it just does not feel that she is experiencing love. She likes candles and poetry and we can say that she is a little bit romantic but at the end she does not care about none of that. She is hyper-sexual and immoral but she shows a little bit of romance sensitivity on screen. I do not think that Nola is a romantic heroine. And even if she is, why would this matter. It seems that she does not really care about loving someone unless that “someone” let her be with two other men as well.

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    • Raifis, you started to provide an overview of the film which is not necessary. Just provide an analysis of the film connecting the reading as you later did. Your argument of Nola as the “cinematic other” is very good. In essence, her behavior as a Jezebel or social deviant puts Nola at odds with the men in her life and almost forces her into “over prudish behavior” by the end of the film. Although, I also agree she has elements of the symbolic whore, she does feel emotion and love for these men so much so that she is guilted into therapy, made to feel ashamed of sexuality and punished with rape. Her behavior is no different than a man, but she is not rewarded the same way a man would be with many lovers. Good job on the quote.

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  6. In “She’s Gotta Have it” The main character Nola Darling, is an interesting representation of the “symbolic whore” concept in film. On the surface, her character has traits that normally would be give her some respectability, including a good job, her own apartment, and independence. However our first introduction of Nola comes from the perspective of 3 men, Mars, Greer, and Jamie. The audience is immediately told that Nola is a woman who cannot love like a normal woman and she is tasked with defending herself. Nola is someone who is in and prefers a polyamorous relationships; While there is nothing inherently wrong with that type of relationship the ideal norm that our society respects and romantic heroines typically are interested and pursue is monogamy. This begins to paint the picture of Nola as an “other” others are typically “Treated as social pariahs, their inclusion in the daily social practices of femininity and respectability remains dormant.” (Black women as the cinematic other pg 2)

    Another aspect of Nola’s otherness is her taking on certain masculine characteristics or masculine roles in the relationship. This is portrayed by the three men especially Jamie taking on the Feminine roles in the relationships. The men consistently throughout the film want to tie Nola down to have her all for themselves. Each of the failures result in their characters feeling and expressing negative opinions about Nola, letting the audience know that she is deviating from the norm. Mars points out that while the sex is good because Nola is a freak, he would not or could not possibly make Nola into wife material. This simple line of dialogue clearly puts Nola on the whore side of the Madonna/Whore dichotomy. Greer also draws this parallel with Nola when he claims that any amount of respectability she has is due to his molding her. Typically in a film while neither Greer nor Mars would be the character to shape Nola eventually she would be converted into a Madonna by the end of the film. “The advantage to such constructions is that they allow the hero to lure the heroine away from her casual dalliance with independence to a focus on romance and marriage—indicators of her rightful social status.” (Love & Romance, Link between romance and the “feminine.”) Again since Nola rejects this conversion she is essentially rejecting her link to femininity. Shortly after Nola rejects Greer’s attempt to domesticate her the two end up sleeping together while jungle music can be heard. These two scenes close together allow the audience to come to the conclusion that Nola is all about the sex and doesn’t really care about love or being respected.

    Then there is Jamie who’s character takes on the most traditionally feminine role of the story. When we see Jamie and Nola’s first meeting it is by far the most by the numbers a romantic comedy encounter. He is the one that is different from all the others and he is also the most bothered by Nola’s polyamorous lifestyle. In a way Jamie does represent the romantic heroine while simultaneously holding the position of the man who is going to save Nola from the errors of her own ways. Of the numerous ways Jamie is portrayed as different from Greer and Mars is that he is the only one that Nola will express feelings for; She repeatedly tells him that he is the one that she loves. This puts Jamie in position as the man who will rescue Nola while his response simultaneously shows the role reversal in their relationship. Jamie asks to be chosen by Nola and consistently is the pursuer of a “more meaningful” relationship, he is largely sexually passive which counterbalances Nola’s “male” tendency of sexual aggression. Nola also does not stand Jamie up on what are clearly special or relationship building dates, like she did to Mars at the Knicks game or when she rejected Greer’s romantic getaway. As Jamie said when they agreed on something she showed up. Jamie is also the one to give Nola a ultimatum which she initially rejects and then submits to, deciding that he is worth changing for. At this point in the film Nola is almost fully through a transition from symbolic whore to Madonna.

    At this point Nola asks Jamie to come see her to set up for the eventual they get together scene, however now Jamie is clearly disturbed and has also made an almost 180 degree change and now sees her as a whore that cannot be rescued. This is when Jamie symbolically rapes Nola, robbing her of her independence as the article points out. Jamie essentially says during the incident that this is all she really wants and what she deserves which serves the purpose of both displaying her as a whore/other and punishing her for it. The reason I refer to this scene as a “symbolic rape”, is because although it one hundred percent looks like and is shown as a rape initially, according to the film it was a near rape. Of course Nola after being robbed of that independence still tries to be with Jamie and we as the audience are briefly led to believe that she has “finally settled down” and has become a Madonna. Now while in my opinion what happens later, Nola leaving Jamie a few weeks later is the most sensible and a far better ending than her staying with him in this film. It distinctly separates Nola from what is commonly seen as femininity. She went through everything that the romantic heroine went through, found a good man and went through the big change, however she eventually reverted back to who she was the other.

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    • Sean, great job in exploring Nola’s otherness and expressing masculine characteristics. Nola is denied any femininity because she sexually liberated and independent. She is further punished throughout the film for this independence. Your comments about Mars referring to Nola as a freak also paints her as a symbolic whore and social deviant. She fails to ever become the romantic heroine even though she is set up as one, a romantic lead. Your quote from the reading relating to the heroine was excellent. Your observations about Jamie is great. Although, the rape scene is rape, not a symbolic act. Its meant to rid her of any sense of masculinity, her independence and belittle her. What is odd is that it is never portrayed as rape in the film and Nola blames herself instead of Jamie for his behavior. I think Spike’s resolve to return Nola as the other is a false attempt to balance out the rape and his failure in making Nola the true cinematic heroine he set her up to be in the beginning of the film. There is no real happy ending here! Great comments!

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  7. The concept of the symbolic whore, represented in film, is a woman who is not only hyper sexualized but holds no value for love and intimacy. She is a woman who has no romantic sensibility but desires sex. She is also a woman who uses her sexuality on whoever to get whatever she wants. This relates to the female protagonist Nola Darling because throughout the film she expresses herself in behavior society would deem as inappropriate for a woman to partake in. In the film, Nola is shown to have three intimate male partners: Jamie, Mars and Greer. Nola’s actions here are frowned upon for women in general. Just doing this, Nola is defying the rules society has set for her. Throughout the film, she constantly tries to maintain her relationships solely based on her feelings, while disregarding her partners’ feelings towards the arrangement. Nola feels that since she likes all three men, whether for sexual or intimate reasons, she should have the right to keep all three men. I mentioned in the beginning that one of the characteristics of the symbolic whore was doing “whatever it takes” to get what you want. This relates to Nola because even after hearing the men’s cries she still refuses to let go of her lifestyle and to keep them engaged she continues to offer them sex. In the film, in the second half of the movie, we witness a scene where Nola gathers Jamie, Mars and Greer for thanksgiving dinner. There she tries to conduct a normal thanksgiving dinner. Keep in mind she initially doesn’t tell them that they will all be eating at this dinner together, which supports that Nola is aware that her behavior isn’t acceptable in society. Nevertheless, Nola is alright with the idea of sharing three men, due to her own personal needs and wants despite Jamie, Mars and Greer’s protest. Moving on from the dinner scene, you see her attempt in trying to keep all three men in her bedroom. However, as Greer wakes up and finds Nola in Jamie’s arms, he dismisses himself; soon after, Mars follows.

    All three men in some way point to Nola’s behavior as “abnormal” and “un-lady like.” They view Nola’s behavior as unacceptable due to the cultural norms surrounding their society. In our society, a woman having more than one sex partner is not acceptable; never mind being opened about it. In this film, the creator (Stan Lee) seemed to have created a reality where instead of a man having multiple sex partners (which is considered normal in our society), a woman is partaking in that behavior. However, a behavior or so a character trait only to be practiced by men. This act of a man being with more than one woman is seen as masculine. Nola, although a woman, participating in this act is suggesting that she is too masculine and not feminine. This suggest that to be feminine you must be intimately involved with only one partner. Since Nola doesn’t do this, she is considered masculine but since she is not a man, she is viewed as the other. Someone placed outside the scope of man and woman stuck in between as what is defined as masculine and feminine.

    Nola’s character was portrayed as an sexually liberated African American woman. There were times when she doubted herself, shifting from the “sex object” (bad girl/ whore) to the good girl (Madonna), in hopes to please her male partners (for instance, when she visited the psychiatrist after Greer mentioned that she was sick. Also when Jamie forced her to make a decision in choosing him over Mars and Greer). Regardless of the confusion her male counterparts made her feel, Nola Darling decided to remain an independent, free spirited, carefree and sexually liberated African American woman. Which in our society is the equivalent of a “social deviant.”

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    • Nola is a symbolic whore but not in a true sense, she is not really hypersexul although she is having sex with three different men. We dont see her constantly having sex all the time, we actually see her spending quality time with each of the men in her life. In addition, she expresses romantic intentions with them especially Jamie. You noted that she is having a relationship with these men despite their feelings of wanting to be monagomous. In essence, Nola is doing what men have pride themselves for wanting to be but she is actually more honest about her intentions and desires. As you noted, the filmmaker (SPIKE Lee) has set up an almost fantasy world of women who attempt to achieve the rights and privileges of men. Therefore, Nola gets painted as the symbolic whore because of preceived social devinat and masculine behavior she maintains. As you stated, she is pretty much forced through rape and judgment to become the “good girl.” It’s really unclear as to whether Nola truly gets to be free and sexually liberated since she is alone at the end of the film and we dont get to see her achieve a partnership that she wants but maybe being alone is freedom in Nola’s world. Good comments, please try to incorporate more of the reading in future postings.

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  8. In the film She’s Gotta Have It, Nola Darling is depicted as a hyperexual woman that has too many partners at once, which isn’t normal female behavior. Nola Darling was an independent African American female, however her three lovers didn’t appreciate her sexual freedom and the idea of Nola being owned by one man. She was a normal woman besides the fact that she enjoyed having sex with different men when she decided too.The three men that she were dating kept pressuring her to make a decision because it wasn’t normal to deal with a woman that had control over how many people she had sexual intercourse with at a time unless she was a prostitute/ whore. In essence, women on screen are expected to be “good girls”, despite the fact that, simultaneously, they are purposefully conceived of and positioned as sex objects. Having been coded as sex objects, women are then shown to be penalized by the projection of a destitute future for those who choose a sexually liberated lifestyle (Manatu, pg.4). This quote is the perfect example of the way Nola Darling is being portrayed and punished in the film. In many of the scenes, the men in her life including her father disapprove of her lifestyle and describe her as “walking backwards, sick/freak, having daddy issues, and in need of professional help because she doesn’t behave how a “nice lady”is expected to behave. Nola Darling was punished for not making a decision to be a permanent lover for Jamie and as a consequence she was raped because she asked for it. She wanted Jamie to make love to her but Jamie felt like she just wanted sex because she did not choose him to be her only lover.

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  9. With She’s Gotta Have It, Spike Lee has said in interviews that he attempted to write a film with a female that was “liberated” someone who was sexually free. Well the issue with She’ Gotta Have It is that this freedom is rather implicit than explicit, and also that this character falls into the stereotype of a jezebel, and more than that is an overall flat character. Nola Darling is an archetype rather than an organic character that lives and moves in a world.
    When black women are seen in films they’re seen as rather masculine. More closely looking, they’re seen as aggressive. THis comes off a lot in their sexual essence. THey are sexual go-getters. This is something that Nola Darling falls right into. It’s interesting really because when thinking about this film, the Nola Daling was a male in this film sleeping with three different females we wouldn’t be even having this conversation. A lot of that is because a ale character would most likely have depth to him and there would be an overall story about this man learning about himself and changing for the better. The thing with Nola is that While the male characters all get depth she falls flat to just her sex.
    When thinking of female characters in general we see that white women usually get a respectability factor, something that takes them from the realm of sex object and into the world of romantic heroism. Nola on the other hand doesn’t have that. We see her sort fo working at times but it’s not fully clear what her job is. More than that the only power she has is- as bell hooks says in her journal “Whose Pussy is This: A Feminist Comment”- pussy power. She real pull on anyone is sexual. She has no social power, no physical power, she has nothing but her sex to fall back on.
    To take things a but more technical on the film stance we can talk about mis en scene. When it comes to Nola, a majority of her scenes are spent in bed. If one was to think about this metaphorically a bed is the place where three major things happen in life, Birth, Sex, Death. of course there’s sleep but that doesn’t boost my argument so it’s best to leave that out. We don’t see Nola birthed, and we don’t see her die all we see is her sex. To take this a little further we can go deeper into how black women don’t attain love at all.
    The closest man to Nola out of all of them was Jamie and after his near rape of her he attains her somewhat and the at the end she chooses to be alone further bolstering the fact that black women do not attain love, just sex.
    That is the problem with Nola Darling.

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    • Excellent analysis. You really put a lot of thought into Nola as a character and the role of the Jezebel. If you seen or heard anything about Spike Lee’s current film, Chiraq and read some of the criticism. These two films serve as bookends to his films on women and how he portrays them. Good use of bell hooks. Great job

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  10. In the Film “She’s Gotta Have It,” Nola Darling represents a very liberal individual that uses her liberty to sleep with three different guys, Jamie, Mars and Greer. She enjoys having the three guys in her feet and no matter who loves her more or who loves her less, she insist in being with all three, she cant get enough. The instance i saw how she slept with three men i didn’t hesitate to compare her with the Jezebel stereotype. She is considered an Jezebel just because of her sleeping with three men, she symbolizes a “hyper-sexual character.” In other words, she can be considered a “symbolic whore.” She uses her liberty two experiment different men to calm her sexual needs and desires. Although she states she loves one more than the other, i can conclude shes your typical protagonist that only want one men because in her case she still sleeps with the three men even thought she want one.

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    • Maria
      Please review your comments before posting. You noted that Nola enjoys “having the three guys in her feet,” which makes no sense. In regards to comparing her to the Jezebel, you are correct. You noted that you also viewed her as a “symbolic whore” but didnt clariy your point. Some of your comments towards the end of your post gets a little repititive and confusing which you could have clarified by connecting the readings and quotes to your argument.

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  11. In the film ”She’s Got To Have It,” the main character Nola is depicted as a masculine stereotype. She is not viewed as passive, and she has characteristics that make her viewed as masculine to the audience. She is in a relationship with three different men who are all in love with her but she just sleeps with each of them without growing the same attachments towards them. As per the “male gaze” this is an unappealing look that she is casting off when a man is looking for the “Wifey-material” type of female. Instead, Nola is viewed more as a whore. One of her men realizes this, and hopes that he can change her into the “Wifey-matieral” type of women he believes she can be. But Nola has no aspirations to change into being so. Nola falls under the Madonna/Whore concept because she is free spirited and not looking to settle down. In my opinion, Nola is viewed as purely a sex symbol in this film regardless of her 3 different relationships.

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    • Brittany,

      You made some good points! Nola is viewed as masculine because she has the same sexual appetite as a man which makes her a sexual deviant in the eyes of the filmmakers, other characters and the audience. She can also be viewed as the madonna/whore symbol as well as she is perceived as a whore but the men in her life want to turn her into the madonna/wife stereotype as you noted. And you are correct that she doesnt want to be painted into that corner. But I disagree with you in regards to your comments that she doesnt have feelings for the men in her life. She does and she states it often but her feelings doesnt make her a one man woman which is why she is viewed as a freak and sexual deviant. Also, although you noted the reading you didnt provide a direct quote which would have helped support your argument.

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