Feminism isn’t something I was always an advocate of, not because I didn’t care but because I wasn’t really aware of what it was. I was so used to hearing sexist comments as jokes that it just became normal. It’s sad that I didn’t speak up about it sooner, but I’m trying my best to now.
One way to learn more about feminism is to expose yourself to situations that call for it and educate yourself. Recently, I came across a show that surprisingly had a great impact on me: She’s Gotta Have It. This is a series based on an ‘80s movie of the same name. The show focuses on Nola Darling who is an African American artist living in New York. Aside from her art, she is also juggling three men in casual relationships.
Each man Nola is dating has different type of personality. Mars makes her laugh but is a bit immature, Greer is cultured but narcissistic, and Jamie is stable but overprotective. Sure, they aren’t perfect but no one is so it’s fine. Despite their flaws, there are specific ones that tick Nola off. In the first season, they each do or say something sexist without even knowing it. They try to cover her up when she exposes her body and don’t listen to her when she says “no.” Instead of letting these things slide, Nola isn’t afraid to speak up and teach the men about feminism and how women should be treated.
Aside from these men, Nola also came across a tragic incident where a stranger physically assaulted her while she was walking home at night. She was minding her own business when this man started catcalling her, she told him to go away but her caught up to her and grabbed her wrist. Luckily, she was able to get away but she was left shaken and traumatized. After opening up about the incident, some of the men started to put the blame on her because she shouldn’t have been walking alone at night. Pump the brakes. Yes, they were victim-blaming, something we’re not a fan of here at Preen.ph. Nola defended herself and said that she can walk home alone if she wants to. And she can, and she should be able to without being hounded by strange men.
While watching the first season, I somehow felt empowered. I related to Nola on some level. I could understand her anger and frustration towards these men who just didn’t get her way of thinking. I also appreciate that she was trying to teach them about feminism in practical and everyday situations. I also feel inspired to do the same, and I will.
Art by Marian Hukom
Photos courtesy of Netflix
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