Popular Culture, Media, and Globalization:
The way in which black people, especially black women, are represented in film perpetuates harmful stereotypes about black people in the real world. The heavy bias against black people, both on film and off, creates an environment in which black people are held back from the opportunities that white people take for granted in a variety of arenas. This relates to gender politics, which, while wide reaching on a global and societal scale, are deeply rooted in firmly personal matters. In order to more fully understand the larger gender relations on a state-wide basis, it is important to view them in relation to the more personal politics of the individual.
Unless one is already cognizant of the issues in contemporary society, the politics around those issues are so buried in emotion that they can hardly be perceived, a trait that is common in gender politics, which are primarily based in small, intimate interactions (Connell 2009). An example of this could be portrayals of black women as servants as a widespread trend that has continued since the inception of film and television. Politics can be defined as “power-structured relationships, arrangements whereby one group of persons is controlled by another;” those who have power benefit from inequalities and have a vested interest in defending them, while those people who suffer under the inequalities are motivated to terminate them (Millet 1972, p.23; Connell 2009). Elite groups, like whites, when exercising their power, manipulate ideas and stereotypes about black womanhood, which is a partial explanation for the way black women are routinely portrayed in films, since the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science is comprised of mainly wh...
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...alities” (Connell 2009, p.144).The most essential cornerstone of gender politics in the modern world is the state, which is made especially obvious when heterosexual men’s participation is factored in to the goal of equality (Connell 2009).
Even in a system as large and unified as the United Nations, there is no cooperative endeavor for meaningful change (Connell 2009). With all of this in mind, it becomes clear that the scale of the gender inequality problem far out-weighs the energy that has thus far been exerted in the fight for “gender democratization” (Connell 2009, p.148).
Representation of Black People in Film. (n.d). Retrieved November 15, 2015, from http://racismstillexists.tumblr.com/post28816737901/representations-of-black-people-in-film
Connell, R. (2009). Gender Politics. In Gender: In world perspective (2nd ed., p.134-151). Cambridge: Polity
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