Why does Queen Latifah have to be gay? April 2, 2007Posted by lindamc in Set it off.
In Set it off, Queen Latifah has a “break out performance” as a extremly masculine, violent, and very much outwardly lesbian “Cleo.” She is the only one of the three who is comfortable with the weapons, the violence, and often resuces the girls either by driving (she almost always drives the car) or by sacrificing herself for Stony and Frankie in the end. Her character is also very focused on two things: money and sex with women (two extremley masculine traits). Is it true that in order for her to be all of these things (minus the sex with women thing): the violent leader who steps up to protect everyone, she had to be gay, something that automattically points her out as masculine, and therefore marks her as “the man” of the bunch. In few instances do Stony, Frankie, or TT save or provide for the group (minus when TT shoots Luther to save Cleo), thus marking them clearly in feminine roles and Cleo in all masculine ones. Is it necessary for Cleo’s role to be gay? Is this what allows our society to accept women for acting as cleo does: violent, angry, etc? OR, is it possible that being a lesbian is an entirly different area of female power? I will admit that I already watched the next film for class: Bound in which two women beat out a mob of men. They are very sexually intimate with one another, and is hinted at in the film, that sex between two women is better than with men (just by the girls satisfactions, etc). Is this a new stage of female power in which women no longer need men for the most basic of needs: sexual pleasure? With science headed in the direction that it is (invitro fertalization) is it true that women are beginning to also not even men for reproduction? Too bad Freud that your theroy of penis envy doesn’t always pan out, it looks like in these films women who don’t need the penis at all win out. Maybe, there will soon be a theory of male womb envy, in which men desire to be needed at all!
PS. I promise this post isn’t meant to be as bitter as it sounds…I really just got on a role and went with it:)