A few months ago I went to catch a flick and caught the trailer for Amy Schumer’s upcoming, and now playing, movie “Trainwreck.” The premise was simple – a young girl is all but encouraged by her father as a child to grab life by as many balls as possible, and when she does as an adult, she manages to fall in love. Typical RomCom slush. Only, I couldn’t help but feel little annoyed. Here was a fresh-faced white woman, allowed to be portrayed on screen as freely, unapologetically, and sometimes drunkenly having multiple sexual partners. By morning she still has her fabulous job, and her city apartment – a very typical urban life. As I watched, I wondered how many black women are portrayed in such a sex positive light, without repercussion?
When I was having my forthcoming novel reviewed, I was told that a black lead female character having sex with different people would be seen as promiscuous, and would be a hard sell. I rationalized the truths in this statement; whenever I see a Black woman on screen, who is known to have multiple sex partners, she is viewed as uneducated, a whore, ratchet. So it seems ironic that a movie like “Trainwreck” can hit the big screen, and have glowing reviews to match. It seems that sexual freedom has not yet broken through the white feminist ideal.
I will still produce my book because I know there is an audience for it. But I doubt my heroine would make it to the theaters in the way Schumer’s did. She might be too sleazy.