In response to Patricia Hill Collins’ article, “Why Black Sexual Politics?” I found it very interesting and contradictory that artists like Destiny’s Child try to portray a strong independent female image yet also succumb to societal expectations of a woman as a sexual spectacle. Thinking about the media today, it seems as if so many women groups and artists display this same ironic image.
I was also very interested in the way that Collins explains the new racism in today’s society. I found her depiction of how the media reproduces ideologies and stereotypical images of women to be extremely telling of the type of society that we live in today. It is very evident that sex sells. This is explanation for why we are constantly surrounded by sexual images in our pop culture; this includes advertisements, television shows and music videos. This also relates to why groups like Destiny’s Child may need to portray a sexual image in order to sell albums and survive in an already very sexualized industry. This obsession with sex has definitely driven the media industry. It is necessary that the media is evaluated and changed if we want women to be viewed differently and not in this stereotypical, objectified manner. Only with a massive transformation of American values will women actually be portrayed in a strong manner without the accompanying sexual and derogatory image.
Another aspect of Collins’ argument that I agree with is that our culture views the terms “sexuality” and “heterosexuality” basically as synonyms. We also see these terms as both natural and normal. This works to further promote stereotypes about homosexual behavior as both deviant and abnormal. With this view, homosexuality is also pushed into the background and not always discussed. Heterosexuality is both expected and as Collins says “inevitable”, therefore homosexuality is not a forefront idea when discussing sexuality. By closing off the minds of the American public, homosexuality is not discussed and people are then even more closed to the idea of anything that is not considered normal. This feedback works to strengthen stereotypical and negative ideas about homosexuality.