Race And Gender In Chi-Raq

843 Words 4 Pages
In a progressive world, social constructions may be viewed more as spectrums and less as perfectly defined characteristics. For example, as a college aged female in modern society, I often find myself considering race as an arbitrary spectrum ranging from black to white, and including every shade in between. Similarly, when I consider gender, I imagine a spectrum from hyper-feminine females to hyper-masculine males, with agender, gender fluid, and genderqueer each having a place. With a mindset that has been trained against considering gender and race to be confining characteristics, I found Chi-Raq to be quite eye opening. In Chi-Raq, race and gender status play crucial roles in nearly every aspect of the movie, ranging from the initial conflicts …show more content…
Lysistrata develops a strong aversion of gang violence, and elements of gender lead to the eventual solution. When Lysistrata decides that withholding sex until peace can be a useful tactic, she creates a clear divide between males and females. Although Lysistrata and many of the other women are eager to withhold sex to work toward peace, some are not easily convinced; Sugar Pie initially mentions that if she were to lose her man as a result of the sex boycott, she would cut each of the other women. Sugar Pie represents a reluctance to give up sex, which is seen as such a prevalent component of the woman role. Once the women deny their men sex, the men in the film become visibly affected, depicting that women are viewed as sex objects, simply because they are women. Throughout the film, sex is represented as an act enjoyed by both men and women. Women are the ones blamed for abstinence, regardless of the fact that they too are affected. The film depicts a major divide within a gender binary, in which femininity is exploited to evoke a response. Withholding sex is not an immediate solution to the seemingly unsolvable problem of gang violence, but the component gender does ultimately lead to …show more content…
Being a female determines that characters are part of the solution, while being male determines that characters are the root of the problem. Throughout the film, gender and race are used as decisive factors in the fate of the characters. Prior to watching Chi-Raq, I was not aware of the vastly different impact that race and/or gender can have on a given situation. Chi-Raq allowed me to see that societal norms and customs vary throughout the country, each state, and every city. Though I was aware that gender and race status impact lives, my experiences on a fairly liberal college campus precluded me from considering the severe impact that race and gender can have. After viewing Chi-Raq, I now understand that in some cultures, race and gender are more than just labels and have the ability to change one’s path entirely. Race and gender might be cultural constructions, but this does not mean that they are real, powerful factors that lead to conflict, stratification, and even potential solution in the case of Chi-Raq. By exposing a prevalent issue and the context of race and gender, Chi-Raq depicts the crucial role that cultural constructions can have in a given

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