Tyler Perry’s FOR COLORED GIRLS

by MullOverThis

Hello, blogosphere.  It’s been a minute or two, but after seeing the cranky reviews of this film on the Root and other African-American blogs-which I highly anticipated-I had to chime in.  Tyler Perry’s latest film, FOR COLORED GIRLS is based upon  Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf.”

This film is not a great adaptation of the original artistic work because the original play, based upon a series of Shange’s poems, depicted her morally decrepit view of the world and life through the Black woman’s experience.  Although Tyler Perry has issues, he is not a feminist and could not have possibly sought to bring a baseless feminist point of view to life on the big screen.  Personally, I’m glad he didn’t.  I remember having to take some Tylenol when studying Shange’s work back in college.  I thought, “Lord, what is this world coming to.”

Of course, this flick is in line with most of Perry’s movies:  It does cater to the same stereotypical Bishop Jakes audience of wailing Black women as an all-inclusive view of the Black family/Black life and marginally includes the Black man.  DADDY’S LITTLE GIRLS presented a story that needs to be told about the single Black male father who is often the “better” parent, and has to struggle to give his children the influence, upbringing and life they deserve. So, although I am not a Tyler Perry fan, he did give some “dap” to Black men.

As for COLORED GIRLS, my girlfriends and I all have one opine that cannot be trumped:  We all see ourselves or know someone personally who has the same story as the characters in this film.  So, what is all of the fuss about?

The questions become:

With Shange’s motivation for her insane feminist projections concerning the issues presented in the mid-seventies, why are Black women still weeping in 2010?

Can Black women sweeping across America recall being RAPED by some man, who may have been Black, whether he was a familiar or unknown assailant?  Mmmmmmmhhhh. All you cranky critics who are tired of seeing Black men portrayed as rapists, please talk to your rapist Black male counterparts, then. See if a brother can help a brother out. Not all Black men are rapists, but too many Black men use non-consensual force when penetrating Black women. We call it what it is: RAPE.

Can Black women recall being molested by our own fathers?  Brothers? Uncles?  Male cousins? Mmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhh. Should Tyler Perry and other Black media not touch this issue because brothers want to forget they had slippery tricky fingers and uh…body parts back in the day? Or, because the many brothers who haven’t ever violated women don’t care to pay attention to the reality of STATISTICS based upon slippery fingers? Mulloverthis doesn’t buy the slippery slope arguments that perverts use such as young hot-to-trot girls know exactly what they want when they seduce grown-behind pedophiles.

Can Black women living with HIV/AIDS from down-low husbands/lovers who are in denial about their homosexuality sit and watch this movie and ask, “Please pass the popcorn?”  Crunch.  Crunch.  Crunch.  Did Tyler Perry make up this disgusting, no-conscience Negro who will run around with men, and look in the mirror and tell himself he is not a homosexual, yet passes along an infection because he is so careful to “cover-up” his carelessness?  Give me a break.  Please. Need we pity the one who is so detached from his own reality that he completely devalues the life of the one to whom he repeatedly lies and chooses to slowly kill?

Did the screenwriting crew imagine the storyline of the nutjob throwing his own children out of an apartment window?  Yes, they probably did.  They put a nice “spin” on why the nutjob was insane.  The military messed up his mind.  How many women of color deal with men who whip them and their children-even their own flesh and blood-because a lot of BLACK MEN are simply “jacked up”?  Check the headlines, police precincts, courthouses, and jail cells. Don’t forget the shelters.  Black men flip out quite a bit.  Of course, this is the community of Black men that miss all of the posts on the Root and the intellectual responses on the affront to Black men through these types of films.  How about dealing with the affront to Black women when no cameras are rolling and women are being abused.

The reality of what Colored women face and endure could not be captured in two plus hours of cinematic drama.  What the cranky whiners seem to ignore-and is typical with men who want to see a picture with how they see themselves on screen-is that this film did have a significant number of messages to self-responsibility and breaking the cycles of abuse and self-destruction for Colored women. 

Women must take responsibility for why some are whores and jump in and out of bed with any man breathing. Regardless of why promiscuity is the modus operandi, women must find the “root” and deal with it because temporary intimacy is not love.

Women must stop having frivolous sex because abortions aren’t cute, especially back-alley illegal abortions. There is no glamour in killing an unborn child. (To all who want to challenge LIFE, don’t waste your time here. Dead pre-born children don’t need to be terminated or aborted from their non-life state, now do they?)

Women in abusive relationships have to make hard decisions and choices before it is too late. Women can’t fix crazy and crazy may kill. Tears from wells of pain that will never run dry are too late when we could have made a difficult choice to leave when good old common sense dictates crazy is sick and we can’t help him and BE SAFE. And yes, I did call the prototypical abusive Black man CRAZY. Yes, Mulloverthis did. Crazy is equal to such a characterization when his woman is completely objectified and deemed as his “piece”, and she is expected to live with little to no independent value to CRAZY other than how well she justifies, enables and accommodates his insanity.

Women can ignore the signs of cheating all day long. That will not make Harry love us, or stop using us for food, money, clothes, hair-cuts, trips, pocket change and a place to stay when he has another family and/or he’s in and out with another woman-or man.

Because a man holds our hands and says he loves us doesn’t mean he’s not gay, when all of his actions and tendencies says that HE IS.

Many women are religious fanatics because they have no other way of mentally coping with their own rejection and self-hatred, rooted in childhood abuse. Rather than deal with our own lives, many Black women hide behind some religion to justify ludicrous living conditions, ineptitude, and emotional instability.

Maybe Mulloverthis saw the movie and got the messages of the movie and didn’t expect to see Black male heroes because I read the title, “FOR COLORED GIRLS.” I knew it was associated with the original stage play and poetic work, and didn’t get the impression that Black male heroes were on the agenda.

Was this major motion picture a disservice to the Black community? No more than the Black male cheating spouse or lover who disregards his own worth for a cheap thrill that just may cost his wife her life, or an infection that leads to annihilated fertility. Black love is complicated and IS often riddled with unhealthy relationships and tendencies. Don’t get mad at Tyler Perry. Get mad at (fill in the blanks) and do something!

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One Comment to “Tyler Perry’s FOR COLORED GIRLS”

  1. I saw the movie, and for the most part, I enjoyed it. Tyler Perry merely gave his adaptation of a play that dealt with the woes of black womanhood. He didn’t make this up in a literary or realistic sense. In the 1970’s, black women writers emerged to tell the stories of other black females who suffered off the plantation at the hands of their own men. They veered away from strict political contexts about the black struggle and talked about it in context with our own households. These stories are still relevant today. If we want to cry loud and spare not, let’s do it in our own families where we see these things happening. Let’s have a talk with that deadbeat dad and ask him to own his “crazy”. Let’s talk to the uncle that hits women, or the cousin who sees it all and has nothing to say and ask them to own their “crazy” too. Let’s have a talk with the women in our family who don’t know their worth and put up with this from their sons and husbands. We can’t get mad at Tyler Perry for depicting something that we see in our own homes. The only difference is we are not passing the popcorn.

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