She’s Gotta Have It: Breaking Down Double Standards

By Jenise Jackson
Blog Content Contributor

“What kind of lady acts like a man?”

This is a line from the new Netflix series, She’s Gotta Have It, that stuck with me. A modern version of Spike Lee’s 1986 feature-length directorial debut, She’s Gotta Have It, tells the story of the beautiful Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise). Nola is a pansexual Brooklyn artist navigating through her non-monogamous life all while carrying on casual, sexual affairs with three men. Thirty-one years after the original movie was released, this Netflix reboot came at the perfect time.

Here we are about to see the beginning of 2018; this is a time where we should accept the fact that women have the right to be as sexually liberated as men, yet it is still somewhat frowned upon. In my opinion, women are still policed by society when it comes to their body and their choices. Because of this, Nola Darling is a character I have no shame in celebrating. She’s an independent woman living a fluid lifestyle with no commitments. Although she rejects titles, Nola isn’t playing her male suitors. She actually has a soft spot for each of them, but it’s really all about her freedom. Nola is comfortable with her sexual expression and clear about what she wants and doesn’t want. It’s time that we allow women to be just that.

We have had other shows, like Insecure (which I am also a big fan of), that have given us main female characters who embrace their female sexuality, but they haven’t hit the mark like She’s Gotta Have It. Nola is truly in control and can get an audience thinking. If men can be sexually promiscuous, why can’t women have that same power? Why are there labels and judgement against women when they do what feels good for them? What we allow to be acceptable for men should be equally acceptable for women without them being shamed.

Women go through life fighting body perceptions, beauty standards and much more. It’s like we are always under a scope, expected to live up to these ridiculous standards. The one thing we should be allowed to dictate is our sexuality. If we want to be committed to one person, let us. If we want to explore our options and not be tied down, allow that as well. If men can play the game, maybe women can play it even better. Thanks Spike Lee for bringing this classic story back at the right time. Nola Darling is a fictional legend who I, along with countless other women, can look up to.

If you are a fan of She’s Gotta Have It, leave a comment below about the series. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

Featured image courtesy of IMDB.

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