Thursday afternoon just a bit past 1pm, I get off the 6 train at 77th Street. I see the poster for ‘She’s Gotta Have it’. I walk by without a thought, but curiosity pulls me back to fully take in this gorgeous Black woman in an advert surrounded by 3 men on the Upper East Side. The poster title reads ‘She’s gotta have it’, I whisper to my self as somebody bumps into me hurriedly towards the subway exit ”What does she have to have?”
Fast forward to late Saturday afternoon. I am watching the trailer for Spike Lee’s ‘first joint’ ‘She’s Gotta Have It’. I hear the main character, Nola Darling, spew “As a sex-positive, polyamorous, pansexual, monogamy never even seemed like a remote possibility.’ And I am like ‘Whoa’, what do those words mean when placed together?
This is where my not-so-trusty internet connection comes into play. Google defined sex positive as ‘having or promoting an open, tolerant, or progressive attitude towards sex and sexuality’. Polyamory as ‘the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time’. Finally pansexual as ‘not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity’. I knew what these words meant separately, but I wanted to understand on a greater level what sort of complex story Nola Darling was going to tell me with her proclaimed attitude towards sex and her sexual preference.
I love that this remake is happening at the peak of the revolution to reclaim what it means to be female by females. Later on in the trailer people say things about Nola and in private commentary Nola emphatically says ‘I am not…’ for example her man Mars says ‘I think Nola’s a freak,’ Nola responds in private ‘I am not a freak’. Her other man, in a romantic setting where their gazing into each other’s eyes, says ‘You’re a sex addict,’ Nola retorts ‘I am not a sex addict’. Finally Nola emphatically rebukes men calling out to her in a subjugating manner; ‘And I’m damn sure nobody’s property’.
I am excited to invite Nola Darling into my private space at home and to have her influence me with her wondrous insights on life. I am excited for the things I may learn from her. I hope paternalism is not the dominate voice in once again a production where the lead is female. In the meantime I am going to watch the 1986 version of ‘She’s Gotta Have it’. Peace