What Kind of Black Woman Are You?

I thoroughly enjoyed the following comment by Stacey, so I decided to make it a post.

By the way, the post title is a general question, not aimed specifically at Stacey.

The following continues the discussion originating in the Black Actress Review: Just Wright – Big Boned Gurl Gets Good Guy Balla post.

Stacey says:

Ok, I must respectfully disagree with all the pro-Morgan comments here. Just came across this forum and had to respond, seeing as how Just Wright is one of my favorite movies of all time. Morgan was a gold-digger all the through. I just don’t see why she should be praised. I have no respect for women like that. LESLIE is the one who deserves a standing ovation. She worked very hard to achieve her goals–even bought her own house (on her OWN) Leslie had a heart-of-gold. She cared about all the people around her. She didn’t have any ulterior motives. Leslie was genuine, REAL. And that’s why I rooted for her from beginning to end.

I can relate so much more to Leslie than Morgan. Because I don’t feel that I need to bat my eyelashes and manipulate a man to get ahead. Just like Leslie, I want to be able to pay my own way.

I LOVE the way the movie ended. Scott finally opened his yes and realized that Leslie’s “The One”. And I love that Leslie didn’t have to change who she was. I love that she was still wearing her favorite Nets jersey at the end. She didn’t have to convert to some shallow glamour-girl to get her dream-guy. Leslie was fine just the way she was–there was no need for her to change. One of my fav moments of the movie: Scott gazing at Leslie when they were both sitting at the piano(he so wanted to kiss her)…and she was in her robe, without an ounce of make-up on—LOVE it!

And I gotta admit that I actually gained some respect for Morgan in the end(she realized that Scott was in love with Leslie and told him where to find her) Morgan could’ve schemed and plotted (although, it wouldn’t have done any good because Scott was already on his way to find Leslie–he even told Morgan, “I’m sorry, but it’s not gonna work)

Leslie was beautiful on the inside AND the outside. She didn’t care about Scott’s fame and fortune. She was up at 3 in the morn, giving him a pep-talk because she truly cared. The movie ended just as it should have: two people coming together for the right reason–because they truly love and respect each other, because they’re meant to be together. From their very first scene, it was obvious to me that Scott & Leslie belong together. They just fit together so perfectly. And this movie remains one of my all-time fav
rom-coms. KUDOS to Queen Latifah & Common!

 

flowers_can

GoldenAh:

Hello, Stacey. I liked your comment. You’ve given me so much to work with, but I’ll only bite a few portions.

I see what you mean, but this was about a movie that took what was unrealistic and made it into an interesting fairy tale. We were discussing how reality would have played out, and in each and every case Morgan would be the winner.

Morgan is Old School

I really believe black women hear such ridiculous, hypocritical, contradictory nonsense from black males they aren’t sure what they want to be.

Morgan is not a gold digger. There’s no reason to resent, dislike or be angry with her. She’s a realist. Her behavior was very feminine, self-assured, flirty, alluring and mysterious. She knew how to make (and keep) a man interested. That’s very normal and healthy. It is not manipulating a man!!! It is just a subtle way of saying, “Hey, I like you, you can chase me if you want.”

She was what most women were at one time – looking for a husband with the financial means to support his family. I know that’s changed in these times. Frankly, I look at her as being old fashioned. She was doing something that worked in an era where people understood social cues and signals.

Today, everybody seems rather lost about how to behave, even in showing basic manners. We’re lucky if we find a guy who doesn’t insist we pay for the meal, and simply wants to go Dutch. The meal tastes better if from jump he wants to pay and leaves a decent tip for the server. He looks like a good guy if he wants to take care of you. That’s a winner. That’s the best feeling in the world.

Leslie is What’s Up Now With Black Women

As for the “hardworking modern woman” character, Leslie is doing what she has to do. Like most of us, paying our own way is the default mode of life regardless. And that’s fine. We live in an age where it does make sense to have your stuff. I wouldn’t deny that.

However, even if you combined Morgan and Leslie into one woman, I would prefer that Scott dealt with Morgan’s personality and looks, while Leslie’s characteristics stayed (mostly) hidden.

brokenheart

The Ethical Flaw and Self-Harm

The problem with Leslie is that she was an employee whose job it was to look after Scott. I know if he was a white / Asian / Latino guy, you’d probably see immediately the problem with her cooking, cleaning and sexing him while he’s emotionally unavailable, on the rebound (still in love with Morgan), and working hard to do her job in making him physically / mentally fit to return to work. She may have fallen in love with Scott, but she endangered herself professionally and emotionally. She had a serious lapse of ethics and muddled her own waters while on the job.

Plus, Scott’s relationship with Morgan hadn’t achieved a clean break. They were still at an impasse. Breaking up and constantly making up is normal. There are plenty of couples who even after they divorce still find themselves having sex, cohabiting and doing other things because they haven’t really untied all the strings.

Leslie was setting herself up for some serious hurt while allowing herself to be the in between chick. She was the third wheel. She was the one who made herself available during a time she should have kept some distance from Scott.

In reality, she could be viewed as the man-stealing backstabber.

What If The Situation Was Reversed?

Just Wright  is clever in making Leslie the underdog, and she fits the type of woman who’s relaxed in her own skin. That’s cool.

But let’s switch it up. Imagine her as a guy who makes no effort to bathe, brush his hair / teeth, or groom himself even in your presence when he’s “relaxed”. Would you really find him attractive?

If he was fat, out-of-shape, a bit abrasive, has limited resources, and you were missing your ex-boo who’s smoking hot, though annoying, would you really find him attractive? Would you really consider him for a minute?

If you hired a guy to take care of your household chores, cook, clean or do something necessary and crucial for you, would you consider sleeping with him even though you were still thinking of your smoking hot ex?

We certainly love our double-standards. He should be tall, handsome, fit, rich and a balla. While he should be happy with our hefty, gaudy, rough, unfeminine appearance, because we’re keeping it real, and he’ll love us since we are the biggest fan of his sport. Considering that if he’s a baller, everybody would be a fan. He’d be swollen headed and expect the adoration.

In a sense, that entire angle is a wash.

What Kind of Black Woman?

You know why Morgan is very feminine? Obviously, she’s not working. And whether her character is likable or not, her decision to find a husband is supported by her family. She has time to devote to her looks. She’s making it clear to the men she’s attracting that her looks are a symbol of self-love. She also wants the man to admire the effort she makes in looking good, not just for herself, but for him.

Trying to look attractive for a man is not a crying shame. It is not bad. It is part of the mating dance. I believe a woman can be sexy in a hoody, but it depends on how she wants to wear it. But she has to be comfortable in her own skin.

Leslie is to be applauded for being a “worker”, but that doesn’t entitle her to a wealthy, handsome, tall man as a reward for “good behavior.” It doesn’t work in real life either.

What Men Are Really Like

Most normal, well functioning guys aren’t going to be dating your wallet, house, car, degrees or status. A good number will resent hearing anything about your “stuff” even if he has more than what you have.

For all we know, Morgan has stuff, but she has the good sense to let herself be the prize Scott has to attain.

And that’s the one thing this movie doesn’t really inform us of. Men are predatory animals, and in this story for the romantic angle, a good thing, of course. When Scott, as the wealthy balla, decides to pursue Morgan, he’s not going for her monetary assets or status – he sees someone who interests him, raises his curiosity, likely sexually arouses him and makes him want to PURSUE her.

That’s why we admired Morgan, she understood the game and played it well. Unfortunately, the movie leaves out that entire courtship, which is a shame.

Reality Checks

We understand that Leslie was the movie’s Cinderella, but as stated before, she did it at the wrong time and wrong place, which was not realistic at all.

While it was a fun movie, I was uncomfortable with what it was teaching black women. We have enough stories (from real life)  where the women do it all for the men and end up heart and wallet broken, because they continue to see Morgan as a negative and Leslie as a positive.

That perspective is too skewed and needs to be balanced. It’s okay to be Morgan on the outside and Leslie on the inside, but not to give it all up and away like it’s nothing. That’s been done too many times before.

It’s one thing to be ready to love a man, but a woman has to have him earn it, otherwise he wont think much of it and treat it as such. And don’t we see to much of that already?

And Leslie can shower Scott with all the cooking, sexing, love and affection after he puts a ring on it. 😀

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19 Replies to “What Kind of Black Woman Are You?”

  1. I wish there was a like button on your page to hit OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. EXCELLENT post. I am so tired of women like Morgan being demonized. I do not care for the Leslies being typcast as Mammie, but lets be real here as you broke it down, men want Morgan with a little less selfishness. In real life he would have sopped up all Leslies care and attention then went back to Morgan or another woman like Morgan.

    You said “Leslie is to be applauded for being a “worker”, but that doesn’t entitle her to a wealthy, handsome, tall man as a reward for “good behavior.” It doesn’t work in real life either.” So true! there are those RARE and I do mean RARE moments when the Leslie does get the guy in the end but that is not the case 99.9999999% of the time and we know it that is why though I enjoyed the movie to be entertained, I knew it was not reasonable or realistic.

    I could go on , but you said it so well I will just re-read it a couple of times and scream YES at the resounding truth! Great Job!!

    GoldenAh: Thank you for the compliment, BB Fortune. My family is made up of mostly men, so I’ve watched who they are attracted to (and have married). They are just regular guys, but if I had to make up a type they gravitate towards (regardless of complexion, cause I can’t think of any that are color struck) it would be mainly Morgan with a moderate dash of Leslie (in having her own stuff).

    And that’s just how it is. 😀

  2. Do these folks not see that she basically guilted him into a relationship at the end? It was more like he pitied than loved her. Maybe that’s just me.

    GoldenAh: You could be right. Initially, he may start off as Mr Dudley Do Wright, but at some point later (after the guilt has worn off) he will start to drift away. And as BBFortune says, he’ll likely end up back with Morgan or some other girl.

    Thanks for chiming in, BWMM!

  3. Most rom-com’s are fantasy. They tell women things that just aren’t true in life. The fact is that if men didn’t marry and date the Morgans of the world, the human race wouldn’t exist.

    There was a time when clean skin and hair was a sign of good health, in that aspect Morgan would be considered more desirable than Leslie. Many rom-coms today tell women that it doesn’t matter what they look like, a hot guy will fall for them because of what’s inside. Where it’s true that what’s inside does matter, (after all that’s what will KEEP the guy with you after the looks have faded and they always fade), what’s outside does matter as well.

    Think about it, Cinderella didn’t attract the attention of the prince until she’d gone to the ball, dressed to the nines. When the prince saw who Cinderella really was, it didn’t matter to him, because he already was attracted to her, he’d seen her in all her finery.

    GoldenAh: And let’s not forget, Cinderella was already royalty, she was being treated badly by her step-mother, because her father was deceased. She was already a class act. Notice nobody had to teach her how to act like a lady? 😀

  4. Good point about Cinderella’s situation Eva!

    I even a couple of months ago when I went to my salon, the owner of the salon who is a nice and very warm lady played the stupid DVD from Tyler Perry with Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard again for the 3rd or 4th time since she played that.

    Yes it’s her salon and I’m not entitled to anything in it or about it, but when I heard her and some of the other clients/patrons in the salon having no problem with Sanaa Lathan’s character getting hit, I finally said how I feel about Perry’s ‘work’ and how he portarys BW who are educated, doing well and who are not living like a modern day Kizzy in ‘Roots’.

    A lso said that I heard (which is true) that he’s closeted and on the DL which I’ve heard once from a long time ago and I’m not homophobic, I’m anti-hypocrisy.

    And if he wants to be closeted, just don’t use your confusion and hypocrisy to beat successful BW to a pulp with just because they’re not Thelma on Good Times with 1,000x struggles! LOL

    GoldenAh: See, if someone needs to write a screenplay where Sanaa gets hit…. I’m through. And this came after “Something New”, right? Like she needed to redeem herself to Blakistan. I haven’t heard about her in anything since.

    So, that lady had the DVD on strict rotation, huh? It is gospel. There are teachings to be learned. It must be shown to everybody. TP’s just telling the troof. SMH.

  5. I did not see the movie but I was going to comment on Tyler Perry new movie Temptations.
    Again pain porn and more crap. I like to see movies to laugh or learn something or both. I like Oshun said how Black men are warped in their thinking. I find it funny how the BM talks about the ole evil WM, but it seems that most of the movies that are made are funded by WM or signed to a studio run by a WM. Black women are doing their own thing and funding and producing movies that uplifting and we can take away something positive without bad mouthing anyone.

    GoldenAh: I am tempted to see a couple of Tyler Perry classics (LOL), and do an analysis on what’s wrong with them. But I wonder if I can handle the torture? Wouldn’t that be like waterboarding myself? The only movie I could tolerate, which needed massive plot and dialogue re-writes, is “I Can Do Bad All” with Taraji P. Henson, Adam Rodriguez. I like them both; I cannot recall if there ever was a sweet, handsome Latino guy with a black woman in starring roles.

    TP likes to vilify career oriented hardworking black women. Does he realize he wouldn’t be able to eat, wear clothes or live well without them?

  6. I like the fact that more Black women are controlling the images that are being put out there. We are nipping things in the bud so to speak beforehand and now a little. When you can comfortable call a 9 year girls a demeaning name, there was a two fold situation. One hand outrage another crickets.
    But little by little things are starting to improve and we are now doing something about and not just sitting on the sidelines.
    Keep up the good work Betty.

    GoldenAh: I was going to say something about that child being called that name, but I realized I could end up melting the website…. I have to let that go…. Maybe later, much later, I’ll talk about something close to that subject.

  7. Wow, very interesting comments. But I’m still holding on to my original stance and let me clarify a little more……..have a lot to say….

    Part 1:

    I still see Morgan as the gold-digger, albeit not completely evil. I mean, there had to be SOME good qualities in Morgan. Otherwise, I can’t imagine that Leslie would be friends with her for so long. Let’s look at Morgan’s persona, shall we? She wanted to “create a brand”. In order to do so, Morgan felt that she had to nab a wealthy pro-athlete. Why couldn’t Morgan try to accomplish something on her OWN?

    In the beginning, Leslie mentioned that Morgan’s BMW was repossessed, due to lack of payments. Oh, I guess the Repo-Guy was supposed to take one look at Morgan and let her KEEP the car because she’s so pretty. LOL.
    Why exactly does Morgan have a sense of entitlement? What makes her so special that she can’t WORK for a living like everyone else?

    Is Morgan too good to work a 9-to-5? Apparently, she feels that everything must be handed to her on a silver platter. Why? Oh yeah, because she’s what some people would refer to as “drop-dead grogeous”. I’m a firm believer that INNER BEAUTY reigns supreme. And that’s something that can’t be bought at Neiman Marcus or Saks.

    Morgan has coasted through life on her good looks. She uses that to her full advantage. Why not try to utilize her BRAINS as well as her beauty??? The way I see it, Morgan is all about the 3 “C’s”–Cartier, Chanel and Champage. I still don’t see why she should be praised. I don’t see that logic at all.

    In one corner, we have Morgan, the shameless gold-digger, who is all about herself. Morgan, who would rather shop all day than offer moral support to her fiance. Morgan, who encourages Leslie to “Wait at least 5 years of marriage before you can be yourself?”

    And in the other corner, we have Leslie, the sweet, earthy girl-next-door, who puts everyone else above herself.

    I still choose LESLIE as the one who deserves major props. Leslie, who believed in Scott all the way and encouraged him when he was at his lowest point. Leslie, who would NEVER bail on Scott, even if he were to get traded to a “po-dunk city”, as Morgan phrased it. Leslie, who walked away when Morgan returned. Some women in Leslie’s shoes would’ve stayed to fight for the man she loves and would’ve blown Morgan’s phony cover. But what did Leslie do? She swallowed her pride and heartache–she walked away.

    Scott & Morgan’s relationship inploded all on it’s OWN. So I fail to understand how Leslie can be seen as “man-stealer”, as someone else said. How so????

    1. MORGAN is the one who took off because somehow, in her warped mind, Scott failed her.(nevermind that HE’S the one who’s injured and worried about his career–again, warped mind that Morgan has)

    2. It’s not like Leslie & Scott hopped into bed the minute Morgan left. Their mutual attraction developed over time. They had a wonderful time out together and gave into their feelings at the end of the date.

    3. Again, Leslie chose to LEAVE once Morgan came back into the picture. Leslie didn’t stick around to play childish mind games. Nor did she stick around and wait for Scott to “choose” her. Leslie went on with her life, starting a new career as an athletic trainer.

    And what was Morgan doing during this time? Oh yeah, trying to push Scott to the altar and have some fancy wedding at the Plaza. But thankfully, Scott saw through her ulterior motives. Yes, he was very gullible in the beginning. But hey, we all make mistakes.

    Scott finally opened his eyes and realized that his perfect match was right there the whole time, in the form of the awesome Leslie Wright!

  8. Part 2:

    And how ironic that Morgan returned at the PRECISE moment when Scott made his comeback and was back on top??? Where was she when he was up at 3 in the morning, worrying about his leg going out on him, worrying about his career being over? LESLIE was there for him…and not just because it “was her job”. She was there because she truly cared about him.

    I just don’t understand how Leslie is getting all the flak. Let’s not forget that MORGAN was the one who brought Leslie into the fold. I don’t recall Leslie begging to be Scott’s physical therapist, begging to move into his mansion.

    It would be nice if Morgan did it as a genuine favor to Leslie, the one whose guestroom she was living in for who knows how long. But noooo, Morgan only suggested Leslie for the job because Morgan felt threatened by blonde bombshell, Bella Goldstein. And I guess that Morgan automatically assumed that Scott could NEVER be attracted to Leslie, huh?

    Well, isn’t it funny how things work out? Scott DID fall in love with Leslie and she didn’t have to play any silly, trifling games to win his heart.
    On to Leslies’ appearance: So she’s not pencil-thin. So what? She’s not the glamorous type who carries designer handbags and wears a dress to b-ball games? So what? I mean, what is she supposed to do? Prance around in sexy attire? She’s there to perform a job.

    Leslie never had any intention of “enticing” Scott. Yes, she was attracted to Scott when they first met at the gas station. But what did Leslie do when Scott & Morgan began their whirlwhind romance? I recall that Leslie was very supportive. She didn’t blow the whistle on Morgan’s “I’m just a humble volunteer who doesn’t date basketball players” charade. Leslie was supportive all the way, not just to Scott & Morgan, but supportive to EVERYONE.

    I LOVE the way Scott & Leslie’s story progressed. They didn’t expect to fall in love with each other, they didn’t plan it…but it just HAPPENED. It happened beautifully and naturally.

    And to me, that’s what a real love story is all about. It doesn’t have to be forced or manipulated. No one has to pretend to be something they’re not. Bottom line–it’s REAL. Leslie never pretended to be something she wasn’t. Same for Scott. But Morgan–she pretended to be a volunteer for charity organizations. So much for being real.

    And no offense, but I think some people are missing the whole point of this film. It is a love story about two people who are drawn together and form this amazing connection. It’s about inner beauty shining through. It’s about a woman being able to be her REAL self–no pretending, no conforming, just being who she truly is.

    Again, why should Leslie have to change? No, she’s not a size 2, but so what? That doesn’t make her an ugly duckling or chopped liver. Leslie DID get glammed up when the occasion called for it. She looked absolutely stunning when Scott took her out for a night on the town.

    Leslie Wright is beautiful on the inside AND outside. She’s smart, compassionate, funny–a heart of gold. All these things drew Scott to her.

    Another message this movie sends: Scott is NOT like the majority of NBA stars today. He’s not cocky or egotistical. He’s sweet, humble and down-to-earth. He wants so much more than the “glamorous, size-2 arm candy”. Scott wants someone who will be there for him, no matter what. Someone who’s got his back. Someone who loves him for him, not for what his fame or wealth. LESLIE is that person. She loves Scott, no matter what. And vice versa. Scott encouraged Leslie to follow her dream of working in the NBA. They both have such incredible faith in one another, emphasizing just how strong their connection is.

    I get that some people don’t like the way the film ended. But please, let’s not twist facts around here. Leslie is NOT the rebound. She did NOT get Morgan’s sloppy seconds. I recall Scott being totally consumed with thoughts of Leslie during his big interview with Stuart Scott. “The Best 3 months of my life….”I wouldn’t be here without her.” Yes, that is a man IN LOVE. Scott didn’t settle for Leslie. He CHOSE to chase her down in Philly. He even considered leaving the Nets just so he could be with Leslie.

    I love the whole contrast between the beginning of the movie (Scott wanting nothing more than to remain a Net) and the end of the movie (Scott willing to leave the Nets just to be with Leslie, in the likelihood that she chose another team to work for) Scott was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Why? Because he truly loves Leslie with ever fiber of his being.

    Again, I don’t see Morgan as evil. She actually redeemed herself for me towards the end of the movie. She FINALLY stopped playing silly games and acted like a mature woman–very refreshing. I like to think that she tried to get her life in order.

    Maybe Morgan finally realized the importance of being independent and creating a brand by her OWN merit? I’m an eternal optimist. So yes, I imagine that Morgan got herself together. I also imagine that Leslie FINALLY received genuine support and understanding from her mother.

    I still believe this film ended just as it should have. Where is it written that the low-maintenance-girl-next-door CANNOT get the guy? Where is it written that ALL men are the same??? Let’s look at a representation of 100% of NBA stars. Ok, I say that 90% of them want a “Morgan-type”. They want the shallow, super-glam, model-type. Ok, that leaves 10%; this group does NOT care about having the ideal arm-candy. This percentage of men look for what’s on the INSIDE…they don’t care if the woman is plus-size, if she’s the casual t-shirt/jeans type. Scott McKnight represents that 10%.

    Just look at the end of the film. Leslie asks Scott, “Why you the only Net smiling when you lost by 6 points?” Scott’s reply: “Because I’m the only Net that has you.” Translation: Scott sees Leslie as being perfect just the way she is.” She’s everything he ever wanted and more. And vice versa. Both found what they were always looking for in one another.

    Again, KUDOS to Queen Latifah & Common. KUDOS to the entire cast, writers, producers, etc. A truly amazing/ One of A Kind film!

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