March 3, 2005

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith's "heteronormative" talk at Harvard:

You may have heard about how the Scream 2 actress was invited to give a speech by the Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations. She said the usual uplifting you-go-girl Oprah-talk that you hear on TV a hundred times per day:

"Women, you can have it all—a loving man, devoted husband, loving children, a fabulous career," she said. "They say you gotta choose. Nah, nah, nah. We are a new generation of women. We got to set a new standard of rules around here. You can do whatever it is you want. All you have to do is want it."

But, as you may have heard, Harvard is a particularly sensitive place these days, and the university's Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance [don't you have the nagging suspicion that some group is missing from that list and is really sore about it?] denounced Pinkett Smith's pep talk. The Harvard Crimson reported:

"Some of the content was extremely heteronormative, and made BGLTSA members feel uncomfortable," [BGLTSA co-chair Jordan Woods] said. Calling the comments heteronormative, according to Woods, means they implied that standard sexual relationships are only between males and females. "Our position is that the comments weren’t homophobic, but the content was specific to male-female relationships," Woods said....

Paulus added that the [Intercultural] Foundation will issue a letter later this week apologizing for any offense the show might have caused and encouraging concerned students to attend the planned discussions.

I merely want to point out that black women are rightly very interested in Pinkett Smith's advice on how to have a "devoted husband" because she is Mrs. Will Smith. While the illegitimacy rate for blacks is around 2/3rds, she not only has had a husband for seven years, but her hubby currently holds the record for the highest average opening weekend box office take in movie history. In other words, she persuaded the most popular black man in the world, a fellow who presumably (to use Elvis Presley's formulation) doesn't need to buy the cow because he can get all the milk he wants through the fence, to marry her. You go girl.

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