The portrayal of women in Chi-Raq for me was pretty disconcerting. Though Lee tries to portray women as strong and independent, he reduces them to sexual objects. While he affords them the main role as the catalyst for change, he simultaneously suggests the women have nothing to offer besides sex. Sex is also often repeatedly talked about as only fulfilling for the men and the strike suggests they are entitled to having women please them. Much of Lysistrata’s motivation for the sex strike is also to keep the men safe, “… you wanna lose your man to a drive by?”(29:00)
Even as both Lysistrata and Indigo’s men demean them and verbalize how easy it would be to replace them, they stand firm in their relationships with them. They are steadfast in these relationships with fairly verbally abusive men. The women are continually portrayed as nothing more than sexual objects for the man in their life and that seems to be reflected in not only how the men speak about them, but how the women talk to each other and about each other, referring to other women as “thots”, “whores”, etc. They are objectified and reducing themselves to having a single function, “No Peace, No Pussy.” They stay locked away with chastity belts for about 3 months leaving us to wonder if they have any other responsibilities in life. Do they have jobs? Does anyone go to school? What about the mothers? Is their only role as girlfriends or wives? Aren’t they bored??
Did anyone else share these concerns or feel that the portrayal of women in Chi-Raq was outrageous and demeaning?