Let’s Talk: The Standards between Men and Women

Marcus Graham was a playboy. That was his MO. But what happens when the situation is reversed….Let’s talk about it.

Boomerang is a black cinematic classic for a few reasons. One, Eddie Murphy…self-explanatory. Two, after Jungle Fever and Strictly Business (remember her in those), Boomerang was Halle Berry’s first real staring role. Lastly, the real plot of the movie. Do women have the same privileges in society as men? Boomerang explores that and boy, does it show the true colors of this question.

A stated before, Marcus Graham is handsome, successful and THE playboy of the company, possibly in the city honestly. He’s been used to women flocking to him and enjoys taking advantage of their vulnerability, so to speak. Now, Marcus says he’s looking for the perfect woman but is there anyone who can be considered “perfect?” So he goes about his life with no love and no commitments, just in and out. Enter Jacqueline Boyer. Successful, beautiful and kind of unattainable when you think about it. She’s about her business and she knows what she looks like but she doesn’t rely on that. That’s what I love about her character. She knows she’s fine but she’s not arrogant about it. Anyway, Jacqueline is Marcus’ big fish, so much so, he ignores artist Angela Lewis, who we know is fine. He sets her up with his awkward and kind of shy friend Gerard.

So, of course, he tries all his usual tactics in order to “woo” Jacqueline. They all don’t work. I think because of who she is, the industry she works in and what she looks like, she’s used to men like Marcus approaching her in the way they do. It wasn’t new so it was easy to ignore, but that business trip to New Orleans, probably complete with beignets and alcohol, changed things….for Marcus. Her feet were right, she was any man’s dream and she seemed to like him…or did she?

Turns out, Jacqueline is the female Marcus, and does that sit well with Marcus? Absolutely not. Not only is he supposed to be the only player at the agency BUT she’s a woman. She can’t possibly have the same privileges or leeway as he does as a man. Plus, she was supposed to like him because he liked her! His feelings were hurt….and here in lies the lesson. He starts to get, to use a cliche, a taste of his own medicine. She ignores him, uses him for sex and guess what else? She starts to brag about her affair so much so that Strange makes a pass at him, which is SO FUNNY!!

So, Angela feels sorry for him but the majority of females viewers probably didn’t and I’d imagine most male viewers were appalled. Why is that? Why is this behavior ok for Marcus but not for Jacqueline? I’ll tell you why! Because she’s a woman and there’s this scarlet letter effect. (Anyone remember that book from high school? I often wondered why they made us read that book. Somehow someone knew I would have a blog and need a reference for the post.)

Let me attempt to figure out why the standards are the way they are. If you recall, The Scarlet Letter is a story about Hester Prynne trying to redeem herself in society after having a daughter out of wedlock. She’s branded, not physically but still, with a scarlet letter “A” that she is to wear for the rest of her days. The father, although she refuses to name him, more than likely would not have received the same scrutiny. (Although, when it is later revealed to be the minister of their church, things could have been very different because of the position he held in the church but I digress.) Women have never really been thought of as people. They have been treated as property, an accessory or the help. Women only had value because of their attachment to a man.

So back to Boomerang. What happens when a woman doesn’t play by those aforementioned rules? You get a man with hurt feelings but are his hurt feelings and bruised ego justified? Sound off!

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