Deborah Whaley’s 2011 article, “Spike Lee’s Phantasmagoric Fantasy and the Black Female Sexual Imaginary in She Hate Me,” explores the sexual politics in the 2004 film, asserting that while Lee purports to challenge normative assumptions of black female sexuality, he actually reinforces and reifies conservative sexual and family values.
On the surface, this film might seem like a progressive, sexual and familial alternative. Upon closer inspection, one might also conclude that Lee’s corrective to autonomous child rearing among women entails the reinsertion of patriarchy and by extension, heterosexuality, into their lives. Given this narrative, She Hate Me seems neither sexually progressive nor feminist.
Whaley goes on to further highlight instances of misogyny and patriarchy that operate under the guise of progressivism throughout the film. Read more in the Iowa Digital Library.
Whaley, Deborah E. “Spike Lee’s Phantasmagoric Fantasy and the Black Female Sexual Imaginary in She Hate Me.” Poroi 7, Iss. 2 (2011): Article 6.