Ant-Man and the Hombre Pequeño

Ant-Man-Character-Poster-Michael-PenaThis is not a review of Ant-Man. Let’s get that out of the way so you know that very few thing in this article contains spoilers. However, I need for you to be on the same page with me so I’m going to assume you’ve either seen it or you don’t care about things being slightly spoiled for you.

I want to go on record by saying that Ant-Man gets a B+ because it has all the elements of a typical fun loving super hero movie that you can expect from Marvel. But again, this is not a review of Ant-Man. But what do we really come to expect from a Marvel movie? A fast paced movie, humor, poorly written women characters, mid credit scenes, black side kicks, end of credit scenes, and a Stan Lee appearance. Right?

So let’s add something to the list, Latino coonery. I mean let’s be real about this. People of color have been relegated to side kick roles in all of Marvel’s films thus far. We all know who they are: Nick Fury, Iron Patriot, Falcon, and Hiemdall. None of these are black women, in fact, are there any black women in the Marvel Cinematic universe? Don’t say Storm because that is not the same “universe” we are talking about. Before you wrack your brain and say Zoe Saldana (who is Afro-Latino) understand that she is not portrayed as a woman of color in Guardians of the Galaxy but as an Alien woman which is the a big difference (just like Lupita in Star Wars, who you wont really see) because Gamora is no Amanda Waller.

So now that you know what to expect and what’s been added to the list, lets talk about Ant-Man. Scott Lang is a former criminal looking to change his ways so I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that out of his three “friends”, one is Latino and the other is T.I.. Please understand that when I saw that Michael Peña was in this movie, it was sort of big deal because I love this guy. He’s one of those actors that I feel needs more roles especially after seeing his performance in Crash. His character, Luis (which is kinda messed up since that is the name of the protagonist in my book, Hanging Upside Down – shameless plug), is supposed be the muscle of the group from what I gather. But he comes across as a hipster like gang-banger that sounds like Joey from Friends in SAP.

There is no question that he plays this role well. He is indeed funny but, I believe the dotted line between being laughed with and laughed at was crossed. I call it Latino coonery because it was just too much yapping younahwatIissayin? Luis was so just so extra in his words and verbal expressions that I cringed at certain parts. The same exact jokes could have been done without the need to make the only prominent Latino person in the film seem so ridiculous. Yes, it is a good thing that he does have a prominent speaking role and is very useful in his relegated side kick role but he is no where near Cisco from The Flash who is intelligent, witty, in addition to being funny.

What is really strange is the very few people have mentioned this about the film. I know some pretty opinionated people who gloss over this fact and that is alarming to me. I’m hoping that we’re not getting so comfortable seeing these big superhero films that we forget to be socially aware when it comes to pandering, cultural appropriations, and coonish portrayals of people of color in mainstream film.

So if you do see Ant-Man for the first or second time, take notice to what I’m saying. We should expect better from films we freely give our money to. While it is great to see Luis in this film he ends being much smaller than the hero.

Hi, Hollywood. Not all Latinas are Maids.

what-dora-becameI feel like I am back here again. Almost two years ago I wrote an blog about Latina Magazine and how they were glorifying maids in one of their articles. This was around the time that “The Help” became big at the box office. I was annoyed that a magazine that supposed to be for women can help stereotype them, but of course, this is how the media works.

Then I saw the trailer for the new show on Lifetime called “Devious Maids” about five Latinas who are (you guessed it) maids. I shake my head because this is the type of shit that getsd on my nerves. Five successful actresses playing into these roles because quite frankly, there are probably not many opportunities to play much else. However, to top it all off the executive producer is Eva Longoria (who obviously defends her show). What in the blue Django is going on here? I wont even get into Oprah’s new project called The Butler either because I’m just through with these people giving us stories that they feel we need to hear when the real stories that we should hear go untold.

So I’m going to go on record and say that 95% of all the Latinas I know are not maids, at least no in the traditional “let’s serve master” kind of way. I will say that the 5% is an uncertainty. It could’ve been completely possible that either one of my grandmother’s could have been maids, but I think they worked at a factory. I can run down a quick list of women in my family and their occupations.

I have a cousin in Harvard working on a PHD, her sister is a lawyer, my mother and two of my aunts were nurses and got their masters in Nursing Administration, my aunt from my father’s side is a retired teacher with a PHD in Education, another aunt who was a stock trader, and several others who have a college degree working in offices.

I could talk about the women who have have graduated from SU with me, or the graduate students that I worked with when I worked there. I could talk about the women that my alumni association (LANSU) has profiled. So why is there this insistent need to show Latinas in servant role? Have we not move passed this business? The true reason lies behind the fact that society, as a whole, is not willing to except the fact that a woman of color can, in fact, be strong and step out of the mold that is set in place for her.

Case in point, people LOVE Scandal. A big time attorney that has an affair with the President of the United States. You know what it sounds like to me? It sounds like society telling us that no matter how big a black woman gets, she will always a side piece. But it’s just TV right? It means nothing right? Wake up mi gente, this is how people view you through the media, but I’m quite sure that you will love this show.

Not all Latinas are Consuela from Family Guy.

P.S. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a maid, but there a may other professions that Latina actresses could play.