Queering Cleo: Set It Off and Queen Latifah’s “Butch in the Hood”

  • Francesca T. Royster


To what extent must black women strategize to control the gaze? Cleopatra is a useful sign for discussing the control of the gaze because of her much-rumored allure and control over men through the performance of her desirability and her capture and display by her enemies as a means ot power. In Shakespeare’s version of her legend, Octavius Caesar delights that he will take the captured Cleopatra and parade her through the marketplace. Cleopatra struggles to interrupt this particular display by committing suicide, which she stages in the most provocative way she knows how.


Black Woman African American Woman Heterosexual Woman Cultural Critic Bank Robbery 
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© Francesca T. Royster 2003

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  • Francesca T. Royster

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