^ Sarah Jessica Parker (above) plays lead anti-feminist, Carrie Bradshaw.
My beef with Sex and the City is similar to that of my beef with women's magazines, albeit S&TC is probably more harmful on a global scale.
For the few of you who have mercifully managed to avoid this completely narcissistic bilge of psuedo-feminine-empowerment gone horrifically wrong, let me fill you in. Sex and the City follows the exploits of four "empowered" women who, when they're not desperately plastering their aging faces in relentless amounts of slap and wearing expensive clothes, are found in cosmopolitan settings such as cafes and bars, drinking some description of a trendy beverage and guffawing about men - whether or not a certain man likes them, whether that man is good in bed, what men mean to them, whether that man has a big penis, whether all men have penises etc. It's a bit like Loose Women, except everyone is stick thin and tied together by a poorly written narrative. Also, the lead character is played by a horse - a well made-up horse, but a horse nevertheless.
Despairingly, lead failure Carrie "I'm a God-Damn Horse" Bradshaw, tends to book-end episodes with the insipidly dim-witted weekly sex column she writes for some magazine. Now, all throughout the show, the dominant theme is that these are liberated women. These are independent women. These are women who don't need men in their lives in order to be successful. This is how the modern woman should act. And yet, any notions of "independence" are quickly quelled by Carrie regurgitating the collective desperation of her group of friends in her column. Splurging about how she wants to find the "right guy" on an almost daily basis, it becomes achingly clear that our four "modern women" all seek men in a hackneyed attempt to validate themselves. These aren't role models. These are pathetic caricatures of spoilt hags. This is a joke of progressive television. There is nothing liberating about so strongly associating female independence with self-involvement, superficiality, shallow values and flaunting money. I'm glad I'm not a woman, otherwise I'd find it personally insulting.
I could almost let this go. Almost. If it wasn't for the film Sex and the City 2. It's portrayal of the Middle East is nothing short of borderline racist. The gabby four's Western values clash with Muslim customs throughout, not in the least coming to a head (easy!) with regards to Samantha "I'm So Desperate To Prove I'm Sexuality Active" Jones being arrested for public indecency after fondling a guy's balls. Classy. But when the mischievous girl gang get saved by a bunch of veiled Muslim women, things go horrifically awry. The latter group eventually take off their "oppressive" clothing for to reveal that, underneath, they share the same fashion sense as our American girls, boasting make up and "fashionable" clothing! Because that doesn't imply that every culture secretly wishes to subvert their religious or traditional values to be a spoilt monstrosity of Western superficiality! In foolishly attempting to make a comment about Western ideals of sexual egalitarianism in comparison to say that of Islam, S&tC basically just ends up insulting a varied and widely practiced religion, ignoring the relatively progressive nature of the United Arab Emirates for ill-informed stereotypes (at least, in the context of female empowerment) and highlighting just how utterly misguided values are in the Western media and entertainment. Style does not equal empowerment, you git-wizards.
It really warms the cockles of my heart to see unanimously loved visual vomit such as Sex and the City not only proliferate stereotypes regarding gender in our own society, but also to cast aspersions on the cultural backwardness of others that it clearly has no understanding of. Wait. No, it doesn't. It repulses me.