Sex and the City, Pots And Kettles

I was thinking about writing a review of the new Sex and the City movie. That was until I read other people doing a much better job than I could. But still, if there is something I can add to the debate…

I didn’t find that much “glamour” or “fashion” in the movie, but that may be because I don’t register it. (The “fashionz-omgz” gene is missing in my genetic make up). One of the characters even poos her pants, literally. And for a “romantic comedy”, the movie was quite dark. Carrie spends most of the movie trying to put her life together, same as Miranda. And Samantha goes through a life crisis, despite it being presented in a “silly” kinda way.
The main reason why I liked the movie is because it delivered a good dose of that which I have always looked for when watching the serie: female friendship. For me, SATC is one big, shiny beacon of female friendship. I have never experienced that kind of relationships and I truly enjoy catching a glimpse of that world. It makes my heart warm and fuzzy and it fills me with hope to see friends being so close, loving, caring and suporting of each other. More so when thinks about the differences in character and beliefs between them. I do not know if the female friendship in SATC can correlate to the real world, but I like to believe it can.

So, for me this portrayal of female friendship is enough to balance out all the other questionable aspects in the feminist, leftist department.

THAT said. Has anyone had any doubt that anything remotely woman-oriented will be easy target for media misogyny? Exactly. Shakesville has done a great job in tackling this here, here, here and here.

I’m gonna focus on one aspect: frivolous and shallow, two terms I’ve heard being used to describe the characters and therefore, the movie. In the privacy of my own mind, my response to these comments are “shut up, you narrow-minded cock sock-puppet!!!”. But I cannot leave it at that in my blog, can I?
What an annoying example of the double standard used for men and women. It’s the pot calling the kettle black. (note: kettles are female). When was the last time anyone ever heard of a male character described as frivolous or shallow? And it’s not because of a lack of examples in the movie industry. From Superbad and Knocked Up all the way to Superman, Spiderman, Batman and every single “something”-man ever created. And those out of the mill movies with gangsters, mafias, spies and the lot, always the same, always men killing and blowing stuff up? Are any of these movies examples of the epitome of human achievement? The pinacle of grace and art? An invitation to analysis and debate? Of course not. They are exactly what 99% of today’s movies are supposed to be: a quick buck. Even those movies which are held up for their “wonderfulness” by (male) movie critics, the ones who get awards and “hoos” and “haas” consist of a strong combination of mindless, pointless violence and/or sex-a-plenty. The public is so apathic and numb that the only way to get his attention is to throw a good dose of violence and sex down his nervous system. The reason for the violence and sex is irrelevant; in fact it may not even be there. Quantum Tarantela has made his entire career out of this. Violence for the sake of violence, no one ever questioning the motives behind it. I don’t know you, but I would call that SHALLOW. This is the worse kind of shallow. It’s shallow that stands one step away from actual condining of violence.
To say nothing of the sex depicted in these movies. Always misogynistic, always predatory, always for the pleasure of the man, always… how could I call it? Oh yes, SHALLOW.

I’ve tried to explain this fenomenon before: you can focus on anything you want, as long as you don’t upset the peoples in power. So in reality, you cannot focus on anything.

As for frivolous, we already know how that works, don’t we? If it’s men’s it’s important stuff, if it’s women’s it’s irrelevant. Even if men’s stuff is composed of football, motorbikes and videogames. All of which I would rate at the same level of importance as shoes and handbags.

Is the SATC movie shallow? Sure. But show me a movie made in the past 50 years that isn’t.
If men want to use the terms “shallow and frivolous” to describe movies aimed at women, they should start with the movies aimed at them, a good 98% of the industry’s gross production.

I, personally, will choose female-friendship based “shallow” over “violent shallow” any time.


9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lara said,

    I agree with you Mary Tracy. I am so sick and damned tired of these supposedly “avant garde” and “artistic” movies by men that are just sex and violence (or, rather, sexual violence) fests on the silver screen. Their male privilege is so great that they can put any frivolous or shallow crap (yes, I had to use those words šŸ˜‰ ) in the theaters and if anyone criticizes them for their sexism, racism, or just lack of plot/substance people criticize you as “not getting it” or a “simpleton” or “uptight.”
    I am not really a fan of Sex and the City but I know that when people label the characters as “frivolous/shallow” I know it has mostly, if not only, to do with their gender.
    There’s a slew of men and male characters in films that are so damned shallow and ridiculous and they get away with it, of course.
    I might go and watch the SATC movie tomorrow with a friend, I’ve heard it’s actually really good.

  2. 2

    Lara said,

    And I hate, hate, HATE Quentum Tarantela (you know who). I just, can’t stand his guts. And all of his male film director/producer friends, for that matter :/ To hell with them and their misogyny.

  3. 3

    Mary Tracy9 said,

    You forgot “edgy”. They are artistic and “edgy” and if you dare criticize them, you are dumb and un-cool. And the Quantum guy should be considered Feminist Public Enemy of the Silver Screen Number 1, with his great idea of producing male figurines with his face under the name “Rapist N1”. He just uses violence and misogyny for no good reason other than to appear “edgy”. He wouldn’t have to do that if he had an ounce of creativity.

    WRT the SATC movie, it might depend on what you want out of a movie. If you want to indulge in a world where women’s friends are central to their lives and who rely on each other for support, you might find yourself liking it.

  4. 4

    I totally agree with you, with the exception that the fashion ROCKED SATC. I inherited the fashion gene, in the sense that I was trained to recognise it, but can’t afford it (and most of the time wouldn’t want to- might make an exception for vivienne westwood :)).

    I particularly hate QT, especially recently- it just gets more mindless and misogynistic.

  5. 5

    Polly Styrene said,

    QT’s films are rubbish. He is the emperor’s new director, and an arsehole to boot. (Yes I know someone who had the displeasure of meeting him personally). I fail to see why anyone thinks female ’empowerment’ consists of going round killing people. My personal opinion is that people only watch his stuff because they’ve been told what a genius he is….

  6. 6

    Lara said,

    Isn’t it interesting how when people exclaim that QT is a “genius” they never actually explain why. I have been into photography for a couple of years now, I come from a family of visual artists, and I can tell you right now that there is nothing special about the misogynist dickhead and his sorry excuse for “films.”

  7. 7

    allecto said,

    Um there are some non-shallow movies that have been made in the last 50 years, I am discovering more every month. You just have to look for them. I’m not really interested in shallow female friendship/sisterhood movies because deep ones exist. Once you’ve seen a fantastic movie depicting deep female relationships you can never go back.

    Oh and I am really sick of the whiteness of malestream movies. Quite a few Black women bloggers have already commented on how alienating they find movies like Sex in the City. I am increasingly noticing how female leads seem almost painted white. Like Lyra and Mrs. Coulter in The Golden Compass. I’m not really dark skinned but I have difficulty relating to feminine-looking women with blue eyes, blond hair and over-white skin. I just do not look like these women, that is not the face I am able or willing to present to the world. If it was my life would be radically different than it is at the moment, whether I was surrounded by women or not.

    Oh and I am totally behind QT bashing. That dude is seriously screwed up.

  8. 8

    rychousmama said,

    Not to mention the extreme classism of SATC. My sister always used to love that show and I didn’t like it because I could never relate to this rich white women who go shopping all day and talk about men and screwing men. It’s kind of a shame because there are times in the show (and I am sure, in the movie) where female friendships are complex and really are the main focus. But all of that classist/racist stuff I think gets in the way.
    On a related note, I’ve noticed rather recently that in most movies, the only time women actually communicate with each other or are alone together is to talk about the men in their lives that they both know. Otherwise there is no dialogue or connection between women. Sad.
    Well, QT is not “screwed up” relatively speaking, he’s behaving and thinking in a way to embody and perpetuate our culture’s idea of masculinity. Which makes him even more deserving of bashing šŸ˜‰

  9. 9

    Level Best said,

    I never watched SATC on cable and probably will only see it when it goes to DVD (I can purchase DVD’s for less money than I can buy a theatre ticket), but I will give it a look, because these days to have female lead characters in a movie pretty much amounts to being subversive in itself. For every film featuring a woman or women, there are probably 100’s of films featuring a man or men w/women only appearing as very perpipheral sexual interests. I think one reason I watch so many movies from the 1930’s, ’40’s, and ’50’s is because they very, very frequently were about women and for women. I love watching women on screen. šŸ™‚

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