Sex and The City 2: A Letter to Feminism’s Snuff Film

These past few days, medications my inbox has been fuller with blood than a butcher’s dog. A few days ago. I made the (not terribly daring) claim on Australian news site Crikey that the social media mini-movement Women Against Feminism deserved analysis a little deeper than “those whores are wrong”. Since then a number of concerned liberal associates have quietly contacted me to ask if I have not, ed in fact, mind lost all of my shit or, at least, asked Satan to exchange it for a nice new pair of shoes.
Well. No new Miu Miu has appeared in my wardrobe and my shit, I think, is in the same place I left it last but nonetheless, it seems, the failure to immediately denounce any opponent of feminism is seen as little short of madness.
Truth be told, I have no interest in redeeming myself as rational. But I do, after some days of discussion, feel I have a small stake in giving Women Against Feminism some analysis that goes a bit beyond the very simple and dominant critique of “those bitches are dumb”.
Let it be said. Some of the Women Against Feminism advocates seem thicker than a bowl of quinoa porridge. Their scrawled complaint urges, on occasion, for a return to “traditional values and families”. Lol. Good luck with reorganising a western economy that does not just permit but demands female participation in an organised workforce, girls. I’m sure you can fundamentally change the shape of labour and return to your rightful place at the hearth making cakes and giving exquisite blowjobs using only a cardboard sign and a nice foundation garment. Knock yourselves out and if you have any handy hints about how the women of the world should feed themselves and their issue on a single income generated by a man, I am, after twenty-five years of wage slavery, all fucking ears.
Just to be clear. Women Against Feminism contains a volume of Stupid so great that if it were converted to quality top soil would be sufficient to transform the dust bowls of Africa into arable farmland.
But. You know. This doesn’t mean that Women Against Feminism does not (a) have something instructive to tell us about anti-liberalism generally and (b) that the Feminism it attacks is not, at times, also as dumb as a bowl of porridge.
What we have here in part is a case of dumb and dumber. What we have is whole lot of selfies of women in their best lipstick holding up signs opposing signs held up in selfies of women in their best lipstick. It is illiterate anti-feminism talking to an almost identically illiterate feminism.
Of course, this is not how the Feminist Internet sees it.
These past few weeks, a thousand Strong Women™ have decried the mini-movement. I’m going to list the major critiques before I get to the bit where I suggest that Women Against Feminism, like other anti-liberal populist groups, deserves a second look.
The first account of Women Against Feminism is that it is part of a long tradition of opposition to feminism. Slate says, “there’s nothing new about women being marshaled to attack feminism” in one of many pieces that links the young women to a tradition exemplified by Pyllis Schlafly, an ultra-conservative teacake who spent many years building and then burning down a fictional feminism made of straw and Stupid. One of the emails I received said, similarly, that Women Against Feminism was just more “backlash of the type that Susan Faludi described”.
For mine, this is not completely true. Certainly, there has been a tradition of opposition to feminism ideals as old as feminism ideals. And certainly, some of these have taken the form of traditional right wing idealism that wants women back at the hearth giving headjobs between plumping up soufflés. But it is worth remembering the constant assertion by feminists that feminism itself is a “broad church” and that the objections to it—even within Women Against Feminism— are similarly disparate.
Let’s consider the early injunction by socialist women of suffrage. Real red-ragger women didn’t encourage it. Take, for example, this 1909 claim from women in the British Socialist Standard that suffragettes were “a few deluded individuals who have conceived the brilliant idea that the vote, per se, is all that is necessary for the ushering in of the millennium.” They opposed the vote because they opposed The System and fucking good on them, frankly. Why partake of the illusion of democracy? It was, they said, counter-revolutionary.
A little softer but not really structurally indistinct was Germaine Greer’s cry against liberal feminism. She has been unwavering in her 1971 claim that she wanted to change the whole system and not just confer more advantage to women within a system she saw as corrupt. Marking the difference between a feminism of liberation that rejects all hierarchies and a feminism of equality that simply rejects patriarchy is another critique of feminism. And one that has nothing to do with a “long tradition” of right wing women clinging to a nuclear family fancy.
And one, by the way, that has been mentioned by some participants in this newest anti-feminist action. This young Women Against Feminism on YouTube, urges for a politics that extends beyond gender equality.
She seems frustrated with a movement that sees gender equality as the foundation of social change. “I am for equality for everyone,” says the young woman, who also says that she supports equal rights for women in law. Her thesis is not evolved, but her irritation with feminism is worth analysis.
So. In short. To say that the claims of Women Against Feminism form part of an ongoing right-wing feminine self-loathing ignores history. Which brings us to
Our second account of why Women Against Feminism suck.
HuffPo bemoans “the lack of understanding of the history” of the mini-movement. The Daily Wife urges for an “education in history” to remediate the stupidity of these young women. WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS FEMINISM HS DONE FOR YOU? demand a number of sites.
Well. To that I’d say, since when in the name of sweet fuck has any popular movement consisting chiefly of young people—including popular feminism—been big on history books? Further, I would say that it is impossible to claim, as most of the writers do, that feminism is a “broad church” which has no rules for membership while demanding that Women Against Feminism establish a liturgy and definite rules for membership.
Again, Women Against Feminism is opposed not to a broad historical understanding of feminism but to a new feminism which gives it a run for its insufficient intellectual funds. It is women with cardboard signs answering other women with cardboard fucking signs. We’re not going to get Marx reinterpreting Hegel, here. Or Butler re-reading Foucault if you want to get all femmo. What we have is ahistorical, antipolitical young women answering other ahistorical antipolitical young women. It’s a recipe for double-shit=chip cookies.
And fuck off telling young people they need to read history. They never will. I’ve been doing that for years. I even have a book about it due for release in December. Everyone keeps telling me, quite rightly, to get fucked. History. Young people. They’re as compatible as a rat and a snake.
If anyone needs to get down with a big old library of poisonous ideology, it is, perhaps, feminists. Which brings us to the
Third account of why Women Against Feminism are a noxious force of titty little lady birds who need their wings clipped and their mouths bound up with Rosie the Riveter do-rags.
Blah blah blah Because we’re women. Because equal pay. There’s still a struggle. Blah. Look. AT this point, I am boring even myself and I’m not going to link to any more god-awful precious shit about the Feminist Struggle against twenty-year olds with cardboard signs because fuck me, I can’t take any more bad discourse.
Look. What all these Women Against Women Against Feminism are saying about their nemeses is that they don’t understand that women are being oppressed. Particularly economically.
Now, if we go back to our relatively sane young woman on YouTube who cries for the inequality of all, I think we can begin to say that this populist movement has half a point.
If you are not a middle class young woman, imagine that you are one. Imagine that you have just left university and that you are confronting not only the bruising reality of your debt but the likelihood that you and all your age-mates will spend the next thirty years living with your parents. Imagine that you have been raised in a time with the deadening ideology of You Can Make It Only If You Try and the crushing experience of having tried and knowing that you’ll never work in your field of study. And, in fact, that a job in any field is hard to come by.
Add to this a cunning marketing culture that pulls at your desire to consumer but gives you no means to do so. And the suspicion that the world is choking thanks to the over-production of all those things you can’t buy. And, perhaps, if you are a mildly political person with some economic nous, you might be troubled by the idea that the labour of dependent trade nations makes the portable affluence your iPhone gives you came from Foxconn in China and mines in Africa. And imagine that in addition to the sense that liberal democracy can no longer deliver you the things it gave your parents, it’s closed its doors on your male friends as well.
And amid all of this, you hear a bunch of your peers baying for more blood out of a stone. They want equality from WHAT? A system predicated on inequality? A system that all reliable economists tell us what we all suspect: that the era of high-flyin’ western good times is fucking over.
And you see women advocating for more political representation. Why? So they can join a political class that accelerates your decline into poverty. As far as our legislation is concerned, feminism has won.And you hear women advocating for more positions on boards. Why? So they can make the decision to send more manufacture off-shore so that your iPhone 6 can be made in a feudal factory complex that contains more slaves than Abraham Lincoln ever freed. And you see women demanding for a “broad church” approach to their physical representation on cat-walks and in magazines. Why. So they can advertise more shit you can’t afford to buy. So they can liberalise the “right” to be looked at for all women? As though being considered pretty by a mass audience was as precious as the right to free assembly.
These are the suspicions that can motivate someone to hate feminism as it has become. And don’t give me It’s A Broad Church when it is very largely a mate to liberal democracy and the economies it legitimises. What feminism largely wants is equality for women in an era and an a system that is as inevitably predicated on inequality as your iPhone 6 is on slavery. There can be no equality in our western democracies and the countries they enslave. And if women aren’t getting short shrift, some other poor fucker of a social class certainly will. And even if the handful of people who decide our economic fate happen all to be white men, there are a bunch of other white men who get zip and will live at home until their parents die.
Imagine being a young woman and imagine how these thoughts might occur to you.
So. Women Against Feminism may be apolitical and unformed And just because they are a bit stupid and trollish doesn’t mean they don’t have a point. Like the kids of the Riots, they don’t know what they were rebelling against. But they were rebelling against something. A consumer culture, perhaps, that blared temptation at them but denied them the means to partake of it. They couldn’t articulate it. But this doesn’t mean that their actions weren’t eloquent.
Why not listen to what their pathologies have to say without dismissing these girls as naughty little things who aren’t good at history? They are rejecting a bourgeois movement of stupid whiners who demand “equality” in a system that cannot ever provide equality.
Feminism as it is largely expressed cannot imagine much beyond bourgeois liberal democracy. Feminism is Francis Fukuyama and it asks the End of History state to fix the grievances it has but rarely questions the economic forces that fuck most of us. And will keep fucking us, if Stiglitz and anyone with a clue is to be believes.
Women Against Feminism, thick as it is, is, at the very least, saying, on occasion, Something Is Very Wrong. And it’s not just that some men have “bad attitudes” but that capital is a monster without any moral logic. And that asking it to behave like a nice guy is like asking a bowl of quinoa porridge to taste good.
It can’t hear you.

 

 
A piece written circa 2008, nurse
rejected by my editors at a progressive Australian site.

Lindsay Lohan is a talented young performer. More significantly, she is a busty top-drawer hottie who has recently Gone Lez. In thrilling news it seems that the young woman stuffed with theatric promise is also stuffed with a slender girl DJ named Sam.

Well. I haven’t been so elated since discovering that Mean Girls was available in limited edition format with director’s commentary and gratis pink barrette.

I’ve admired Lohan, but not in that way, since her comic twelve –year-old’s turn in The Parent Trap. Impeccable timing and precocious swagger recalled an adolescent Jodie Foster. Her People quickly identified this likeness and chose to make it plain. Freaky Friday was remade with Lohan cast in the Foster role.

Perhaps it was Lohan’s attachment to The Method that led her to duplicate some of Jode’s less broadcast habits. Or, perhaps it was the pure love of snatch. Who knows and, indeed, who cares? I’d just love to be among the first to welcome Miss Lohan to the company of tribades. Bienvenue.

Of course, many Sapphic bouquets arrived before I could call intervulva. I’d missed my chance. Somehow, this news had almost soured by the time it reached my screen. It was, in fact, an Australian news source that alerted me to the star’s penchant for vag. Appended with a charming pictorial entitled “Stars Who Turn” the article did not report but took as granted broad knowledge of Lohan’s box luncheon.

The piece, in fact, was chiefly concerned with the Lez japery of another and far less talented young performer. It seems that Miss Jessica Origliasso, one half of Australia’s most ghastly musical act, is also going the girl growl.

One hopes, for the sake of her young friend, that the noises she makes during congress are more endurable than The Veronicas’ oeuvre.

Like Lohan, Origliasso has chosen a mate whose celebrity and physical beauty will not eclipse her own. Unlike Lohan, Origliasso is rather dull.

Why did I have to learn the saucy truth about Lindsay in such a regrettable way?

My joy was assuaged. Much as it was when I discovered that Oprah liked The Corrections as fervently as I did. Much as it was when people started reciting W H Auden verse in naff films. Much as it was when I learned that Ronald and Nancy Reagan fancied Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Although a Cat Lady, I’ve always got along tremendously well with this wilful breed. Whereas I regard the late Reagan, his terrifying spouse and their perverse legacy as neither sane nor cuddly.

JUST SAY NO, I urged Jessica the novice vagatarian.

The plea, of course, is futile. As a Muff Diva of some years standing, I understand the lure of lady love. As a vulgar acquaintance of mine is wont to say, Once You’ve Had Crack, You’ll Never Go Back.

And so, Origliasso and I now have two things in common. We are both carbon based and both enamoured of tattooed brunettes. Beyond this, our kinship is limited and I will have nothing further to say to or about her.

Lohan, however, is a different kettle of fist. I believe she is deserving of my immediate counsel. Lindsay, do accept my heartfelt advice.
Please don’t think me impolite. Naturally, I first tried to offer such via more direct and less open means. But I was rebuffed by your unfeeling corporation who failed to grasp my Big Sister instincts.

“Lindsay needs my advice,” I told them. “I’ve been slaking the lady bacon on and off for years. She’d probably appreciate it.”

As some mandarin of the Creative Artists Agency tangles with the intricacies of an international restraining order, I continue to worry. So I offer public advice to you; the beginner butch.

Lindsay: Having sex with a woman can be very difficult. The actual sex part, as I’m certain you’ve discovered, is actually quite straightforward and nearly always good. The rejoinders of others, however, might prove impossible to take.

I know I don’t need to tell you about garden variety homophobia, Lindsay. You live in America and, no doubt, have already experienced the odium of odious Christians. I’m not talking death threats and hell fire. I wanted to tell you about another peculiar ill.

I know, Lindsay, you are used by now to scrutiny. But I wanted to prepare you for study of a more brutal order. Of course, it’s possible that the folks at CAA engineered your sexual infraction. But, even so, you are now irredeemably tainted.

From now until the cessation of your womanhood, you will be trained with the most pornographic lens.

Of course, some women already know this and turn it to their fleeting benefit. Viz. that awful song currently on the radio about a girl pashing a girl; possibly The Veronicas; those sexhibitionist youngsters who can be found on any Friday night after a Bacardi Breezer or ten fingering their best mate on the dance floor in pursuit of male consideration.

Whenever anyone thinks of you, they will only be thinking: sex, sex, sex.

While it might seem tolerable now, this eventually becomes exhausting. Certainly, you might be flattered on the initial fifty occasions you are told by a gentleman, “I find what you two do very erotic.” You may even ask him to watch. On the fifty first, however, it might start sounding a little tired. Particularly if you and that young DJ are simply trying to buy a new Prius or similar.

“Can you explain the hybrid model to me?”
“I find what you two do very erotic.”

It’s inconvenient.

The enticing possibility of three ways aside, this whole thing gets very tiresome. I’m not half as hot as you and I’m twice as old. Yet, I’ve been dealing with it for years. A great many people will look at you. And all they are thinking is: vagina.

You will always be seen through the grubby lattice of girl-on-girl action. For this is how nearly everyone thinks of even tolerably attractive tribades: continually tangled in each others’ muffs.

Dear Mrs Broderick, apoplectic

First. You need to be told. Your movie is an abomination.

No. That just won’t do.

Let’s try again: Your movie is a cheerless, condom
broken sham.

Not getting any closer.

One more time: Your movie has lain itself on the rock of female self-loathing, ed
asked late-capitalism to gang-bang it, please, and then drown it in a bukkake-tsunami of product placement.

This is not a movie but an advertising medium strangely complicit in its own rape and murder.

I am witness to a brutal death. And I have your gift-bag to prove it.

On Friday, I attended the cinema for a “celebrity studded” premier of your terrible film.

This, of course, is Melbourne, Australia where “celebrity studded” has come to mean any woman working in the PR industry who has ever blown a footballer. So, I didn’t see any genuine celebrity. Then again, I was blinded by the desert nation that is your terrible movie.

Sarah. Sarah. Why did you do it?

After five bajillion years, and 146 minutes, I was gasping. Gasping like a woman of the Melbourne PR industry might as she sucks on a strapping midfielder. Thank goodness, then, a Proud Corporate Sponsor had thought to place branded water in my gift bag. Otherwise, my ovaries and hope would have shrivelled to resemble the tiny middle portion of you, Sarah Jessica Parker. You have never looked so much like a dead desert tree.

Your movie is set in Abu Dhabi where many of the trees are dead. A Gulf State? This is both (a) a shit idea for a franchise in which NYC has always figured as your ageless Fifth Lady (c) a gift to critics. They’ve all driven straight to Metaphor City. How could they resist the lure of comparing your parched old ladies to parched old landscapes? They couldn’t. Perhaps, they shouldn’t.

Normally, I loathe critique steeped in misogyny and I know you feel the same. On this occasion, I say to these critics: be my guest. Go to Menopause Town, Messrs. Anything you can do to stop the sisters from diving headfirst into this reeking pile of Shit by Ferragamo™ is fine by me. Girlfriend doesn’t need to see a snuff film with feminism as its object.

In fact, if Girlfriend is looking for a gender-affirming Night at the Movies she would be better to see Rocky. Or Rambo. Anything with Sly in it. He paints a more “empowering” portrait of What it Means to Be a Modern Woman in Her Forties than you do. And, while we’re at it, so does any Muslim cleric.

And, I’d like to tell you, Sarah, that if your movie wasn’t so crap, one of these clerics would be well within his rights to issue a Swarovski studded SJP fatwa. How dare you use your terrible movie to suggest that Islamic dress is oppressive and restrictive. On seven inch Diors you totter as you look at the Niqabi and say, “Poor women. Their dress is so uncomfortable. How do they even eat?” An odd question, Sarah, as clearly, in preparation for this movie, you haven’t eaten at all.

I could chastise you for your Islamophobia, Sarah, but I fear you’ve lost you patience.. For now, let’s examine the other and manifold ways in which you blow.

How much do you blow? You blow so hard that Us Magazine, one of your movie’s product placement principals, conducted a poll asking not “Do you LOVE it?” but “Is it Terrible?”. In an effort to nourish the desert in which it has taken root, the magazine boasts, “62 percent voted that the movie isn’t terrible!” Great. There’s some qualitative research for you, SJP. 62 percent also voted that they’d prefer to view this movie again than die after sucking off one of the camels featured in your desolate tract of talent.

You blow so hard, I’m afraid, that your girls are extinguished and will not themselves live to blow another New York City man again. And to those of us soothed by your chic, funny and often smart exegesis of bed-hopping As Seen on TV, this is nothing short of a disaster. I will miss my Four Winds.

Sarah, I pay tribute to them now.

Vale Miranda. Good-bye to the flinty, ambitious Harvard alum whose pointy head was always aimed toward the glass ceiling. After Friday night, she is dead. What have you made her do? Rather than man up against a partner whose impatience with her work is presumed to be sexist, Hobbes stops fighting and quits her gig to raise her irritating son and please her needy husband. What is it we say as we snap our fingers to praise female achievement? Oh. Yes. You Go Girl™.

Vale Charlotte. Good-bye to the prim, sweetly drawn New England eccentric whose beautifully kept Louboutins were always aimed toward great matrimonial sex. After Friday night, she is dead. What have you made her do? Rather than trust in her troth with Harry, she is now consumed with doubt and the vision of her nanny’s unrestrained bosom. I always loved Mrs Goldenblatt; I loved that she was besotted by Harry’s masculinity; I loved that she was so loving. But, you got her to cut off Harry’s balls and put them in a Kelly Bag . You’ve transformed her from a prize-winning Rules Girl into a sad and nervous loser.

Vale Samantha. Good-bye to the confident cougar whose impeccably waxed vagina was always pointed toward quality cock. After Friday night, she is dead. What have you made her do, Sarah? Rather than do, as she’s always done, what-comes-naturally, she decides to take a pill. Now, she’s doing what comes pharmaceutically. I loved the way Miss Jones chose to always satisfy herself. Now, she’s satisfying someone else. To wit: you; a woman-hating producer who’s hell-bent on drawing shrewish caricatures; not the fun female archetypes we loved.

What happened to you, Sarah? And what, moreover, happened to our beautiful Carrie.

Finally. Vale Carrie. Good-bye to the writer whose big, messy heart was always pointed toward real love. The woman who observed, Season One, Episode One, that, “cupid has flown the co-op” has taken a hatchet to her own longing. Cupid has visited the co-op and, for reasons only known to you and the Barbie Doll collector who wrote this pile of crap, she’s chopped off all his limbs and spat into his wounds screaming, “Why don’t we go out to dinner anymore, Big?”

“Am I just a bitch wife who nags?” your Carrie asks Big. The answer is: yes. You, just like your friends, have become a terminally insatiable, under-employed husk who can only be appeased as wads of money and praise are stuffed with force into all of your needy holes.

This is one of the central problems with your terrible movie. Every time one of your ladies is denied the instant rogering she craves, she blames it on “sexism”. To wit: your Carrie Bradshaw-Preston, always portrayed as a delightfully, happily low-brow writer is reviewed in the New Yorker. Which is odd for a writer who DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO USE AN APOSTROPHE. (Sarah. You never use an apostrophe for a plural. Ever.) Anyhow, Carrie doesn’t get a rave. Samantha blames it on “sexism” and all the girls agree, yes Carrie. You were not reviewed poorly because you leave your modifiers dangling, have nothing left to say and overuse the phrase “I couldn’t help but wonder”. You were reviewed poorly because, “Men just can’t handle women with a strong voice.”

Having been crushed by the oppressive, phallocentric world of literary magazines, Carrie then does what any newly oppressed maiden might. She does not hopefully send a review copy to Granta but puts on two pounds of eyeliner, a sparkly skirt with a split to her mons pubis and snogs her old boyfriend. You Go Girl™.

Bleugh.

I am sad to tell you, Sarah, most of the PR ladies in Melbourne ate up your bulimic purge with a spoon.

Hurt about Having No Voice as a Woman, your Carrie gives Aidan a glimpse of thigh and a yard of tongue. She’s married. He’s married. Clearly, she’s seeking the unhealthiest reprieve possible from her terrible review. But, all the Melbourne footy molls applauded. As you probably knew they would.

What are you telling us, Sarah? Are you saying when we’re beaten down by sexism, we should dress in couture and have sex with a man who sells high-end furniture? Are you saying liberation inheres in accessories, seven star restaurants and cock that appears at the moment we want it? I’m not saying these things aren’t enormous fun, Sarah. I’d love a Kate Spade purse crammed full with amuse bouche and penis to-go. Who wouldn’t?

But, in the end, these are not the rewards of liberation, Sarah. I want to be sick in your handbag of hate just to show you that designer hard goods and the hard goods of those poor men who barely exist in your brittle universe are NOT the site of insurgency. They are just a way to fill your needy, needy holes, Sarah.

Sarah. What have you done?

This morning I saw you on the television. We’re back to season one and you are in a cab with the girls you would, twelve years later, dress in hideous drag. It’s a transcendent TV moment. You have gathered, like a coven who specialises in advice to the newly sodomized, to talk to Charlotte about anal sex. My partner and I couldn’t believe that women were talking about such things on the telly. It was frothy, wonderful and the way I would thereafter secretly spend my every Monday night.

Charlotte says that she’d quite like to try it, but what if she was thereafter known as the Up The Butt girl. You and your cohorts tell her that what anyone thinks doesn’t matter; that virtue, being a dangerous myth, couldn’t be taken from her or her butt.

What happened, Sarah. After last Friday night, I can only think of you as the Up The Butt Girl who confused freedom and pleasure for capital and greed. My boxed set is on eBay. My hope was left, with my gift bag, in a cinema seat. I walked out when Samantha was throwing condoms all over an Arab state, and I Couldn’t Help But Wonder if, in Sex and the City 3, Carrie will not be played by you but an enormous tube of product placement lubricant dressed in Alexander McQueeen.

Yours,

Miss Helen Razer

48 comments for “Sex and The City 2: A Letter to Feminism’s Snuff Film

  1. May 30, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Uh oh, as a mad SATC fan, your review confirms what I’ve heard around the traps!

    I’m going with a bunch of girls on 4th and I am already sensing that they should have STOPPED way before this.

    Cheers for the review.
    Smack
    x

  2. May 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    To above: Why on earth are you still planning on attending, having read the reviews?

    This film is an atrocity. ABU DHABI DOO.

  3. May 30, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Great review Helen – but, I have to say – at the risk of offending fans – is this really a major shock? I didn’t see their first movie, and have only ever caught a handful of the small screen episodes, and have always felt it was pretty overrated stuff. Some occasional slightly funny stuff and some characters that I guess could grow on you if you were an avid watcher. But never outstanding. Admittedly I am a major loather of pretty much anything vaguely fashion-related, and to me New York City sounds like the vilest place on the planet to live – I’d rather score a bargain in an op shop than spend a month’s salary on a brand name any day. But, I’m very flexible when it comes to quality screenstuffs. Am I missing some major difference between the portrayal of gender roles in this as opposed to the previous incarnations? What redeeming qualities did the old have that the new does not?

  4. May 30, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Kev, honestly. You’ll just have to trust me on this: as a TV Show, SATC was hot shit. It wasn’t “revolutionary” nor, really, did it explode many taboos that we of the Permissive Left had not already covered. But it did give a TV voice to this stuff.

  5. May 31, 2010 at 1:53 am

    hi again, to Honey (Vomiting) I have to go given that I’ve pre-paid, and how can I comment for myself without seeing it?

    I am not one to take another’s opinion without making an assessment myself.

    I LOVE the image on your twitter site, by the way. It’s gorgeous.

    Cheers

  6. AR Gould
    May 31, 2010 at 10:59 am

    This is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve read in a long time, you made me laugh, smile and want to poo, all at once. Not since Hunter S tripped the keyboard have I read anything so rollickingly enjoyable. Cheers, Miss Helen.

  7. Jas
    May 31, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    OMG-ness my tiny sleepy eyes are blushing and I am getting visions on Margaret Pomeranz resplendent in fierce strap-on, long blond wig with probing tongue in David’s hairy ear. *sigh* hmmmm just 10 more minutes in bed.

    Oh and Great work Helen….

  8. May 31, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I am so glad SATC 2 was made. Because every review I read of it is absolutely wonderful. This one continues the golden streak. I hope people keep slamming it long into the future. I may have to see it, just so I can try it myself.

  9. May 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Oh. Ben. I think that you absolutely MUST see it. The world will be richer for your take on Samantha’s “rebellious” air-humping that takes place in a Gulf State souk. The lesson here, apparently, is that a selfish, culturally insensitive woman whose sexual habits make the Whore of Babylon seem like Holly Hobby by contrast is the new face of “empowerment”.
    In other news: sorry about NM. I always thought you were the best part of it and I’m certain, given this flattery, you won’t take my take to heart http://badhostess.com/?p=784
    Call me when you want to aggregate the Smutty, poorly behaved left.
    H

  10. Ethel Merman
    June 1, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I love this show up until the final season. When Carrie went to Paris and whined. Dear fucking god, did the writers of the last season NOT see the show? At all? All the characters went mental back then.

    But still, I downloaded er watched the first film. With gritted teeth. And I did not like it.

    No sir, I will not sit through this film. It already makes my jaw ache. I shall, instead, stroke the first five season discs fondly and sup from a champagne glass as I visit with old friends. And We Will Not Discuss Season Six. Evah.

  11. Ang
    June 2, 2010 at 9:32 am

    This is my new favorite blog. I’m disgusted by this film without seeing it and never ever will I. Never.

    • June 2, 2010 at 9:33 am

      An illegal download is the only recourse, Ang!

  12. snowkitten
    June 2, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    The various reviews, including this one, have given me fits of giggles and ensured I will indeed watch this orientalist fuckshow.

    But I comment more to bring to your attention, Helen, that your RSS feed does not appear to be working – I’m not being notified of your totes awesome musings.
    Kitten. When it comes to wordpress wrangling and the ladlyike art of code-arrangement, I’d rather write for a living. Does the little rss thing at the side really not work? If you know a grown up or, more to the point, an underemployed teenager who can help me with the glitches produced by my messy back end, I’d be grateful! xx HR

  13. Skipper
    June 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Big ups for the reblog on Jezebel!

    Also, this movie sounds so awful I don’t think I can ever bring myself to watch it even on Netflix. Does it really end with a madcap race through a spice market in disguise burqas? What is this, fucking Nuns on the Run? And I really did like the TV series.

  14. June 2, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    This is really really funny. Thank you so much for the laughs i got from your rave/ranting review.

    I had a similar feeling after seeing the first movie but this time around i decided to cut them a bit of slack.Compared to the first movie, i definitely prefer the 2nd one, however, i still maintain that they should have quit when the ovation was loudest. Michael Patrick King is now scratching the bottom of the barrel which makes the product placement which has always been cleverly hidden in the series, now very obvious.

    I still like my 4 girls very much but only when i think of them as single spinsters sitting in the coffee shop discussing Samantha’s new man’s funky tasty spunk!

    • June 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      Hey Style. Products featured in the series were not so much embedded marketing as they were essential reference points. Carrie’s Mac, for example, never earned the show a dollar. But, it was a consumer sign-post and, of course, the only operating system a lady like Miss Bradshaw would ever use. Same for Jimmy, Manolo, Balzac and every product or service ever offered free yardage on the show. When they appeared, they did so seamlessly. OF COURSE these were the products are spinsters would prefer. Whereas items like Us Magazine and HP computers stick our like poorly manicured thumbs. AS IF Carrie would ever switch to Windows! I think a move to Linux would be every bit as likely!
      As you’re a fashionable gal, I’d LOVE to know what you thought of the flash-back sequence to 1986 where Carrie is dressed like a La Isla Bonita-era Madonna. I have a friend who lived downtown in the eighties who INSISTS that this look, over in the mainstream by 1985, was dead, dead, dead in the Lower East Side by 82.
      Further. Samantha as a barkeep at CBGBs?! I think not. Limelight, maybe.

  15. June 2, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Great review! I’m glad to have found your blog Helen, via Jezebel.
    Once they ran out of Candace bushnell’s columns/book for source material and the show became Sarah Jessica Parkers vehicle all the piss and vinegar went out of it! Used to love the first few seasons, it was the highlight of my week. I won’t see the movie.

    • June 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      EK. Wait for the illegal download. SJP deserves no more extravagant surgical procedures funded by you and I. Really, it’s appalling and has none of the sass of the TV Show. If you’re hungering for more SATC2 bashing, please find this and this xx

  16. June 2, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Helen your review is a million times more entertaining than I know that movie is going to be. So glad I found your blog!

  17. Ang
    June 2, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    haha! Illegal download it is. Take that, Jimmy Choo!

    • June 2, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      Quite. And pirate Monsieur Choo’s strappy-sandals while you’re at it.

  18. Nick Purtle
    June 3, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Yeh, first series of SATC was great, 9.30 monday, channel nine – and it also worked cos it was only a half hr. Sopranos was great too then similarly emulsified to palmolive. My advice is as soon as as yr favorite cultural fish start to turn give em to your cat.

  19. RvB
    June 3, 2010 at 1:49 am

    I concur. Sarah J looked as flinty as Captain Ahab, and only Samantha–despite the ghastly drag-queen puns–had enough zest to hold the screen. This franchise has gone ugly and needs to die. Speaking of slurs on the New Yorker–perhaps you saw Letters to Juliet, where Amanda Seyfried was supposed to be a free-lancer for that magazine? Someone at that magazine’s product-placement department needs to be downsized.

    • June 3, 2010 at 2:06 am

      Between you, me and your workplace content filter: Amanda was really top-drawer in Mean Girls.
      But I have not yet seen Letters as I make it a point to avoid romantic rollicking in Italy. It just isn’t any good for my digestion.

  20. June 3, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This is so full of contradiction I’m left utterly confused.
    Wait, so you find seven inch heels to be “oppressive and restrictive”? Yet you loved the TV series? Wasn’t a fairly sizable chunk of the television series spent in near worship of seven inch heels?
    Isn’t the point that Muslim women don’t have the OPTION to publicly wear miniskirts and seven inch heels and we do?
    And have you only JUST NOW noticed that SJP is a size zero, and chosen to take offense at the fact? She’s been a rail since the show’s inception. Equally, Samantha has long been a proponent of the benefits of Botox, yet you now decide you object to her character taking hormones to stave off aging?
    And as good feminists, do you feel we ought aspire to Charlotte’s brand of “great matrimonial sex”? Or should we instead be “impeccably waxing” ourselves and gorging on “quality cock”?
    And you’re upset because Carrie, after reading the New Yorker review, like a wounded little girl then makes the poor choice to see Aiden for some positive attention. But…err…wasn’t the ENTIRE TV SERIES about these women stumbling around using men as Bandaids to heal career hurts or heart hurts and didn’t you “love” the tv show?
    Wasn’t Carrie’s behavior immediately following the review, actually a decent bit of realistic writing? Couldn’t you have just taken aim at the “Lawrence of my labia” chaff that really DID lower the standard of the SATC brand and insult viewers?
    And wasn’t Charlotte’s season one desire to try anal sex, more about an eagerness to please her man, than any real pleasure seeking curiosity on her part? I thought, that as good little feminists, we’re not supposed to do things like that for men…

    I think I’m confused, because you Helen, are confused. It’s very tempting to write a vitriolic review of, well, anything, because it’s simply easier to be sarcastic, funny and negative, than it is to praise something and still be entertaining. I know. I blog too.
    I think you’re confused in the way every woman in 2010 who bangs on and on about “feminism” is confused. Because, gasp, I’m really gonna say this: feminism isn’t really an issue any more, at least for us in the western world.
    The fact is, women in Australia and America, can work, study, be housewives with kids, housewives without kids, or any combination of these things. Because we can fuck a different man every night, chose to be monogamous or choose to refrain from sex at all.
    The four women on SATC2, demonstrate this as they all embrace quite different, self chosen experiences. They embrace these experiences and are then not persecuted for them in society.
    The movie is actually a commentary on this our ability to choose the paths of our female lives and an exploration on the unique challenges which each path presents. Sort of. I mean, really its just a fun romp of ridiculous clothes, bad jokes and sisterhood. But if one wanted to make much more of it than it is, as you have so vehemently done, one could argue this case.

    The fact is, while you would like to attack the career minded and promiscuous Samantha for wielding her condoms about and Carrie for being an underemployed wife husk, you simply cannot have it both ways.
    Oh and, had you stayed til the end, you’d have seen that Miranda goes on to accept a new high powered job where she doesn’t have to work with a guy who’s a dick to her. So she no longer stays at home as just a Mother. That would have pleased you? Right? But wait, isn’t that what Charlotte does? …….Do you need a moment to consider WHAT it is you think?

  21. June 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Ms Mex. Thank you for your comments which have utterly changed my view on gender identity. Had I not been intoxicated by your foamy cocktail of Self-Actualisation, and become immediately Empowered, I would have answered thus
    1. Louboutins and Islam
    You ask, “Isn’t the point that Muslim women don’t have the OPTION to publicly wear miniskirts and seven inch heels and we do?”
    Well, yes, I suppose it is the point to those who regard (a) Islam as a scourge (b) Patriarchy as a system of control that replicates itself identically in all cultures and (c) Consumer choice as hard evidence of liberation.
    In the west, we lap up stories about niqabi. Actually, we seem to have an enormous appetite for anything to do with the shittiness of being a Muslim woman. Any posh book store carries at least twenty titles to feed a You Go Girl bourgeoisie hungry for exotic sexual oppression. That SATC, a franchise that has always courted a progressive audience, engaged in this sort of fetid orientalism merits as much critique as possible. But. Far be it from me to “liberate” you from the myth that western systems of social organisation are superior and introduce you to the work of Edward Said. Let this post-colonial funny man on Salon do it instead
    I could ask, “Isn’t the point that what we construe as choice in the west is, in fact, a narrow range of baubles offered to women to keep their minds off more important things?”. But, of course, I shouldn’t. What am I doing? I just have to VISUALISE MY FUTURE as a woman in the west AND IT WILL BE SO. And what, more to the point was Naomi Wolf THINKING when she wrote The Beauty Myth. GOD. Can’t she and all her theoretical descendents just, like, get over themselves and read some Personal Development brochures?
    I am familiar with this Niqabi = Horribly Oppressed bitches argument and presume you’re going to go to Wikipedia for your next comment to remind yourself that the phrase you are looking for is “Sharia Law”. And then, after you have used it, you’ll go on and on about genital mutilation and stoning and generally hurl any example of racist ethnographic bilge you can find at me to “prove” that all Muslim women are oppressed while we in the west have nothing to worry about.
    Your colonial view of the world is charming and antique. Stay with it. Do not, by any means, familiarise yourself with Said or Australia’s own Waleed Aly or his terribly, terribly oppressed outspoken, Hijab wearing partner, Susan Carland. Don’t go changing and don’t for a minute stop to consider that (a) Islamic women might have anything like volition and (b) Western women might consist within a system that controls their moral and sartorial behaviour.
    I KNOW. Let’s air-drop some Personal Development literature into the Gulf States! And some books by Jilly Cooper!
    2. The usefulness of feminism in the west.
    You say, “Because, gasp, I’m really gonna say this: feminism isn’t really an issue any more, at least for us in the western world.” Having outgrown our need for a gender equality movement, apparently, we can now impose it on those who praise Allah. Goodness. What a relief. Niqabi: take my hand-me-down feminism because here in the west, we have managed to attain equal pay, cease all domestic violence, redress imbalance in the division of labour and utterly transform our old ideas that a woman’s appearance is the true register of her moral condition. We’ve stopped all that.
    Gee, Ms Mex. Thanks for setting me straight. Here was I thinking we still had some work to do, Thank you for clearing up my confusion and reminding me, after all, that intellectual rigour will not solve those one or two problems we do have extant. (These, by the way, are mostly to do with you retaining water just before your period and NEVER HAVING ENOUGH GREAT SHOES!!!!!!!)
    Please send me some Personal Development brochures.
    You Go Girl.

  22. Lorin
    June 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Helen, thank you for putting into words what my anger prevented me from doing when reviewing the film for my friends.

    Leni Mex, that film was nothing but an insult to intelligence and fans of this series. Those characters become stereotypes of themselves, all in the name of telling a non-existent story. Just because they wore great clothes and were making a comment about feminism, doesn’t mean it had the intelligence and sophistication that we came to expect from this franchise. I seriously would have preferred to watch Spice World, at least they weren’t pretending to be something they were not.

  23. June 4, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Actually. A tawdry afternoon with Spiceworld might me this weekend’s antidote, Lorin. Lovely idea.

  24. Paul
    June 4, 2010 at 11:07 am

    When I just went through this page it had an advert from “International Muslim Matrimonials” at Muslima.com. Do you have restrictions on your sponsors?

    I saw the massive all female queues for 6:15, 6:30 and 6:45 last night while going to watch something else. OMG: they’re worse than trekkies.

    • June 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      @Paul. I do have restrictions on my sponsors. No “weight loss” or “get rich quick”. Actually, an Islamic match-making service seems fine with me. Should I have objections?

  25. June 5, 2010 at 9:46 am

    It wasn’t the worst movie ever.

    But it was stale, unfunny, and old in a way the show never was on the small screen.

    Let it end. I get a little sick in my mouth to think that the fab4 of SATC will become a bad ripoff of the Golden Girls.

  26. June 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Goodness, JustJss. I think a Golden Girls inspired sequel is much more than for which we could all hope. A fond good-bye to Rue McClanahan.

  27. Sally
    June 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I keep thinking of a line from a song by Tori Amos that goes something like ‘girls what have we done to ourselves?’ The Female Eunich got a Brazilian it would seem. Germaine Greer should spank the botox out of this one!

  28. Sally
    June 6, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    ahem may Germain also spank me – that should be eunuch …

  29. Anna S
    June 7, 2010 at 10:06 am

    I was actually embarrassed for the actors when they had to sing ‘I am Woman’.

    • June 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

      God yes! So was I! The girlfriend and I actually had to look at the screen through our hands horror-film style in that sequence. I felt nauseated and ashamed and profoundly out-of-sorts as this crap unfolded.

  30. JTL
    June 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks, Helen – always love your winged vitriol.

    Pondering this post and its replies, I was thinking about time spent working in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I’m probably unqualified to add anything, not having seen the latest movie, except that from my experience, the women in Riyadh could out-Dior Carrie Bradshaw any day of the week.

    I donned the full local garb (including face veil) when I worked there, and actually found it quite liberating not to have to worry about ironing or even brushing my hair if I didn’t feel like it. At times, here in Aus, I’ve wished I could just chuck on the abayyah and pop down to Woollies in my coffee-stained pj bottoms and bra.

    That said, I did tire of being whacked by the religious police in the shopping malls, when they spotted a glimpse of my glorious 80s fringe escaping from the veil. Dear old Samantha Jones would have had her head shaved and been dropped in the desert, in Riyadh at that time.

    As I haven’t read a signle positive review of this movie, I might give it a miss and remember the good times.

    JTL

  31. June 9, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Great piece, HR. You are neo-fem’s answer to PK. Now, all we need is the ‘RAZER’ musical… ;-)

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  33. Fiona
    July 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Love to see comments on a movie review fall into Islam-o-phobia and thanks Helen for your reply to that. I get sick of saying this sort of thing to people who have never even spoken to a woman who covers!
    I have not seen SATC2 as it is banned here in Dubai where I live. That should give the Islam-o-phobes somethng to talk about :) but no one here seems to care much. The first one was also banned but that was lifted after some protest. They tried to film SATC2 here in Dubai first but were refused then they asked up the road in Abu Dhabi and were refused again … which is why the Middle East part was filmed in Morocco.
    Of course I will see it one day, probably when crammed into economy class one day, probably all it deserves.

  34. July 6, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Thanks so much for your thoughts, Fiona. For the life of me, I don’t understand why hijabi are seen as necessarily oppressed. And I don’t understand how consumer choice is so often construed as “freedom”.
    Anyhoo. Drop me a line when you do see the sad panorama unfold on a little screen in cattle class. Love to know, post-UAE, what you thought.

  35. Fiona
    July 7, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I know a few women who cover. They all choose it for various reasons, one told me it makes her feel incredibly powerful! Of course, in a western world, where feminine power all too often comes from being the subject of sexual desire, this will never be understood.
    Come visit some day. SATC2 might be on cable by then. :)

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