Amy Jenkins: Thanks, SATC, for making women look silly and selfish

Share
Related Topics

I disliked the first Sex and the City movie but now, with the arrival of SATC2, dislike has been replaced by rampant hatred. Commercial failure (I wish) isn't good enough for this film – it should really be banned. It should be shunned by right-thinking society. It should be forced underground like some awful ripper-slasher, woman-hating rape-fest – because it sets back the cause of equality just the same.

Failing that, there should be women with placards demonstrating outside every screening. The placards should say things like "Women don't just buy shoes – they make up 47 per cent of the British workforce!" or something more snappy, perhaps, like "Down with penile servitude!" (one of my favourites from the Seventies).

If you showed SATC2 to a Martian, he would probably think women were some kind of plague upon the earth who should be exterminated. He would think women were shallow, narcissistic, selfish, greedy, grasping, money-loving freeloaders. If he was a really intelligent Martian, he might also think that they were slaves to manicures, capitalism, fashion, consumerism and the patriarchy. He might think that a Gucci handbag was some kind of badge of honour. He might also think that whether they were wearing a burqa or a Dior dress, it really makes no difference – they're all horribly deluded victims.

In SATC2, you see, the four protagonists go – pointlessly – to Abu Dhabi. There they see women in burqas who aren't – horrors! – able to do quite as much shopping and fucking as our four friends from the US. Now, of course, I'm dead against the burqa (although if anything's going to change my mind, this film must have come closest) – and I do think that all women should be able to shop and fuck within reason. Nevertheless, it doesn't do to have the film's triumphant twist be that underneath those burqas, the Abu Dhabi women are wearing the same skimpy designer threads that we wear in the West. What's that supposed to mean? Don't worry about the burqa because, although you might think women in states like Abu Dhabi are slaves to men, underneath they're just slaves to fashion like the rest of us?

How exactly has "girl power" come to this? As I understand it, the original post-feminist argument went along the lines of: "OK, we can wear high heels and have brains". Surely we should be able to embrace femininity and enjoy a bit of frippery without being sidelined as total idiots! Why not reclaim cultural ideas of femininity and control them? Those ideas may have been imposed on us by the patriarchy, but look, we'll turn that around, we'll make them our own.

Sorry, but it's not going to happen. It starts off well enough (SATC, the TV show), but then monsters are spawned and we are gobbled up by our own creations. Didn't Sarah Jessica Parker ever understand her own show? She seems to be the one who has overseen the demise of a franchise that once provided at least some kind of a tonic for women. The TV show had a lot going for it with its unapologetic depiction of female sexuality alongside a thriving and supportive sisterhood. But SJP was always the one most obsessed with shoes.

Personally, I don't think the high heel is ever going to be anything other than a symbol of oppression. I think women need to face this. We can't have our cake and eat it. And the worst thing of all is that thousands of women will go to see SATC2 this weekend thinking that it somehow strikes a blow for women. This is entirely understandable given the film's genesis and given that it is, at least, a story about women who can travel the world and stride across a desert four abreast. Unfortunately, it's also entirely deplorable that all the women out there who think "feminist" means "man-hating" get given this film as a kind of ersatz hit of empowerment. This film is about as empowering as a pole dance.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Rafael Nadal is down and out, beaten by Dustin Brown at Wimbledon – but an era is not thereby ended  

Sad as it is, Rafael Nadal's decline does not mark the end of tennis's golden era

Tom Peck
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test