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May 30, 2008

We’ve come a long way, baby

Sex_and_the_city I probably shouldn't weigh in on Sex and the City, since I haven't seen much of the show and don't plan to see the movie. Nonetheless, being at least vaguely familiar with the storylines of both, it's hard to resist raising a cynical eyebrow at images like the one at right.

Carrie & Company are supposed to be the collective face of the strong, independent, self-aware modern woman, no? Then why is it that most of the ads for the movie are about (1) money and all the things it can buy and (2) romance with cheating womanizers?

It's always seemed so odd to me that the Sex and the City stories that so many contemporary women revel in are so similar to the plots of the fairy tales that so many of those women don't want their daughters reading . . . if you strip away the good character and the moral values of the fairy-tale heroes and heroines. The happily-ever-after ending may not be politically correct anymore, but it took SATC to tarnish it completely by making women everywhere long to see it happen for an adulterer and his paramour, who had put up with years of hurt from him. (The fact that one of the movie trailers actually has Carrie telling a little girl that life isn't like "Cinderella" indicates, sadly, that the woman seems to have missed the entire point of her own existence.)

For a slightly different take on womanhood, contemporary and traditional, my review of Lori's book A Walk with Jane Austen is now up at NRO.

(Image © HBO Films and New Line Cinema)

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Diane Singer

I read a disturbing article yesterday (can't remember where) that said the main characters, over the course of the series, averaged 17 lovers EACH. The article pointed to a recent study that said this number was pretty much accurate for women living in NYC. I guess I'm just a fuddy-duddy, but I find that appalling. These characters are sluts (that's the kindest word I can think of), and what's so sad is that they have become role-models for some of their fans. Yuck!


Diane, we don't call them "sluts" anymore - we call them "friends with benefits"!! Had an interesting discussion with some of my students about this recently.

David Buckna

Saturday, May 31, 2008
Sex and the City
A quiz...

By David Buckna
Special to ASSIST News Service


Sharon Young

I heard on CNN last week that one quarter of NYC has herpes. One fourth of the population of that city has HERPES!....that's just one disease. How many of the seventy-five percent remaining have other STD's. I don't watch Sex and the City but shouldn't they have a disclaimer at the beginning of the program?

Grizzly Bear Mom

What is your intention in continually referring to novels written 200 years ago? Women are no dependent longer on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Are these books relevant to 2008?

Steve (SBK)

"Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.... We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century - the blindness about which posterity will ask, "But how could they have thought that?" - lies where we have never suspected it.... None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books. Where they are true they will give us truths which we half knew already. Where they are false they will aggravate the error with which we are already dangerously ill. The only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books. Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction. To be sure, the books of the future would be just as good a corrective as the books of the past, but unfortunately we cannot get at them."
-C.S.Lewis (Introduction to Athanasius' On The Incarnation)

Meh. I suppose securing social standing and money could be the goals of life. Also possibly not.

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