Tuesday 8 June 2010

Out of the City, out of control

Sex and The City 2 is beyond awful - it gives Western women a bad name

You may be wondering why it has required two contributors to write an article condemning Sex and the City 2 as possibly the most racist, sexist and offensive piece of cinematic trash produced in the last decade. This has been necessary due to the fact that only one writer was able to sit through the whole film and did not feel she could fully convey her fury without the aid of another – one who had repeatedly left the film in disgust and napped intermittently for its duration.

We are both free-thinking, intelligent young women who went into Sex and the City with pretty low expectations; merely the desire for a couple of hours of escapism and over-the-top fashion. Neither of us are easily offended – in fact we tend to be fairly offensive ourselves. In fact, one of us cites Jeremy Clarkson, the most politically incorrect man on the planet, as her comedy idol. Yet Sex and the City 2 achieved such a high level of racial insensitivity and bigotry rarely witnessed in contemporary culture that even we were left squirming. Michael Patrick King, the film’s director, should be Clarkson’s new muse, so efficiently has he managed to offend both men and women from virtually every corner of the globe.

The film appears as though it has been written by kids on work experience. Racist kids on work experience. The one-liners veer between the disgustingly vulgar and the downright unfunny – for instance, in the middle of the desert Samantha shrieks: ‘Lawrence of my labia!’ Disgusting because the woman now looks like a badly preserved corpse, and incredibly offensive given their environment. Throughout their trip to ‘Abu Dhabi’ – the film was in fact made in Morocco, because shockingly, the values of the makers of Sex and the City coincided very little with those of the Arab Emirate states – the women sublimely embody the stereotypical ‘ugly American’ abroad, offending everyone within earshot.

There are ‘hilarious’ references to ‘The Real Housewives of Abu Dhabi’, mocking observations about the difficulties of eating in a niqab, and a satirical gem in the creativeness of a ‘burkini’.

The women waltz carelessly through the Middle East, figuratively raping every cultural sensitivity they encounter along the way. Presumably, the writers are attempting to satirise the oppression of women by some Muslim traditions, but they are in fact too stupid to make a valid satirical point and end up merely offending.

Any attempt at making a valid point about the lives of Muslim women backfired and managed to spectacularly offend not only followers of Islam, but also British and American audiences who are tainted by association with these crass and vulgar stereotypes.

The film steadily buries its audience under a suffocating mountain of sexism, racism and decadence until it can take no more. One cannot comprehend why the actors of Asian descent who signed up to play the male servants were so willing to be involved in a production which so brutally belittles their heritage and reinforces every racist stereotype already regrettably in existence.

We could also comment on the homophobia, the rampant excesses of the lives of the four women which no longer bear any relation to reality and the reduction of women to shoe-obsessed, tactless harpies, but to address those issues would turn this into an entire essay.

It is sufficient to state that if this is the picture that some Middle Eastern countries are given of Western society, one can almost understand the motivations of Muslim extremists.

By the time we left, we would have greeted the demise of these insensitive, idiotic characters with applause and can only pray that Sex and the City 2 will never be the image by which Western women are judged by those in the Middle East.

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