At least, that's the premise Timothy Noah came up with in his misogynistic, stupid and utterly meaningless and ignorant piece "Hillary and the City: Is Sex and the City our culture's consolation prize to Hillary Clinton's supporters?" which Slate dutifully published Monday.
Does the movie version of Sex and the City owe its success to the failure of Hillary Clinton's campaign?First off, Noah is really working here to get his non-premise set up on a film he hasn't seen while equally getting the ball rolling on what becomes a sexist diatribe by the end. He's using just one guy's estimates on the female audience of the film, in one area. And while I'll agree that "Sex and the City" drew more women than men, I think even the 75 percent number comes off as high. But even if it's not? That means if not one woman saw the movie, it would have ranked No. 3 in the box office, ahead of "Iron Man." But really, the stupid is just beginning here.
I haven't seen the movie. That's probably because I'm a man, according to the demographic breakdown of Sex and the City's opening weekend. Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Josh Friedman reports that Friday's opening-day crowd was 85 percent female, dropping to 75 percent female on Saturday and Sunday. But despite this dearth of Y chromosomes, Sex and the City drew an opening-weekend gross of $55.7 million, which is the highest opening-weekend gross ever for a romantic comedy.
By weird coincidence, during the same weekend when Sex and the City demonstrated women's unprecedented consumer clout at the multiplex, Hillary Clinton's campaign developed its death rattle. Clinton's campaign has enjoyed strong support among older white women. Sex and the City's audience, meanwhile, in addition to skewing heavily female, skews old (at least by moviegoing standards): 80 percent of the opening-weekend audience was over 25.What a weird coincidence, indeed! And just because the numbers don't really match up, that doesn't by any means slow down Noah.
Hillary's white-female shock troops are probably older than "Sex and the City's" white-female shock troops, but remember that Clinton's support among white women of all ages is quite substantial; a recent Gallup poll indicated that white female voters of all ages favor Clinton in a Clinton-John McCain matchup but McCain in an Obama-McCain matchup. Put all these numbers together and one gets the feeling that a Venn diagram would yield a good-sized proportion of white women who were both "Sex and the City" fans and Clinton voters.Shock troops? White women have shock troops? Mark me down as someone who was totally unaware. Are these shock troops in any way related to the roving gang of lesbian gangs that Bill O'Reilly was fauxtraged over for a week and then never mentioned again? Notice how Noah is so excited over the "shock troops" line, he uses it twice.
But there, in a nutshell, is Noah's premise. White women saw Sex and the City. White women supported Hillary. Thus:
The Clinton campaign has gotten a lot of white women jazzed up at the prospect of electing the first female president, and a good number stayed jazzed up even after it become apparent that Clinton almost certainly wouldn't get the nomination. By this past weekend, however, it was becoming clear to all but the most delusional Hillary supporters that the game was up. Sisterhood was powerful, but in this case it wouldn't prevail. That realization left a lot of white women all dolled up with nowhere to go. And so … they went to the movies.So there you have it. A jazzed-up, dolled-up, shock troop of white women with nowhere to go made "Sex and the City" the No. 1 movie in the U.S.
As if this weren't stupid enough, the fact is that Noah already had this moronic premise blown out of the water by none other than Josh Friedman of the Los Angeles Times, who was a vital part of starting the premise. Because in the very same article that Noah gleaned his percentage info from, Friedman notes:
"Sex and the City also got off to a robust start overseas, hauling in an estimated $39.2 million from 13 territories, including Britain, France and Germany, and ranking No. 1 or No. 2 in each."
So, one would have to imagine that there were white women shock troops in the UK and France that also were left with nowhere to go sans Hillary. At least in Noah logic.
Noah saves the worst for last, as his id gets the best of him and he just goes off in a sexist fury:
Sex and the City and the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton will, at the very least, be perceived in the distant future as twin manifestations of a weirdly conflicted feminism. As the first serious female candidate for president, Clinton broke a glass ceiling. But it's problematic that this symbol of women's progress achieved prominence as the wife of a successful male politician—one whose flagrant affair with a White House intern nearly destroyed his own presidency but not his marriage. And indeed, a fair number of prominent feminists, including Barbara Ehrenreich, Katha Pollitt, Susan Sarandon, and Mary Gordon, cast their lot with Obama. Sex and the City, meanwhile, is a narrative that on the one hand celebrates female independence, sexual fulfillment, and career success—all important feminist goals—but on the other hand portrays women as clothes-obsessed, money-obsessed, status-obsessed, and hell-bent on catching a rich husband. (Or so I've gleaned from watching a few episodes of the TV show and reading reviews of the film.) Clinton and Sex and the City both represent a somewhat compromised female dream of power. Hillary Clinton nearly won the Democratic nomination, but only after marrying Mr. Big. Sex and the City celebrates camaraderie among strong women, but don't ask these ladies to sacrifice their Jean Paul Gaultier pajamas to pay for government-guaranteed, quality universal child care.Let's see, we've got the "Hillary is only successful because her husband cheated on her" meme, trademarked by Chris Matthews, leading right into a misogynist defining feminist goals.
And by the way, I was also not an avid watcher of "Sex and the City" but I saw enough to know this simple fact - none of the characters were hell-bent on catching a rich husband. And pretty much every other movie ever made features shock troops of men that are material-obsessed, status-obsessed, and hell-bent on getting with a sexy woman.
The final two sentences may have to go down as two of the stupidest sentences ever written, and mind you, I just spent yesterday reading loads of stuff from an invented conservative blogger.
"Hillary Clinton nearly won the Democratic nomination, but only after marrying Mr. Big."
"Sex and the City celebrates camaraderie among strong women, but don't ask these ladies to sacrifice their Jean Paul Gaultier pajamas to pay for government-guaranteed, quality universal child care."
Seriously, Noah and Slate should be proud of themselves. In a year of pointless, sexist drivel, they've managed to stand out. In one moronic article, they managed to stick in as many sexist fallacies as possible, and wrap it up without any actual point made whatsoever, except for vicious slams on the most successful female politician in U.S. history and the biggest-grossing, female-dominated movie of all time.
In the end, it's little more than just more proof of the seething rage in the heart of the white-male establishment "shock troops" upon seeing women succeed.