Shopping bags line the aisles. Heels click on the sticky floors. Gaggles of girls pose for pictures. This was the scene at one New York City theater during the opening weekend for "Sex and the City," which turned multiplexes across the country into a kind of feminine ground zero.Not groups of women, but gaggles of girls. Gaggles. Like gaggles of geese. Because we girls are such exotic creatures, a male writer couldn't possibly use the pedestrian language of humans to describe us.
And I just love "feminine ground zero," as if anyplace disproportionately female is equivalent to the site of a disaster, bomb, or epicenter of an epidemic disease. Cooties, perhaps.
Of course, "Sex and the City" doesn't represent all things feminine, just the cliches: clothes, gossiping about men, Vogue magazine, etc.Oh and those other silly little feminine cliches like emotions, jobs, friendship, parenting, and breast cancer.
[Brace yourselves, Shakers. Here comes the dump truck.]
Whatever you think of the film or the HBO series that spawned it, the jammed cinemas were an intimidating place for any heterosexual male to venture. This reporter was (forcibly) dispatched to a Manhattan theater to determine whether the ultimate "chick flick" could be a welcoming experience for a guy. And with look of determination that said, yes, he was confident enough about himself to make such a trip, this reporter went. Talk about embedded journalism.There's so much hatred of women (and, obliquely, gay men) in that paragraph, it makes my blood absolutely fucking boil. Forget that this journalist says that it's "intimidating" for (praise his studliness!) a heterosexual male to venture into a female-centric space, and forget that this journalist says he had to be forced to enter it, and that entering it required confidence in his manhood; forget all that shit, because it's sadly not the worst thing he did in that shitpile of a paragraph, as he also just compared a heavily female space to a fucking war zone.
"Talk about embedded journalism." Oh, ho ho, what rapier wit! Yes, aren't women—excuse me—girls just like enemy combatants who constantly try to kill you? Hilarious!
You know who I bet finds that extra funny? Female soldiers!
Interviews with three couples suggested that "Sex and the City" has plenty to offer men — or at least isn't worth avoiding like a well-dressed plague.Oh, look! More comparison to deadly disease! Ha ha! Great stuff. In fact, the only thing I enjoy more than my habit of subjecting men to my unrelenting womanness being compared to trying to kill them with IEDs is having my sex compared to a disease. Watch out, boys! Don't wanna catch Teh Deadly Girl!
Following that bit of comedy genius are the interviews, in which two of the men in the straight couples were embarrassed to admit that they wanted to see the movie, one so thoroughly that he insisted on anonymity. The third "was proud to acknowledge that he's a fan of the show," while nonetheless winking at dudez by saying Samantha—i.e. The One Who Gets Naked—is his favorite.
Gee, I wonder why it is that a straight man would be embarrassed to admit that he likes a show about women? Do you think it has anything to do with the fact that women-centered spaces are likened to war zones and plagues?
What's just so infuriating about this shit is that it's not just untrue; it's projection, a deliberate misrepresentation in precise opposite of what men and woman face, which effectively masks the truth of our world. When men enter disproportionately female spaces, they are typically celebrated and rewarded for deigning to tread on female ground. Men who openly declare themselves feminists are lauded for their bravery; fathers who don't refer to watching their own kids as babysitting are cheered for their forward-thinkingness; male dancers are treated as golden calves merely because they are rare.
This is, of course, not what happens to women who enter disproportionately male spaces.
Women are typically welcomed into male-centric spaces not as women, but only if they appropriate maleness and shed traces of femininity; women who fight to join a male-only membership of any kind are fought tooth and nail; women who enter into male-dominated fields are discriminated against, harassed, and, in extreme cases, suffer physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their co-workers; women are disproportionately at risk for sexual assault in predominantly male spaces (the military, among members of a male athletic team, a frat house, resident-work in heavily male professions, as on an oil rig or a contractor in Iraq).
For a very long time, women really have entered male-centered spaces at their own risk, and it really has been like entering a war zone for a whole lot of women—women who wanted the right to vote, women who wanted to work in mines, women who want to play sports for which there's no organized women's league, women who want their basic goddamned equality in every space—who were brutalized and subjected to all manner of indignity for their trouble.
Mr. Hilarious AP Writer turns that history on its head to make jokes about how tough it is to be a guy going to see Sex and the City. That, he calls a war zone. The women there, he calls a plague.
That shit verges on eliminationist rhetoric—and it's in an entertainment article. This is what we're dealing with on a daily basis; it's teaspoon versus dumptruck, and for every one of them using massive machinery to move shit one way, there's got to be a hell of a lot more of us working our teaspoons to move it the other way. That's the privilege of privilege.
Work those teaspoons.