June 3, 2008

Sex and the City: Why does no one feel bad for Miranda?


I joined the millions of women this weekend who swarmed the movie theater to see Sex and the City. I laughed, I cried, I got tingly in certain places. But I also got mad, really mad, and not just at the men in the movie. I got mad at Charlotte, Samantha and Carrie for their blatant disregard to the plight of their friend Miranda.

While Carrie pouted in the darkness of her luxurious Mexican honeymoon suite refusing to eat, Miranda was at her side, despite her own flailing marriage. Yes, Carrie being jilted at the altar by her 10-year love Mr. Big was heart wrenching and utterly embarrassing. But Miranda discovering her husband cheated on her, was just as, if not even more devastating (She had to move to China Town!).

Faced with altering her entire life and sharing custody of her young son, Miranda didn't cause a scene, instead she hopped a plane to Mexico to comfort Carrie. No one talked about it and ultimately her friends thought she was crazy for not taking Steve back (he did apologize). They were barely even sensitive to her fragile feelings, as Samantha criticized her for not shaving her nether region.

But no one thought it was wrong for Carrie to ignore the pleas of Mr. Big - he did commit the cardinal sin, putting to waste a designer wedding dress.

But the way Miranda's separation was treated in the movie was very true to societal norms. Divorced or separated women are expected to just get on with their lives. There is no fan fair or whoopla associated with the crumbling of marriage. Yet, when a woman in the movies or television gets dumped by her boyfriend, whom she has only been seeing for a few months, she is shown groveling, moping and completely incapable to go on with life.

What does this say about marriage and our priorities? Are long-term commitments expected to fail, so when inevitably they do, there is no shock and awe?

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