Sex and the City’s distaste toward Muslim Tradition

monica-sexcity-flashEveryone who knows me, knows I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. Carrie Bradshaw, NYC columnist with her funky outfits, happens to be my role model. And although I love the show, and liked the movie, I thought a sequel would be a bad, if not a suicidal, idea for the name. But once I found out the ladies will be in Abu Dhabi, I was excited to see what four City girls would be doing in what they call the “New” Middle East.

I’m not going to lie. The first half of the movie, with the Middle Eastern-inspired outfits and scenery made me want to take a trip to this paradise hosted somewhere between dry lands, poverty and political warfare. I even laughed when Charlotte used her maiden name afraid her Jewish name might cause trouble there. I thought to myself if I would do the same. But then things made a turn for the worse. Caution: Scene Spoiler. Samantha got arrested for kissing on the beach, then she wore shorts out in the market where religious men snared at her, and then she dropped her purse filled with condoms and then shoved the condoms (and her middle finger) in religious men’s faces. Wow. I knew Samantha was crazy, but that went above and beyond.

I thought how terrible that a light and funny movie would make a mockery of a sacred tradition held by religious men and women. It was interesting, however, to see the HUGE gap between modesty in the Middle East, even in an upcoming cosmopolitan area, compared to New York City – home of the PDA and promiscuous.

I couldn’t help but think this movie was the perfect example of what I’ve been thinking about all along — finding a balance between the two extremes. As I talk to more religious women in Islamic faiths, it’s fascinating to learn more about their struggles of veiling and modesty as well.

The movie ended Caution: Another Scene Spoiler with Muslim women showing the four City ladies the designer outfits they sport underneath their burka. If I hadn’t done some research beforehand, I might have been surprised. But it’s not unusual for Muslim women to be “sexy” underneath their veils, and even splurge on designer clothing, jewelry and make up. As one woman I have interviewed said, it creates intimacy where it matters most.

Have you seen Sex and the City? What did you think of the portrayal of Muslim men and women? Did you think Samantha was offensive? And what did you think about the sexual divide between the Arab women and the New York City ladies?

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