Aoife Finneran: Sex And The City is a disgrace to women. Can't wait to see it
GENTLEMEN, be warned. If your normally sweet and sane female friends turn into psychotic, bunny boiling, self-obsessed harridans in the coming weeks, fear not.
It's probably only a temporary state, brought on by the release of the new Sex And The City film. You may laugh, but considering the undignified scramble for cinema tickets, it seems the Irish love affair with Carrie et al is far from over.
I'm woefully embarrassed. There are still four weeks to go before SATC mark 2 hits the screens and already we're hearing stories of private screening parties, excitable women trying to block book tickets and canny product link-ins designed to suck as much money as possible out of unsuspecting fans.
Don't get me wrong, I've watched re-runs of SATC as much as the next woman, but I'd like to think I've finally cottoned on that it's not a blueprint for the perfect life. Sure, the designer shoes, bags and frankly scary clothes are captivating. But how anyone could look at the skeletal Carrie Bradshaw or her cronies and think they represent an ideal way of living is beyond me.
If I told you I knew a girl who'd been dumped by her boyfriend, then cheated on her new partner with him, got engaged to him, got jilted at the altar and still ended up in his arms, how would you react? What if I mentioned that she spent all her money on shoes and all her time strutting in of-the-moment bars, leaving her with so little money that she had to borrow from a friend to get a deposit for an apartment? For a start, you'd probably tell me the girl is a complete idiot and a disgrace to women everywhere. You might snigger pitifully at her inability to recognise what Bridget Jones would call "an emotional f***wit" of a man. Girls, allow me to introduce the wondrous Carrie Bradshaw.
Yes, behind those kooky expensive clothes is a character who tells women it's charming to adopt fake poses around a man, it's okay to cheat as long as it's with a man you think you love and it's acceptable to concentrate more on a wedding than on a marriage. Oh, and considering her penchant for cutting across conversations to talk about herself, the great Carrie has also taught women that it's perfectly fine to be self-obsessed.
The other characters aren't much better, seemingly flitting from an endless stream of lunch dates to front-row seats at fashion shows, sipping cool drinks while trotting out various weak lines about female independence.
If this is life as a modern woman, thanks but no thanks. In a way, we were always going to get sucked in by the dazzling colour of SATC. In the late 1990s and early 2000s it projected an ideal that wasn't quite so farcical in our materialistic Celtic Tiger Ireland.
But times have changed. Viewed through the prism of a recession, SATC looks jaded, frivolous and an embarrassing parody of real life. Manipulative and cloying behaviour doesn't help you find a man, nor does awkward posing and incessant hair flicking.
Furthermore, despite supposedly flying the flag for a new breed of women, SATC is still insisting that happiness is wrapped up in true love. I know many successful, fulfilled single women who prove otherwise.
And if the rumours about SATC2 are true, Mr Big cheats on Carrie, further proof that she's a vacuous airhead who pinned her life on an empty dream.
Before you ask, yes I'm something of a hypocrite. I've watched the shows, I saw the first movie, and no doubt I'll go to the next one once the hordes of spanx-wearing, stiletto-clad die-hard fans have subsided. This time around though, I'll be looking for light entertainment, not a role model. Let's hope everyone else does the same, for the sake of women everywhere -- and the men who have to live with them.