I always tell people that they should never get dating advice from movies or pop culture, because there’s a difference between something that is meant to be entertaining vs. something that is meant to be accurate. A perfect example is Sex and the City, a 2008 film about Ms. Carrie Bradshaw’s engagement to Mr. Big, a successful businessman in New York City. She is either unemployed, independently wealthy, or has great working hours, because she can afford to spend 3 days with her friends sorting through clothes over a bottle of wine.
The film is a sad and tacit endorsement of domestic violence. When Mr. Big gets cold feet on their wedding day, Ms. Bradshaw brutally attacks him in front of a score of witnesses – none of whom even lift a finger to defend him or call 911. Instead of a follow-up scene where the police come to arrest Ms. Bradshaw – for felony assault – the film is one that says that violence is ok, that glamorizes criminal behavior, that drags our society into the gutter.
Even worse, Sex and the City portrays this classic example of an abusive relationship as being the new normal, by having Mr. Big eventually marry Ms. Bradshaw. Most likely he rationalized the assault as a “one-time thing” and that “deep down, she truly loves me”. In a sequel, the film’s writers ought to portray how a real abusive relationship ends: either Mr. Big finally gaining enough self-esteem and courage to leave his abuser, or the alcoholic Ms. Bradshaw finally pummeling him to death.
Lastly, the film sends the misleading message that if one squanders their 20s and 30s with irresponsible life choices, they will still have plenty of chances to get married at 40 to a stable and wealthy partner. The film’s writers are either ignorant of statistics, or pandering to a gullible audience who will repay them with purchases of movie tickets or DVDs.
It is time for us, as a society, to take a stand against domestic violence and abusive relationships. So instead of modeling our relationships based on Sex and the City, we should instead look to those of our friends and family who are in loving and stable relationships.
Until next time my friends, keep dating!