Belief Beat

I checked out “Sex and the City 2″ this week, and found it pleasant enough for a girls’ night out. My husband, who has been to Abu Dhabi recently, couldn’t make it to the movie, so I’ll have to assume the critics are correct about its inauthentic portrayal of the UAE; then again, those scenes were filmed in Morocco. Also, while SATC2 does resort to cliches when depicting the Arab Muslims, as a New Yorker, I had to resign myself years ago to the show’s fans assuming that crazy Carrie, bitchy Miranda, desperate Charlotte and horny Samantha are realistic Manhattan women!

(Which reminds me — RIP, Rue McClanahan. Without Blanche Devereaux, there would be no Samantha Jones.)

Having said all that, for now — I’ll write more on this next week for Religion News Service — here’s my Fun Friday find, courtesy of Muslimah Media Watch: what Carrie Bradshaw’s sex (sects?) column would have looked like after her Arabian adventure. An exerpt:

Underneath the burqa of fabulous glamour, we saw a whole lot of oppression of women in Abu Dhabi. Between the drab black and the lowered gazes, gender norms in the Middle East could do with a bit of a makeover. After all, even though we don’t exactly have equality here, at least our oppression can strut down Fifth in couture. I wonder what can change for women in the Middle East. Is oppression a timeless classic, like my Chanel dress, or do we toss it completely, like Charlotte’s paint-stained Valentino?

Also, my favorite religion-related bit of SATC? Wide-eyed Charlotte insisting on going by York, her maiden name, while in Abu Dhabi because “it’s the Middle East.” (Not such a crazy idea, especially with the current Israel-Gaza-Turkey flotilla fallout, though I doubt that the average Arabian hotel employee would know Goldenblatt is a Jewish last name…?)

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