Friday, 4 June 2010

Liz Jones thinks middle-aged white women are the most criticised people on the planet

It may be an understatement to say Sex and the City 2 has not received a particularly good reception from the critics.

Currently, it has a score of 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 137 bad reviews against 29 positive, the latter including one from the Mail's film reviewer, our old friend Chris Tookey.

But Mail columnist Liz Jones also spoke out. Not about the film per se ('it's not a masterpiece') but against all the reviewers who had slated it.

These included Hadley Freeman, who wrote a long article in the Guardian about the Sex and the City phenomenon, concluding:

The death of Sex and the City is not just a shame for fans, but for all women with higher expectations of movies about women than a compendium of cliches from the Daily Mail.

When the Mail re-published Freeman's article, it ended:

The death of Sex And The City is not just a shame for fans, but for all women with higher expectations of movies about women.

Wonder why they edited that sentence?

But to Jones, reviewers like Freeman disliked the film not because it was 'insulting', 'flimsy', 'virtually plotless' and a 'bloated juggernaut of pointlessness'.

Oh no:

You see, the only person in the world you are allowed to criticise these days is the middle-aged, affluent white woman.

Yes, really.

It's not difficult to see why Jones feels some affinity for middle-aged, white, materialistic women - she spends £9 on a tube of toothpaste, after all - and she's had her fair of criticism.

However, she neglects to mention the fact that Sex and the City 2 was written and directed by a man, which would slightly undercut her argument.

But do you know who she thinks has it easier than middle-aged, affluent white women?

The Muslims:

Serve up any old rubbish if you are Muslim and you’ll be lauded to the skies.

Umm...what? The use of 'Muslims' is telling. It's that typical Mail line - look what they can get away with that us white folk can't.

But when has she or the Mail ever lauded anything about Muslims, let alone their 'rubbish'? It would be great if she could provide just one example of this from her or her paper.

Categorically not proving her point, she adds, sniffily:

Take the item on Radio 4 on Saturday, when Fi Glover announced we’d be learning about a film on the success of Pop Afghanistan.

A film, it's clear, Jones hasn't seen, but it's about Muslims and was 'lauded' on Radio 4 so it must be 'rubbish'.

She's referring to Afghan Star, which currently has a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, with all of its 54 reviews being positive.

Oh, and the director of Afghan Star is a white woman who was born, and lives, in Britain, which she doesn't mention either.

It's a documentary about an interesting and original subject.

Sex and the City 2 is a two-and-a-half hour sequel to a two-and-a-half hour film, following 94 episodes on television.

But it's definitely not being criticised for flogging a dead horse. Oh no.

Then again, here's a quote from Jones' review of the first Sex and the City film:

I wanted to hate this film.

She didn't, but admitted:

I laughed very little during the screening (the writing is not as sharp as it was for TV, and the film, at nearly three hours long, feels far too baggy, a little like Samantha's 50-year-old paunch).

Hmm - well that comment isn't a pot-shot at a middle-aged women at all, is it?

So why is she allowed to criticise Sex and the City - and make specifically personal comments about middle-aged women - but no-one else is?

The hypocrite.

And criticising middle-aged women? The Mail would never do such a thing, would it? Surely it wasn't the Mail that was today calling the 43-year-old Sinead O'Connor 'frumpy', 'dowdy' and 'grumpy' for no other reason than she looks a bit older than she did 21 years ago?

But really, to try and pretend criticism of one (apparently quite bad) film is the result of some in-built bigotry is slightly paranoid and just plain silly.

And presumably this is all self-serving. In her mind, she isn't criticised because she whines about being poor after wasting money on such nonsense as a homeopathic vet for her chickens.

Nor is she criticised because she writes columns of jaw-dropping inanity for the Mail - her comparison of Emma Watson to the victim of a so-called 'honour-killing' being a particularly telling example.

No, she is criticised solely because she's a white, middle-aged woman.

Whereas if she was Muslim she'd never suffer such brickbats...

Although if she was Muslim, she probably wouldn't have such a high-profile position at the Mail.


  1. This reminds me of a double-page spread the Mail ran shortly after Titanic was released in which they claimed it was anti-English and pro-IRA.

  2. Titanic was released in which they claimed it was anti-English.


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