Mr. Big Called Carrie Bradshaw a Whore

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Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) had nearly 20 boyfriends over the course of Sex and the City’s six-season run, but she wound up with John James Preston, aka Mr. Big (Chris Noth), by the end of the HBO series. And Noth made some comments about Carrie’s dating history in a recent interview with news.com.au that are causing a bit of a stir in the Internet world…

“One of the things I tell people is that he never tried to pretend he was anything other than what he was. It was [Carrie] who tried to pretend he was something he wasn’t. He was always honest about himself — he never cheated on her. The relationship just didn’t work, and he went on to get married while she went on to … how many boyfriends did she have? She was such a whore! [laughs] There’s a misconception that Carrie was a victim of him, and that’s not the case — she was a strong, smart woman.”

It’s as if Noth watched a different version of Sex and the City than everyone else did? In the HBO series, Big dated and slept with an ornamental of other women. When he became unsatisfied with his wife, he cheated with Carrie. According to Noth, the with matters—he never cheated on her. Which allows Big to remain “good” guy who was what he was, and makes Carrie a “whore.” Right?

Of course it doesn’t. Chris Noth is offering a textbook case of “slut-shaming,” holding women who have casual sex to a different standard than men who do. This type of thing is everywhere: in the tech world, regarding sexting teens. It’s in colleges, where women slut-shame one another. And of course, it’s in the national debate over birth control, when a radio host can call a young woman a slut for taking a stand. The cycle is inescapable.

But Noth didn’t just shame Carrie Bradshaw. He also used her strength and intelligence to make shaming her okay. “She was a strong, smart woman,” he said. Which sounds like: That crafty woman! She knew what she was doing. She knew how to get around those men. So calling her a “whore,” a term with a long and often ugly history, is somehow okay?

To be fair, it’s fairly clear Noth was trying to be comedic. But in this case, his joke helped keep an old, destructive tradition alive. It goes far beyond just Big and Carrie…

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Stay Flawless,

Ms. Femme.

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