Sonia Hadj Said
The first time was at the university. There was a small group of people from my country who would gossip about everyone else’s lives. I ignored it. Being in the UK made it easy. I didn’t have to be careful with my behaviour. I could be myself.
she likes to have fun, she doesn’t know love so she’s dangerous
I was quickly labelled as Samantha from SATC, and I didn’t mind – for me she was an example of a loyal friend, a smart woman, a businesswoman, confident and unstoppable, with strong opinions. Still, to people being a Samantha means you like to party, drink, flirt with men. No one except your closest friends can see outside this tiny fraction. Suddenly, your values are minimized to one thing: she likes to have fun, she doesn’t know love so she’s dangerous.
The second time was when I wrote an article on contraception in Poland, for a digital magazine designed for the Polish society in the UK. I was eaten alive by men and women. I was called out names because I suggested we should introduce free contraception, or at least available contraception. The comments suggested that I was a slut because if I wasn’t, I surely wouldn’t need contraception. That it was a disgusting idea to let women do whatever they wanted with their bodies. Only 20% of the voices there agreed that we needed a right to protect ourselves when it came to sex. I stopped writing for the magazine. I moved on.
The third time was when the Polish government came up with the idea that abortion should become fully illegal in the country. My hands got itchy and my keyboard was calling. The digital magazine would gladly publish another ‘controversial’ article. Then I decided I couldn’t go on living in the world I was trying to escape. I felt defeated, but moved on.
women shouldn’t have to be told to enjoy being single
The fourth time was when I left the cinema after watching ‘How to be single’. Something wasn’t right.
‘It should be called “how not to be single”‘, my friend suggested. I remembered movies and series like Trainwreck or the classic SATC, not to mention Girls. So, there we go:
‘Trainwreck’ was about a successful young girl who worked for a magazine. But she couldn’t just be that, the movie producers knew it wouldn’t sell. Those women don’t sell. They have to be ‘full’, meaning, they have to search for love or find love. I was most disappointed in ‘Trainwreck’ because it almost showed the life I wanted. And no, I don’t mean having sex with multiple men. It meant being nothing more than a young woman in a big city doing her thing.
And about ‘How to be single’…
First of all, women shouldn’t have to be told to enjoy being single. Honestly, how many more books and movies and stories and articles do we need?
Secondly, the protagonist spent the whole film looking for a guy. I actually felt sick. There I was, spending too much money to watch a rich girl with a perfect job, unhappy because she didn’t know how to be on her own. I have an advice: instead of getting stupid nonsense hobbies, try evolving at your workplace or read a smart magazine.
And as long as I love Girls, I can’t believe all the love dramas are a part of it. Everyone is doing it with everyone. Every other American TV show has it covered, thanks.
Last and saddest: did you know that the SATC books finish when Mr. Big gets married and Carrie remains single?
So are you a Charlotte? Do you just want to find love and have kids? Are you a Miranda and think that you’re better than most men? Are you a Samantha and think that sex is as natural as peeing in the morning?
Be whatever one you want, but leave the poor sluts alone.
Banner image: Amanda Jasnowski