Saturday, 5 June 2010

Erotic capital ? Not in my workplace.

I notice that postings on this blog have slowed somewhat in recent months. Yes, we’re all under pressure here in CCM, and will be even more so next year. But maybe the blog project has started to take itself more seriously than it was originally intended to be? Maybe it is time for a turn to levity, or as the newspapers would have it, let’s open silly season.
There were two things in my mind as I sat down to write this. Foremost was a piece I had read in the Times Higher this week (3-9th June) where Catherine Hakim urges academics to abandon their scruffily insouciant attitude to dress and concentrate on maximising their ‘erotic capital’. Another thought still preyed on my conscience from Friday – I had made a flippant and ill-judged remark on a colleague’s summer shorts. Apologies, and he knows who he is. The two concerns were not unrelated in my deliberations.
The article on ‘erotic capital’ is illustrated by various images of alpha males draped by feminine supplicants. Apologies to film studies colleagues, but I believe one of them to be Marilyn Monroe. Another image places Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield in a sultry and burlesque pose, perhaps deciding whether to deliver a lecture or strip for the audience. Hakim is suggesting that now that academics have a presence on websites, and often their photograph appears, that they should work harder to appear alluring - and reap the benefits. After all, haven’t the recent UK prime-ministerial debates shown the value of a well cut suit, teamed with a charismatic self-presentation? Moreover, their academic pulling power may be enhanced by showcasing their sexual allure, and prioritizing this dimension should not be seen as trivial. Hakim cites research that shows attractive people make more money, find partners, and are likely to be perceived as more competent. But the theory goes further than simply acknowledging the premium of beauty. We should also be trading on our social skills, sexual attractiveness and some other vague sexual ‘je ne sais quoi’ which might also be affected.
Now, I should know a thing or two about erotic capital, as the co-author of research on the language of lesbian erotica, and as one about to begin another project on the language of internet sex-blogging. One thing is that the erotic is context-specific rather than universal. The assumption in Hakim’s work is that there is a heterosexual imperative animating the academic workplace. But whereas the muscular and modestly-dressed contestants in the recent women’s French Open final might hold erotic salience for me as a lesbian, that might not hold true for a heterosexual male. What I am driving at with this point is that we reinforce rather than undermine existing power structures which hierarchize gender and sexual identities in a workplace if we adopt rather than resist these notions. Feminists have worked hard over many decades to allow public space generally, and the workplace in particular, to be free of sexual objectification. Perhaps that explains Hakim’s waspish and unnecessary aside denigrating the feminist contribution to debates over sexual expression, much of it emanating from her more progressive colleagues at the LSE.
Indeed the whole concept of erotic capital seems to be a cynical and misleading attempt to suggest an equivalence with Bourdieu’s notions of cultural and symbolic capital, so widely influential in the academic spaces patrolled by CCM. These latter can be accumulated to transform the self and society, not solely to self-interestedly reinforce inequalities within it.
But to return to my offhand remark to my colleague - had I been guilty of ridiculing him for failing, in my eyes, to achieve ‘erotic best practice’. Who am I to judge anyway? And there we have it. Erotic capital is nothing more than subjective judgement, inappropriately applied. In any case, the whole notion is guaranteed to work against the interests of women who will be pilloried if they enhance their attractiveness, and pilloried if they don’t. This was demonstrated in an article in the Guardian on Saturday 5th June, which convincingly destabilizes Hakim’s argument that only the gorgeous and seductive can be successful . The article is a report of a sex discrimination case in the US where a New York banker had lost her job. Apparently she had an excess of ‘erotic capital’ to the extent that her male colleagues found her distracting. Any woman who thinks she can succeed in manipulating structures where gender inequality is so deeply embedded is sure to experience a similar jarring dose of reality.
I put the article down and tried to imagine NTU’s Continuing Professional Development unit’s training seminar on erotic capital, and how much more fun it might be than some of the other offerings. Then I thought about who might attend, and the illusion was rapidly punctured. But hey, what’s so unlikely? Aren’t we the university that just launched a web presence for our academic experts on the World Cup? Does that qualify as some sort of collective, institutional erotic capital? It certainly stretches the notion of cultural capital. One can only hope that this idea never gains traction in the academy. We are already in the grip of marketization, media friendliness, consumer responsiveness, economic ‘impact’, student satisfaction surveys and other promiscuities. But as a witty and learned colleague of mine puts it, “they won’t rest until they have us going into lectures with titty tassles on”.

Monday, 31 May 2010

NTU Journals: Climate Change and Affect

When Simon Dawes not working on his PhD thesis at NTU, he works as an editorial assistant for the sister journals Theory, Culture and Society and Body and Society, and is also responsible for the content on the website, blog, Facebook and Twitter sites. Here he reports on some recent issues of the journal.

To accompany the new TCS special issue on Changing Climates (TCS vol 27, issue 2-3, May 2010, edited by Bronislaw Szerszynski and John Urry), I’ve been busy working with the contributors to the issue on collating extra material for our website that could be of interest to readers. The double issue demonstrates how social science can help to illuminate the very nature of the challenge of climate change, and gathers papers by some of the world's leading authors working on climate and society (Ulrich Beck, Mike Hulme, Elizabeth Shove and Brian Wynne among them). The contributors trace the way that climate science has been produced, organised, mobilised and contested, and explore the relationships between climate change, politics, global inequity, financial turbulence and even life itself. For the extra material, we’ve so far got an extensive bibliography of climate change texts, and links to podcasts of interviews and talks, as well as a host of other material on related projects, events and articles. We’re hoping it will serve as a valuable resource to anyone in the social sciences interested in climate change.

We’ve also just published on the site an interview I conducted with Lisa Blackman, Mike Featherstone and Couze Venn, as a supplement to the current issue of Body and Society (vol 16, issue 1, March 2010, edited by Lisa Blackman and Couze Venn), which doubles as a special issue on Affect and as the relaunch issue of the journal. The issue focuses on the significance for body-studies of the ‘turn to affect’ that has taken place across the humanities and the social sciences, particularly in terms of a re-engagement with perception, sensation and memory, and explores the role of different versions of affect in the theorising of the body. Articles featured are by Constantina Papoulias & Felicity Callard, Julian Henriques, Valerie Walkerdine, Erin Manning and Patricia T. Clough, as well as those by Blackman, Featherstone and Venn. In the online interview, the editors discuss the significance of affect to their own research, as well as the future theoretical and methodological direction of the relaunched journal. I’ll be conducting more interviews with editorial board members and special issue editors of both journals in the near future.

Subsequent issues and sections in
Body and Society on bodily integrity, medicine, and animation and automation, and in TCS on Ricoeur, Megacities, Simmel, and Code and Codings, are all in the pipeline, and there will be many more interviews and much more extra material available on the website to accompany them, so keep checking the website and blog for new developments.

Monday, 17 May 2010

The world cup, football-speak and national identity

NTU linguist Dean Hardman reflects on the status of 'football talk' in anticipation of this years World Cup.

When the football world cup comes around once every four years, it seems like the nation is gripped by World Cup Fever. Not only is there wall-to-wall coverage of the actual matches; extra television programmes devoted to talking about the matches are aired, while football permeates every other televisual and media genre. Football, already the advertising vehicle of choice for a whole range of brands and products, is used to promote everything from soft drinks to washing powder, from credit cards to chocolate. There doesn’t seem to be a product or service whose brand managers don’t see the world cup as a prime opportunity to increase brand awareness.

Clearly these advertisers are drawing upon the high level of interest that the world cup generates among otherwise casual viewers of the game. Everyone during a World Cup, especially but not exclusively when a home nation is involved, has an opinion on football. These range from the team and game-specific: “Rooney’s injury holds the key, they’ve got to play 4-4-2”, to the more general: “England have got no chance”, and from the positive: “I’m so excited about tonight’s game”, to the negative: “I can’t believe they’ve cancelled Eastenders for this.” Whether the speaker or writer has any specialist knowledge or not, or whether their opinion or comment is positive or negative doesn’t really matter: all this shared focus on football and talking about the world cup helps to reinforce social identities and helps us to construct a shared sense of group identity. Ultimately this might be a shared sense of Englishness that talking about the England team creates. However, it might just as easily be a shared sense of Scottishness when talking about a strong desire to see England fail, or a shared anti-football agenda.

Casual viewers also begin to draw upon the footballing lexicon for the first time in four years. “Beating the offside trap” is inserted awkwardly into sentences, alongside the notion of “hitting a barn door with a banjo” or “making an impression early doors” as “squeaky bum time approaches”. The Ivory coast might need to “shut up shop”, while everyone wants to know who will survive the “group of death”. Again, having a shared national footballing lexicon to delve into also helps to oil the wheels of communication and reinforces a sense of national togetherness and cohesion.

Whatever one’s feelings are towards the world cup, it is absolutely unavoidable. It is going to be all but impossible to spend the month of June in the UK without being bombarded with images of footballers selling ice-creams, or hearing colleagues speak, sometimes inarticulately, about events in South Africa. At the same time, though, for one month only, talking about football becomes a key way in which vast swathes of the population signify membership of a whole range of social groupings and identities. For a limited time only you need never be stuck for something to say, it’s the event that we can all feel part of.

(Image: mrfrogger; permissions)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Narratives on Migration and Transnational Media

After a week in which immigration has surfaced as one of the key issues dominating election coverage in the UK, Olga Bailey offers an overview of her article on media representations of migration, 'Narratives on Migration and Transnational Media: crises of representation?', which she has co-written with Sonia De Nelson. The article will be published later this year in T. Threadgold, B. Gross and K. Moore (eds), Migration and the Media (New York: Peter Lang).

Debates on issues of migration have had perennial importance in national and international arenas and figure prominently in the political agendas of wealthy nations and in the transnational public media spheres. The migration debate was mainly reframed in the post 9/11 attacks interconnected to a ‘global crisis’, underpinned by economic and political issues, focusing concerns on national security, the threats to western culture and its economic impact on receiving western countries. The mainstream media has predominantly covered these debates echoing these concerns and constructing immigration as a national threat, thereby alienating and making alien populations who do not possess the necessary symbols of national belonging. Since 2008, due to the global economic crises, immigration coverage in the mainstream media has been mainly interlinked to the consequences of the economic crises in western societies. In discussing the effect of the economic crisis for international migration, Castles and Vezzoli point out that the media have widely reported on the visible effects on new migration, migrant employment, remittance flows and on attitudes of destination-country populations (2009: 69). The current rhetoric links migration debate to the economic crises in topics such as reducing recruitment of migrant workers because of growing unemployment, to governments’ actions on immigration management to regulate the borders and wider aspects of the life of immigrants, including access to jobs, welfare services, family reunification, and ultimately integration and the acquisition of citizenship. These measures aim to demonstrate to their political constituency they are acting in minimizing the crisis.

In this chapter we look at coverage of migration issues in the BBC news online services. Our focus is on the ways in which otherness interweaves with migration issues. Our assumption is that stories about immigration form an important arena through which ideas about the immigrant ‘other’ are expressed and reproduced.This in turn forms a wider context to our discussion as it is connected to the debate over the changes of the practices of transnational journalism generated by technological, economic and cultural factors. We have chosen the BBC News and BBC Mundo news online for two reasons: First, for its significant role as a public service in the transnational media landscape and its impact on public opinion and, consequently, on governmental policy processes. Second, for its high journalistic standards - accuracy and impartiality – which are recognised by a global audience. The aim is to provide a snapshot of the ways news on migration is presented in both sites. The paper first discusses the challenges faced by journalists working in transnational outlets, and then presents the BBC journalist’s news practices and its relevance to an understanding of the present production of migration stories. The last part provides examples of the representation of migration in BBC. 
(Photo credit: LoopZilla. Permissions)

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Guest Paper: 'Invisible Television'

In the final guest paper in the Cultural Studies Research Group series for the current academic year, Dr Brett Mills (Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies, University of East Anglia) talks about 'Invisible Television: The Programmes No-one Talks About Though Lots of People Watch Them'. 

In his paper, Brett focuses on how There exists a disparity between the programmes that get repeatedly discussed and written about in television studies, and the programmes watched by the largest audiences. This paper argues that there is, as a consequence, invisible television. Or, more accurately, it argues there is television invisible to the academy. Through quantitative analysis of ratings and publications, the paper demonstrates this disparity. It then goes on to explore the reasons for its existence and demonstrates why it should be a matter of concern for us all.

The event takes place on from 4.00-5.30 pm on Wednesday 5th May in GEE019, Clifton Campus. Everyone welcome. For further information, please email Joanne Hollows.

(Photo credit: sermoa. Permissions.)

Friday, 16 April 2010

A Genealogy of Broadcasting Policy in the UK

Simon Dawes, a research student in our team and Editorial Assistant for Theory, Culture and Society and Body and Society, explains the key ideas underpinning his current research on broadcasting policy.

I’m working on a genealogy of broadcasting policy in the UK, looking specifically at the shifts in how the public have been constructed over time. This is set in the context of claims that broadcasting was regulated in terms of a public service ethos from the 1920s until the 1970s/1980s, since when it has been regulated as a market. A concomitant shift in the construction of the public from citizens to consumers accompanies these claims.

In research so far undertaken, I’ve used critical discourse analysis (CDA) to demonstrate the relationship between citizen- and consumer- signifiers in the Communications White Paper 2000 (the text that established the creation of Ofcom). My study showed that in addition to the predictable preference for the term ‘consumer’, there was an ambiguous distinction between citizen- and consumer- issues and a contradictory usage of the two terms. Consequently, emphasis was placed upon the collective agency of consumers, while the citizen was reconstructed as a passive and vulnerable individual. Further, the privatisation of public interest and the economisation of public service that I detected in the discourse led me to concur with the Habermasian critique of the depoliticisation of the public sphere. These preferences, ambiguities and contradictions have consequences for how Ofcom regulates the communications industries, and identifying them helps us understand how they will decide on the future of public service broadcasting in the UK. You can see an article I wrote on this research here.

My thesis will offer a discursive history of broadcasting policy by extending this analysis to a range of committee reports, regulators’ reviews, government white papers, bills and acts that have been written in the UK since the 1920s. In the work I’m currently undertaking, I’m beginning to question the epistemological assumptions behind the theories and methodologies I’ve been using. Methodologically, I’m looking to link CDA with a more Foucauldian approach to discourse analysis, while in terms of theory I’m concentrating on recent problematisations of the public sphere concept. Once I’ve cleared all that up, it’ll be back to the archive for some more analysis.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Guest Paper: 'Beautiful Images, Spectacular Clarity'

In our next guest paper in the seminar series organized by the Cultural Studies Research Group with ICAN, we welcome Dr Helen Wheatley from the University of Warwick. Helen will be delivering a paper entitled '"Beautiful images, spectacular clarity": Spectacular television, "landscape porn", and the question of (tele)visual pleasure'. The event takes place on Wednesday 3rd March 2010, from 4.00-5.30pm in in room GEE219 (George Eliot Building on the Clifton Campus of Nottingham Trent University). The abstract of the paper is as follows:
In establishing television’s difference from cinema, scholars have too quickly dismissed the medium’s spectacular qualities. Typically, arguments about television which emphasise comparison with cinema position the medium as visually inefficient (Williams, 1975 ) sound-led and lacking in visual detail (Ellis, 1982), or simply ‘less dense, less complex, less interesting’ (Lury, 2005). Theories of television’s liveness and distracted viewership also understand television as anti-spectacular. Considering the recent cycle of ‘landscape porn’[i] on British television, I will counter these arguments by discussing television’s spectacular aesthetic. The paper will explore the pictorial qualities of programmes such as Coast (BBC2/1, 2005-), A Picture of Britain (BBC1, 2005), Wainwrights Walks (Skyworks for BBC4, 2007), Britain’s Favourite View (ITV1, 2007)  and Britain from Above (Lion for BBC1, 2008), and visual pleasure on television. I will argue that these programmes presume a contemplative mode of viewing more traditionally associated with the spectacular in other media (landscape painting, film). Whilst I reject a technologically determinist argument about the rise of HD shooting and viewing technologies and the advent of this genre of programming, I will also understand these recent programmes as post-digital revolution television. This is simultaneously ‘slow television’ which allows for a contemplative gaze on spectacular ‘natural’ landscapes, and also a heavily-CGI’d cycle of programming which draws on a ‘Google Earth’ aesthetic to produce a frenzy of dazzling topography, showcasing the spectacle of satellite technologies. The paper will be informed by interviews with production personnel working within this burgeoning field of programming.
Everyone is welcome but places are limited so if you would like to attend, please email Joanne Hollows.
(Photo credit: Stuart Herbert. Permissions)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Symposium on The Body

This year’s our annual Media and Cultural Studies Symposium takes place on Friday 19th February  and centres around the theme of ‘The Body’. Alongside papers from staff in media and cultural studies, we are delighted to welcome two outside speakers, Ruth Holliday (Professor of Gender and Culture, University of Leeds) and Sharon Hayes (Senior Lecturer, School of Justice, Queensland University of Technology).

The event runs from 10.00-3.30 in GEE219, on the Clifton Campus of Nottingham Trent University. Attendance is free and everyone is welcome but places are strictly limited so please email Joanne Hollows to reserve a place if you wish to attend.

The Programme for the Event is as follows:
10.00-10.15: registration
10.15-10.30: welcome
10.30-11.45: session 1: the body, class and citizenship (Chair: Joanne Hollows)
Ruth Holliday, All Tits and Bum: Classing Feminist squeamishness at the 'plastic' body
Steve Jones, Cycling and Citizenship
11.45-12.00: break
12.00-1.15: session 2: the body, sound and music (Chair: Dave Woods)
Gary Needham, Donna Summer: disco and the embodiment of orgasm
Russell Murray, Body/Sound - Sound/Body
1.15-2.15: lunch break
2.15 – 3.30: session 3: ‘deviant’ bodies (Chair: Ben Taylor)
Simon Cross, Mad Bodies: Seeing and Reading the Historical Image of Insanity
Sharon Hayes, The moral temporality of sex, taboo and the body
(Photo credit: Jason Drakeford. Permissions.)

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Accent and Identity: Where do the East Midlands fit in the North/South divide?

Natalie Braber reports back from the Borders and Identities Conference.

In the worst of the recent weather, I braved the snow and ice to travel to attend the Borders and Identities Conference (BIC2010) which took place 8-9 January at Newcastle University. This was the first BIC Conference, and has been started under the auspices of the Accent and Identity on the Scottish/English Border (AISEB) project. The main aim of this conference was to examine in more detail the current state of knowledge in this field of study and to relate linguistic studies to other fields of enquiry to further interdisciplinary with other disciplines. Although research on ‘borderlands’ is well-established in the social sciences, it is only within recent years that interest in has taken hold within the fields of sociolinguistics and the sociology of language.

I had been accepted to give a poster presentation on a project I’ve recently started work on which looks at the question ‘Where do the East Midlands fit in the North/South divide?’ Although this divide is a frequently talked about phenomenon, there is much disagreement about where this border can be placed – and Nottingham (and the East Midlands) fall right into this potential border area. From the sixteenth century onwards there have been references to the river Trent as being a cultural and linguistic divide between North and South. Linguistically, language in Nottingham and the East Midlands is a much neglected variety and much more needs to be learned about its particular features.

The work I have carried out so far (funded by SIS – Stimulating Innovation for Success at NTU) has collected a small sample of voices from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to examine the variation found within the East Midlands, comparing these findings with previous research. It also considers future work which needs to be carried out within this field – re-examining the perception of the North-South divide and how the East Midlands fit into such a division, as viewed both by those from the East Midlands and from around the UK.

The conference took place in The Assembly Rooms which was a great location for a conference – it had plenty of space for delegates to mingle and discuss projects during coffee and lunch breaks. Fortunately, most of the delegates made it through the bad weather and the conference was so successful that discussions about the next location are already taking place.

(photo credit: John the Scone; permissions)

Monday, 25 January 2010

Work in Progress Papers: the Guardian blogging community

The next ICAn Work in Progress session from a member of the Communication, Culture and Media team is on Wednesday 27th January 2010 in GEE219 (Clifton Campus), 12.00-1.00 pm. In this session, Dean Hardman presents a paper called 'Below the Line But Over the Top: a preliminary look at the Guardian blogging community'. Dean describes the paper as 'very much a work in progress talk, where I'm hoping to instigate a discussion on the types of blog responses that can be seen on the Guardian sport blog.  I'm also hoping to show where I'm headed with some work that is designed to categorise and hypothesise about the purpose behind direct critiques of journalists.  It actually builds on something I did for the cultural studies blog in the very early days.'

(Photo credit: Jon Juan. Permissions.) 

Friday, 22 January 2010

Guest Paper: Natasha Whiteman, Watching 'Good Television'

The next guest paper in this year's seminar organized by the Cultural Studies Research Group with ICAn features Natasha Whiteman (University of Leicester) who will be speaking on 'Watching "Good Television": The Reception of Battlestar Gallactica and The Wire. The talk takes place on Wednesday 27th January 2010, from 4.00-5.30pm in room GEE219 (George Eliot Building on the Clifton Campus of Nottingham Trent University). The abstract of the paper is as follows:

This paper examines the reception of Battlestar Galactica and The Wire by critics and academics. Despite their differences, each series has received widespread critical acclaim and inspired a range of academic productivity. Each has been configured as an example of “good” television that it is acceptable to watch, and each has been contrasted to less “worthy” forms of television production. This paper examines the positioning involved in critical and academic discussion of these series, focusing attention on the distancing/affiliating moves made by critics and academics in their often fannish responses to these television products. What do these moves tell us about these series and those who celebrate it? What do they tell us about the relationship between fans, critics and academics? In exploring these issues the paper develops work that has examined modes of identification with media texts within online fan communities (Whiteman, 2007).

Everyone is welcome but places are limited so if you would like to attend, please email Joanne Hollows
(Photo credit: Jinx. Permissions)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Holiday reading: Bringing Home the Birkin

The basic black Birkin.

Over Christmas i read Michael Tonello’s Bringing Home the Birkin (New York: Harper, 2009) which demystifies the most famous and most expensive handbag – the Hermes Birkin – as much a Holy Grail of luxury as it is a pop culture icon with prices as high as $60,000. A light read but significant in it’s exposing of the marketing myths of luxury brands and their inculcation of consumer desire based on false information. The Birkin probably entered popular culture in the late 1990s when Sex and the City (and later in episodes of the Gilmore Girls, Will and Grace and Gossip Girl) devoted an episode to the most coveted of bags and its notorious waiting list. There are even blogs devoted to random Birkin spotting. My first awareness of the brand name Hermes was the film Basic Instinct in 1992; Sharon Stone’s character uses Hermes scarves to tie her victims to the bedstead. She was a classy killer. The Birkin is copied the world over, often spoken of in relation to the smaller Hermes Kelly Bag (named after Grace Kelly) and mistaken for the larger Hermes Haut a Courrois which was originally for transporting horse saddles as befits the company’s 19th century origin. The Birkin name came about when on a flight sometime in 1984 Jane Birkin was seated next to the CEO of Hermes Jean-Louis Dumason when she bemoaned the need for more space in the Kelly and a design collaboration ensued.

Tonello’s book is as much a story of ebay entrepreneurship as it is the story of how he managed to procure hundreds of the impossible to purchase Birkin bags and sell them on for substantial profit. Anyone who has sold through ebay will recognise the same travails of online selling. Tonello explodes two pop culture fashion myths – firstly, the waiting list and secondly Hermes own claims to producing a limited number of Birkins a year. Even if you have the money to buy an entry level Birkin you can’t just go in to a Hermes store and buy one. It doesn’t work like that since it is the unobtainability that amplifies their desirability. You will be told that there’s a waiting list of approximately two years and that’s even if they bother to ever call you back. However, Tonello discovers what he calls ‘the formula’ for getting the Birkin in nearly every Hermes store he visits. His formula for a ‘same day Birkin’, one that bypasses the waiting list and thus reveals it as a fallacy, is buy lots of scarves and leather goods first, spending a few thousand, and then casually drop into conversation asking if they have any Birkins. With that first offering at the luxury altar the Hermes sales assistant (which he breaks down in to five stereotypes and how to deal with them) disappears in to the back of the shop and magically produces a Birkin. The profit on a Birkin re-sell is so high that Tonello is able to fly the world in search of more Birkins for rich American women and, exposing another fallacy, he alone manages to acquire more than the supposed annual production that the Hermes spiel suggests. In the end Tonello tires of the travel, Hermes and the world of luxury goods and no doubt Hermes cottons on and changes its tactics of sale when it comes to keeping the Birkin shrouded in legends of unobtainable.

Product placement: Carrie Bradshaw appears in Season 6 (Episode 16 - 'Out of the Frying Pan') of Sex and the City holding a Rouge H 30cm Matte Crocodile Birkin.

(photo credits: yumyumcherry; DVD screen grab; permissions)