Instant Opinion

‘I want the nightmares to end for the women traumatised by Chris Noth’

Your digest of analysis from the British and international press

1

Heather Kristin in The Independent

Chris Noth’s behaviour on set for ‘Sex and the City’ was disgusting. I know – I was there

on trauma and solidarity

Heather Kristin “felt relief” when the character Mr Big, played by Chris Noth, died in the Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That. Three women have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Noth, and she is “sure” that watching the reboot they “felt the same”. A stand-in for Kristin Davis on the show for four seasons, Kristin remembers Noth’s “toxic behaviour all too vividly”. “My gut said to quit”, she says in The Independent, but “instead, I stayed too long” and “did my best to stay out of his path”. Working on the show, “the atmosphere was toxic”. An essay written by Kristin in February this year detailing sexual harassment on set “went viral”, and it was later reported that Noth wouldn’t return to the show. “Imagine my surprise when months later he was hired for the reboot,” she says. “I felt betrayed yet again.” Her experience was “small compared to the brave women who have come forward” in the last week, she adds, and she is “glad” cast members have “responded with their support for those women”. “I want the nightmares to end” for those who have been “traumatised”.

2

Meghan Kruger in The Washington Post

‘Fake it ‘til you make it’ was a fine Silicon Valley creed – until it involved my blood test

on risky attitudes

“The fate of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes now rests with a jury,” says Meghan Kruger at The Washington Post. After 15 weeks of testimony, they will rule whether she ran “a greedy scam”, by claiming her company's blood test could detect several diseases from a few drops of blood, as the prosecution argued, or was “the victim of her own inexperience, of sexual abuse, of overwhelming pressure to deliver”, as the defense contends. Holmes may be innocent until proven guilty, but “she’s guilty on at least two counts: providing me with a terrible customer experience, and embracing one of Silicon Valley’s most dangerous philosophies”. A blood test taken at a local Walgreens left me “incredulous”, she adds. In Silicon Valley, “the innovators’ creed” may have been “fake it ’til you make it”, but in some industries, the price of that “dogma is measured in human lives”. “There’s a blurred distinction between the brazenness that defines successful entrepreneurs and outright fraud,” she adds. Now, Holmes waits “to see which side of the line 12 jurors think she was on”.

3

Rachel Sylvester in The Times

Women are turning away from the Tories

on shifting allegiances

“Boris Johnson has a serious problem with women,” writes Rachel Sylvester in The Times. His support among female voters “has dropped off a cliff in the past month” and the consequences could be “potentially disastrous” at the next general election. Being “less tribal about their politics”, women are a “politically crucial group”. But Johnson is “haemorrhaging” their support. YouGov research reveals women have expressed “disappointment” and have “lost faith in the prime minister”, she says. His “previously endearing” attributes “had become infuriating” to women surveyed. “Frustration has been building” and “discontent” was “compounded” by sleaze scandals. Meanwhile, “Labour spots an opportunity” amid the “shifting” allegiances of female voters while “senior Conservatives sense a threat”, she adds. Johnson “must do much more to convince women that they can trust him or his colleagues will soon start looking for another leader who is better able to do so”.

4

Yascha Mounk in The Atlantic

Omicron is the beginning of the end

on changing tides

“It feels like everyone I know has Covid”, says Yascha Mounk in The Atlantic. Despite “muddy early data” that indicates “the immediate epidemiological future is uncertain”, he would “wager that, whatever course Omicron – or future strains of the disease – might take, we are about to experience the end of the pandemic as a social phenomenon”. Cases are “skyrocketing”, but “the appetite for shutdowns” just “simply isn’t there”. Compared to previous waves, “we have quietly decided to throw up our hands”. Joe Biden’s administration is taking “sensible measures”, but they are designed “to help us cope with a surge of cases, not to prevent one from happening in the first place”. Mounk says that the US “now seems poised to respond to future waves with a collective sigh and a shrug”. It looks like we could “soon lead lives that look a lot more like they did in the spring of 2019 than in the spring of 2020”.

5

Kat Lister in The Guardian

As a widow, I know the strangeness of grief and that ghosts come in many forms

on untraditional mementos

For those “left behind” when a loved one dies, “grief totems aren’t always easy to rationalise”, writes Kat Lister in The Guardian. Be it a “toothbrush casually discarded by the sink” or “an airline boarding pass shoved into a tatty paperback novel”, these “random markers” can provide a “strange comfort”. “There is an ethereal otherworldliness that can be seen on an iPhone screen”, with “countless messages” and voicemails archived for those who care to look. Twitter threads, Instagram posts and WhatsApp groups now present “a different kind of treasure” for those who grieve. Folklore typically paints a ghost as “a hazy, semi-transparent outline of a departed soul” when “in reality, apparitions can be all the fragments that make up the life you had”. These “totems and beloved artefacts” occupy a place “between ‘here’ and ‘there’”, she adds, and remain as “objects we cannot rationalise in the Valley of Lost Things.”

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