Sex and the City... a Feminist Issue?

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Admittedly, I am a fan of the popular and iconic television series/movie franchise Sex and the City. I find the show to be funny, witty, oftentimes mindless entertainment, but that it does touch on important and current issues that women face. There are however many issues that I have with the show that I think could make it a feminist issue. Some include, but are not limited to:

+All of the women are white
+All live lavish lifestyles that most women could never afford
+For the most part, the men they date are white
+Two continuing gay male characters are immensely stereotypical
+Samantha, the most sexually active (for lack of a better term) never faces consequences for her frequent sexual encounters with many, many different men.
+Charlotte's greatest desires in life are to be a wife and mother, even declaring that all women just want to be saved
+All relationship story lines among the women (except for one brief plot line with Samantha) revolve around heterosexual relationships

This is a very brief list of issues that I see with Sex and the City, and if you've seen the second movie you know that the entire thing is flawed and filled with the above issues and some weird form of imperial feminism. (This article highlights imperial feminism more and is essentially the same situation that happens in the film).
As mentioned, I find Sex and the City valuable as demonstrated an open space for women to discuss issues that are normally discouraged conversation points in our society. However, the show/movies remain problematic. Thoughts?!

sex-and-the-city-movie.jpg
Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha-- the main cast of SatC

3 Comments

I really like this post, it is interesting to see how different shows can raise issues within feminism. I also think its interesting that you noticed a sense of imperial feminism, and it makes me wonder if the producer or writer of the movie meant for that to be represented in the movie. I also think it is interesting that you noticed all the different issues within the tv show because I have been a fan of this popular series and the movies, but never really looked at it through a feminist lens. All of the issues you bring up are very valid and I appreciate the knew perspective into the show.

I love me some Sex and the City too. I've often thought of several of your questions as well. Like have you seen Sex and the City 2? The gay men's wedding is over the top and overly-stereotypical in my opinion, I was surprised it was actually approved to show in theaters without controversy. But I do think that Sex and the City has helped feminism as well. It shows four powerful females that go through obstacles that may be stereotypical, but as a viewer, it gives off a feminine power that other shows might lack. Thanks for bringing this up! I feel like when the author, Candace Bushnell, introduced these characters, she made them each a spin-off and over-exemplification of female traits to which many females (or any gender) can relate. I know many people that are offended by this show, and sometimes I am too, but I think it has helped women feel independent and powerful at the same time. Thanks for bringing this up, I could talk about SSTC for days (esp the fashion).

Honestly, I've never seen an episode of Sex and the City in my life.
However, you bring up some really interesting points about it, although I DO have a question about what you mean by the statement "Samantha, the most sexually active (for lack of a better term) never faces consequences for her frequent sexual encounters with many, many different men."
Are you implying that she SHOULD face consequences for her sexuality because it's wrong?
Or are you implying that it's unrealistic that the show doesn't portray the consequences that really happen in society, despite being wrong and a double standard that unjustly punishes women for things that men can get away with and expressing something perfectly natural? If you're implying that the show should portray this slut shaming and perhaps go into an exploration of its effect on the women, then it could be an interesting concept.

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