Sex and the city is the indisputable mirror of feminism, as it offers a perfect painting of this phenomena by its characters, who became a symbol of women’s solidarity. (This kind of blind trust, possibility of talking and support between women can be only fiction.)
Every episode ends with a lecture about love on Carrie Bradshaw’s weekly column, which is inspired in most cases by her latest sentimental escapades–or her friends’. Overall, she muses about dating in New York.
Her 3 best friends are all very different and represent a prototype of woman:
- Miranda Hobbes is a workaholic cynical lawyer with no sentimental life at all until she meets the perfect prototype of a loser, from whom eventually she falls pregnant even if he had lost a testicle to cancer. They remain platonic partners since Miranda is too scared to have a man in her house–she recovers this role–and she has no time and he has no money; but eventually they do get married and she decides to leave the apartment she bought to move to Brooklyn. She softens through the series, but in the film she is the one bringing Mr Big to not attend his own wedding with Carrie since she finds out that Steve had cheated on her in the 6 months they didn’t have sex and she had moved out–not him, obviously. She is considered as Carrie’s best friend, her voice of reason, even is she disappoints her on several occasions like the one above and when she suggests Aidan an engagement ring she doesn’t like at all (Samantha will intervene and have it replaced with a suitable one).
- Samantha Jones is a fierce independent and highly sexual public relations worker. She attends the very best events, dress fabulously and has no problems in seducing whoever she fancies, no matter what time of the day and if it means hiding into a closet. She just wants to have fun and enjoys life at its fullest without caring too much of the consequences. (The scene where she breaks a Hermès bag full of condoms in the midst of a Souk in Abu Dahbi and she starts shouting to the Muslims that she loves to f**k is epic.) She’s very fulfilled and happy to tell her last conquests in the most detailed way. In the last season she fights against breast cancer wearing the most outrageous wigs, hats and headscarves. In the film, she engages in a relationship with a younger actor, but eventually she leaves him as she gets fat by eating in an attempt not to cheat on him. She is a free, loyal spirit.
- Charlotte York Goldenblatt is the other fulfilled and happy character of the series, but in a way opposite to Samantha’s as she is a conservative, blue-blooded woman. Where one is fulfilled by many men and wants no strings attached, the other wants the stability given by just one, hence she had been on the quest of Prince Charming from her childhood. When she resolves to get married in a year, she meets a Scottish upper-crusted doctor with an overbearing mother and doesn’t mind even waiting until the day of her wedding to consume sex with her very traditional and noble Scottish fiancé. Eventually, following her friends’ suggestions and under the alcol’s influence, she pushes him to do it the night before—finding out that he is unable to perform. The wedding takes place anyway as Carrie comforts her, but ends up for continuous sexual problems, his unwillingness to have kids, and the overbearing presence of the mother in law. She ends up falling in ove for her divorce lawyer, who is the opposite of her man’s ideal since he is short, sweaty and eats messily–but the best sex of her life and the kindest and cleverest of men. She doesn’t mind converting to Judaism to marry him, and she ends up to become even more observant. They start making as many babies as possible soon after the wedding.
- Carrie Bradshaw is as unsatisfied as Miranda as she continuously seeks acceptance from Mr Big and others, but she’s independent in managing her days, hence dividing her life between her friends, shopping, writing and dating. She is a shopaholic with a shoe addiction and her romantic soul brings her at the eternal quest of the feeling of butterflies in her stomach. These are constantly caused by Mr Big, a man who we discover is called “John” only in the last episode of the series. He appears and disappears from Carrie’s life continuously, causingher both intensepain and intense joys. From resuming ex wives, moving to Paris and abandoning Carrie on the altar, the public wonders why she gets back with him all the times; and yet this axiom is the reason of the program, the string leading the leading role through the different series, shoes, and relationships. (In fact, every boyfriend in the middle is a way not to think about Mr Big.)
In my humble interpretation, these women represent all the feminism’s waves:
Charlotte is the elegant family centred one, who doesn’t even bother about politics and family rights since she also quits her job as an art dealer during her first marriage;
Carrie dreams about the perfect wedding but she is realistic about a marriage’s implications. She is independent and actively participate to social events, so I guess she’d be marching with the suffragettes;
Samantha is definitely a daughter of the Sixties, focusing solely on her femininity and sex, on men being there to please her as much as she pleases them. She’s independent but knows the differences between men and women, and she enjoys having a man taking control of things;
Miranda is the fourth wave’s representative, in fact Cinthia Nixon impersonated herself so much in the role that she is now running for office in NYC with an agenda shouting “bad feminism” in every letter. Overall, both the character and herself shout “poverty” and “misery.” I’ve never found somebody having Miranda as her favorite character, but I am sure Nixon will have all the politically correct ones—frustrated women and losers who preach “feminism” to cover their being miserable—on her sides.
In fact, she couldn’t call Sex and The City feminist since it doesn’t represent her feminism, portraying very accurately all the waves of it. Today it’s more accurate to ask: “Who wants to be Miranda?” I am quite certain most of the (sane) women wouldn’t.
It’s indeed very interesting noting how any form of art anticipates the next decade and reflects the social behaviour, as it happened before the World Wars.
Today’s forecasts were written in the 2000s by the screenwriters of V for Vendetta and Sex and The City. The floating, untold questions are:
Do you like anarchy, and what kind of it–individualistic or collective?
What Sex and the City’s character you favour?
By answering these questions, you should be able to orientate your fight.
Here I was smoking a cigarette before Carrie’s staircase in the West Village during my Christmas trip to New York in 2015. Carrie is an on and off smoker, and somehow she maintains a non political correctness, which defines the difference between the first three waves and the fourth wave. Non smoking has now became an emblema of politically correct, as you can see by the discriminatory laws put on smokers in the UK and the US. Also by choosing if smoking or not you take your stand nowadays. (Another reason not to stop, as at least this displaying of ideal is very pleasant, and people let their integrity die for much less.)