In Defense of Sex and the City

Sex and the City wasn’t a feminist show. It wasn’t as progressive as it could have been. It skirted around issues it could have raised. The two films that followed the TV show, almost made it a punchline. Almost. But not quite (here’s to hoping there won’t be a movie no. 3).

It’s STILL a groundbreaking piece of TV. Women won’t stop playing the “Which SATC girl are you?” game any time soon. It has tapped into the collective psyche in a way that’s hard to duplicate. And I don’t think Girls any new female-centric show is doing a good job of replicating the genuine camaraderie and affection between Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.

I was 14, when I first started watching SATC. It’s not that my parents weren’t supervising my TV-watching, it’s just that I was a willful child, who sneaked out of her bed to watch Russian-dubbed SATC episodes at 2 a.m. every Thursday and Friday. I can’t say that SATC wasn’t mildly titillating for a 14 year old, but I can definitely say I wasn’t tuning in for all the softcore shenanigans. My Mom was always very open about sex and sexuality, and I read a LOT of Men’s Health magazines (don’t ask…), so Samantha’s escapades were not teaching me anything I didn’t already know. I also wasn’t watching SATC because of Manolo Blahnik’s and Cosmopolitans (at 14, my greatest ambition was to own the next Harry Potter book).

I was sneak-watching Sex and the City, because it was an exhilarating experience. Here were these four single women in their thirties, who were living a far more exciting life than any married woman I knew. There was an alternate lifestyle out there. Not having a husband and children didn’t make them pariahs. It actually made them cool.  They were still very much obsessed with men and relationships, but at least they weren’t sad virginal spinsters.

Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty, sexy, and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with. – Carrie Bradshaw

SATC gave me options. It gave me food for thought. It made me realize, that the life choices I’ve been taught to make, were not the only ones available to me. It exposed me to four distinct female characters with different personality traits and different wants and needs. It didn’t vilify the many sexual encounters these women were having. It showed me that sex is not a dirty, disgusting choice for a woman. It told me that female friendship is as genuine as male friendship. Even if this sounds corny and naive, it taught me that women are just as important as men.

And ain’t that the abso-fuckin’-lute truth?

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7 thoughts on “In Defense of Sex and the City

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