Friday, May 23, 2008

Why third-wave feminists should love SATC

Stiletto feminism

lipstick feminism

sex with men and women


All words to describe the Sex and the City attitude.

The show has some pretty fun clothes, cute story lines and more coolness than any of us can manage in real life. Clearly, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie live in a fantasy world.

But, the question is WHY is it a fantasy world?

I think it goes well beyond the clothes, shoes and limos. It goes well beyond dating male underwear models, hunky carpenters, sarcastic attorneys and wealthy business men. The movie is for and about women and their friendships. It is the kind of fantasy that makes the best kid of chick-lit. It is about women working together, supporting one another and being family when the biological family isn't all that.

The show isn't about the lives of the idle rich (watch a "real" housewives of _____ episode for that) -- rather, it is about how women, supporting one another, can handle a crisis with style. Each character faces problems common to women -- but she doesn't do it alone. The character in crisis has a posse of women to help her, put her in her place and put things in perspective. The fantasy element isn't that they live their lives without challenges, but rather that they survive challenges with grace, humility and maintain their friendships.... and, more than occasionally, they get to have good sex -- and talk about it.

Isn't that the image third-wave feminists want of women? Aren't Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte exaggerated versions of the women we want to be? Shouldn't we all strive to be a bit more like all of them?

1 comment:

Meansomething said...

Ann Patchett wrote a great piece in the NYTimes (June 29, 2003; it's available free & is called "Friendship Envy"--I'm not including a link 'cos I don't want to get tagged as spam) about how the "core fantasy" of SATC is having lots of time to spend with your friends and knowing every detail about their lives.

I didn't watch the show when it was on but got hooked on reruns on TBS while staying in a place w/cable. Now I've seen most of it on DVD--and I'm hoping to make time to see the movie with my sister.