Sex… and the City?

Dust off your Manolo Blahnik’s! Carrie Bradshaw and her fabulous girlfriends sure know about sex in the Big Apple. In a television series running from 1998-2004, the fabulous avante-garde columnist Carrie Bradshaw and her girls Miranda Hobbes the ‘realistic one’, Charlotte York the ‘family girl’, and Samantha Jones the sex kitten.

“I know your friends just fine. Charlotte is the brunette, Miranda is the redhead, and Samantha is trouble.” – Mr. Big

Carrie, living her fabulous life bouncing from date to date, lover to lover ends up meeting the love of her life.. and she does it Big. Mr. Big. Carrie isn’t so much interested in the hooking-up, one night stand, sexual gratification of life, but she’s more of a traditional girl with traditional morals and standards. She simply wants to find Mr. Right, settle down and be happy every day for the rest of her life, She does claim, however that she doesn’t want to get married (she’s not fooling anyone). She’s a hopeless romantic to the core. Although she ends up with her fair share of heartbreak, it all seems to come together for her in the end. She’s a determined gal with a willful, attitude that’s as strong as the stiletto on her favorite pair of crystal-encrusted Louboutins. Whenever she finds that something isn’t quite going her way, be it with romance or life in general, there’s never a problem that a new pair of shoes can’t fix. Pretty good outlook on things, right?

“I’ve spend $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the woman who lived in her shoes!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes are much like Carrie in that they both are very self-oriented. Miranda, a lawyer, is no doubt very business-centric. Her firm comes before almost everything, and we see in the movie that this almost costs her part of her family. I should also note that Miranda is also quite the feminist. She believes that women are just as good as women. Not quite as stylish as Carrie, Miranda is often seen in a masculine pant-suit and a very business-like briefcase. Although grounded, she’s not a total prude when it comes to relationship. In fact, she has a one night stand with Steve Brady, which eventually leads to a relationship, pregnancy, and marriage. Ahh…. the good life.

“He doesn’t even know me. The least he could do is get to know me before he rejects me.”

Charlotte York is much more conservative than her other friends. She is often taken aback at what comes from the other ladies’ mouths. She, like Carrie, is out to find her night in shining armor. She believes in a more emotional connection with love rather than a chance meeting. After a couple of broken hearts, she decides to marry Harry Goldenblatt, who is quite the opposite of her ‘perfect man’. Funny how love works sometimes..

 

Samantha Jones is the black sheep of the group. With no filter whatsoever and a wit to boot, she spews sex. Not only is she quite the sex monster herself, she’s not afraid to talk about it! Often hooking up with various men and telling her girlfriends about it the next day at lunch, Samantha is always full of juicy (and crude) gossip. Now a publicist sleeping her way to the top, she’s always in search of the right man to keep her young and the tiger she always was. Now what we sometimes refer to as a cougar, Samantha paved the way for the older-younger dating trend that we see in Hollywood today. Samantha doesn’t believe in monogamy; she does, however, believe in men and sex. She brags how she can ‘have sex like a man without getting emotionally involved’. Although she goes through many men through the show (and even a woman for a short time), she does find true happiness in the blonde actor stud Smith Jared. When faced with Samantha’s breast cancer crisis, Smith becomes her rock and proves that you don’t have to put a ring on it to give someone your heart.

From these daring divas of daytime, we can come to understand how different people from all different walks of life come together to form a web of sexual experiences and viewpoints. The eclectic nature of the girls and how their lives vary drastically is a small-scale example of the very core of our society. There are Charlottes out there who just want to settle down with a family. There are Mirandas who just want to focus on work and bettering themselves. There are Samanthas who just want sex sex sex! There are Carries who just want love and really fabulous shoes. Regardless of social standings, we come to accept that this is how society is. There are very different people out there with different viewpoints that allow us to be so diverse as a culture. The girls from the show depict an accurate scenario where a group of friends come from all different walks of life with all different sets of values to form a lasting companionship to get each other through times both good and bad.

We made a deal ages ago. Kids, babies, it doesn’t matter. We’re soulmates.

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3 thoughts on “Sex… and the City?

  1. I thoroughly love the show Sex and the City, but I do find some fault with the stereotypes seen in the women on the show. For example, the more prudish character of Charlotte suggests that she is most fit for marriage and family and is the first to find it on the show. Samantha, on the other hand, is Charlotte’s polar opposite and is least interested in or “fit” for family life. Miranda is the stereotype of a strong feminist woman and is constantly shown in masculine clothing and is infrequently shown as feminine or womanly. The only character that I think shows a somewhat realist portrayal of a woman is Carrie, although she does fall into a very heteronormative category. Overall, the show is thoroughly enjoyable, but I wish the characters had more depth and diversity amongst them.

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  2. I definitely agree. I am an avid Sex and the City fan and have seen every single episode, but the characters are slightly simplified versions of female “prototypes.” I find Charlotte to be the most troubling. She marries two very wealthy men (first being Trey Macdougal and then Henry) and completely leaves her career after marriage. Juxtaposing an antiquated woman like herself with the extreme opposite provocative Samantha Jones sends viewers mixed messages about which path of life to take. Both appear to be successful and happy but they’re both on opposite sides of the spectrums. Perhaps they should’ve been more moderate characters to account for woman who can’t connect with either one because they’re both extreme cases. We’ve talked a lot about the danger of binaries this semester and I’m afraid Samantha vs. Charlotte represents yet another one conflicting young women.

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  3. What find most interesting with Sex and the City is the post-feminism aura around it; the ladies are all independent, successful, and strong–yet rely so heavily (as you alluded to) on materialistic things, stereotypical “women duties”, and less transgressive behaviors. But different from what you said, I don’t think that the show serves to act as a representation of society. You said, “there are very different people out there with different viewpoints that allow us to be so diverse as a culture,” yet this show is solely made up of White, upper middle-class women. Yes, their sexual history and moral standings could perhaps be interpreted as “diverse,” but all in all, I don’t see it as progressive as it could be. Aside from Samantha’s multitude of partners, refusal to settle down for too long, love affair with a woman and potty mouth–Sex and the City is more normative than anything else.

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