For most of human history, women’s voices have either been muted or silenced all together. Through generations of struggle, women have come very far in a very short time.
One of the markers of this change is Sex and the City. This week, the show is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Set in New York City, Sex and the City or SATC tells the story about the lives of four single women. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), the program’s protagonist, is a writer who writes a column about sex and love based on her own life. She is best friends with Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), an type-A lawyer, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), a publicist who has been around the block and Charlotte York (Kristin Davis), a traditionalist who works as an art dealer.
I very much appreciate the groundbreaking aspects of SATC. While the women had quite a few boyfriends, the men were secondary. The women and their friendship was primary. I also very much appreciate that the characters were sexually active and treated it as a natural part of adulthood instead of being ashamed of their actions. No subject was off the table with these women, they talked about issues that everyday women talk about with their friends.
However, I should point out that there are a few chinks in the armor when it comes to SATC.
- While Carrie’s apartment was beautiful, it was a fantasy. Most writers would not be able to afford that apartment in real life.
- The lack of people of color.
- The fact that all of the leading actresses were a little too skinny.
- The hookup culture that permeated the love lives of the characters. There are many women who would prefer wait to sleep with their dates or their significant others.
- The New York City that is presented in SATC has a very glossy feel to it. The New York City that I know is a little grittier and not as pretty.
- In the end, Carrie still lived out the traditional happy ending when she and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) finally made it official.
While SATC was not completely true to life, it was still a huge step forward when it came to how women were portrayed on television. For that reason alone, SATC will live on forever in the heart and minds of the fans and television viewers everywhere.
Earlier this week, Sex And The City actress Cynthia Nixon announced that she is running for governor in NY.
To be honest, I have mixed feeling about her running.
It’s no secret that there is obvious corruption in the highest levels of state government. More than a few government officials have been accused and/or found guilty of using their power for less than honorable means.
While her political activism is well-known, she lacks real world political experience. I think myself and many other voters might think twice about voting for a candidate who lacks a professional political background. Especially considering that you know is sending this country to Hades in hand basket.
My other concern is that while she appeals to left leaning voters who live in and around New York City, she also has to appeal to voters who live in the rest of the state. Once you get out of New York City, what is blue when it comes to politics becomes red.
Her name recognition certainly helps, but she will need more than that, if she is to find herself in Albany later this year.
Only time will tell if she wins the election, but I have a feeling that it will not be an easy path to walk on, metaphorically speaking.
There is something about being a single woman in this era. There is the feeling of possibilities. Unlike previous generations, we have choices and opportunities could have been dreamed about one or two generations ago.
Sex And City (1998-2004) was the story of four different single women living in modern day New York City. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) was the protagonist and the audience’s eyes into the world that the show created. Samantha Jones’s (Kim Cattrall) favorite past time is sex and everything related to sex. Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) still believes in the old fashioned prince charming happily ever after. Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon) is the cynic whose been through the ringer more times than she can count.
I’m not a huge fan of this show, but I do appreciate it’s impact on other shows that have come after it. While the four lead characters in themselves might have been archetypes, they were also fully fleshed human beings who had the same vices and strengths that we all do. What I think kept fans tuning in during the initial series run and coming back to both the reruns and the movies was the honest quality of the stories and the characters. Unlike other stories about women where they are fighting over a man, these women were friends, talking about real subjects that all women can relate to. And the fact that New York City was the fifth lady also made a nice backdrop.
I recommend it.