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Ten current lessons from ‘Sex and the City’ about feminism: from the vibrator to being single without complexes

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Perhaps it was the vision of the most glamorous Big Apple, the endless nightly parties, the open debate around sex or the laughter and toasts over Cosmopolitans. We cannot identify a single thing that made the mythical series Sex in New York, which began to be broadcast back in 1998, in a symbol.

Although the passage of time takes away the blindness in some aspects, as is the case with historical television series as Friends (where certain fatphobic or homophobic jokes collide), the truth is that this series that introduced us to the sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda changed the lives and perspective of thousands of women in the world.

There were four white, upper-class women whose obsession was men, sex and luxury shopping, but they also offered us a very interesting look at feminism, maternity, sexuality and female pleasure, sex toys, marriage and the different ways of understanding something as universal as love.

With the return this Thursday of the new sequel And just like that We bring together ten anecdotes from the series that capture some of the most revolutionary and feminist themes around the six seasons and two movies of the saga more fashion from the television.

Samantha and sexual freedom

If there is a character who breaks stigmas that is that of Samantha Jones, played by Kim Cattrall. Both in the sexual field, where she spoke openly about her freedom and unlimited experimentation, to the total breaking of the stigma of the single woman that she championed.

Unforgettable is the phrase he uttered to his partner, the actor Smith Jerros, when it was discovered that her life had begun to revolve around his, both professionally and personally: ““I love you, but I love myself more.”

Other famous phrases that the most shameless character of this group of friends leaves us are the following: “If I am dissatisfied once it is his fault, if I am dissatisfied twice it is my fault,” “I’m not going to let society judge me. I’m going to dress however I want and I’m going to suck whoever I want as long as I can keep kneeling and breathing” or “I don’t understand why women are so obsessed with getting married. We are single and fantastic.” Always controversial and always defending her right to sleep with whoever she wantedwhen, where and how you want.

sex toys

“In 50 years men will be obsolete. You can’t even talk to them anymore. You don’t need them to have children, much less to sexual pleasure. As I have had the pleasure of seeing,” he says. Miranda Hobbes, played by Cynthia Nixon while having breakfast with her friends. “Looks like someone bought their first vibrator...”, adds Samantha. “Not the first one, the definitive one,” she answers.

This is the beginning of a plot around the use of vibrators in which Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) will immerse herself until she even becomes addicted to it. The famous “bunny” that is so normalized today, back then was something quite new and groundbreaking. And to talk about it in such a direct way and in the first season, even more so. “I know when I will have my next orgasm, “Can any of those present say the same?” Miranda concludes.

Vibrators appear in several episodes, sometimes anecdotally and other times as an instrument to open a debate or create comic moments about men’s incomprehension and ignorance regarding the widespread use of sex toys among women. Female pleasure is therefore at the center.

The protagonists of ‘Sex and the City’.

HBO

Maternity

Charlotte and Miranda also signed up to the “bad mothers” club“in the second film of the saga, where they talked over drinks about everything that they dare not say out loud and that they are terrified of having children. The feeling of guilt of not missing them on a trip with friends or that the biggest fear of her husband being unfaithful to the babysitter is that “I would lose the babysitter.”

Both characters represent two very different types of motherhood, providing some diversity and opening the discourse around different maternities and family types. “Sometimes, as much as I love Brady, being a mother is not enough. I miss my job,” says Miranda, who, over the seasons, has reflected the complicated conciliation and the challenges faced by a woman who wants to succeed in her job while caring for a baby alone.

Feminism

If we have to talk about feminism in the series, The passage of time and the recent new wave is making the character of Miranda Hobbes the favorite of the series. Since the first season he has dropped on several occasions the importance of independence of women, their empowerment, and the need to love yourself above all.

There are many episodes in which she complains that all the conversations at her friend gatherings revolve around men, and directly criticizes any sexist attitude that they see in their friends’ relationships or in themselves.

One of the most reprehensible aspects is precisely that feminism is not directly talked about at any time, and that the protagonists do not take a position. Again, intersectional feminism is missing, to give voice and tell the stories of racialized women, from lower social classes, with personal problems, with conflicts due to their sexual orientation…, etc.

Still from ‘Sex and the City’.

Filmaffinity

Singleness

Being single in New York, something that is now almost a gift as the writer Vivian Gornik commented, is reflected as torture in the first seasons of the series, as if The search for a husband was the woman’s vital objective New Yorker.

But the truth is that in many of the seasons the freedom of this singleness has been shown, even with all of them coinciding in that situation and enjoying “solitude.” “Being single used to mean that no one wanted you. Now it’sit means you are very sexy and you take your time deciding what you want your life to be like and who you want to share it with,” he says. Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker).

He also speaks on numerous occasions about singleness Samantha: “I don’t understand why women are obsessed with getting married. I mean people just want to be single again, If you are single the world is yours smorgasbord”. In fact, she is the only one of the four friends who ends up not being part of a marriage.

toxic relationships

Perhaps this is the terrain in which the series slips the most, since it romanticizes a toxic relationship like that of Mr. Big (Chris Noth) and Carrie, which (surprise) has a happy ending. This new season may put more emphasis on the murky nature of this romance, since according to what has been reported, it starts with the divorce of both.

Carrie and Big got married following the fairy tale tradition, even though in the first installment of Sex in New York he left her standing in the New York Public Library when she was about to walk down the aisle wearing a Vivienne Westwood design. Still, there was a wedding.

Still from ‘Sex and the City’.

There are several occasions in which her friends warn you of toxicity of their relationship, although it is of little use, and perhaps in this new television opportunity it will become more present in the script.

A pinch of diversity

Another of the stars of Sex in New York is the character of Stanford Blatch, played by the recently deceased Willie Garson. He is one of the most beloved characters and in a way shows the challenges that a man finds in the Big Apple to find a partner among the LGBT+ community, although a little more realism would have been nice, a dose of solidarity and fewer stereotypes around the community.

Willie Garson with Sarah Jessica Parker in ‘Sex and the City’.

In Sex in New York we find transsexuals and also schemes with him lesbianism in the center as when Miranda is more present in the law firm where she works because they think she has a relationship with a woman, a chapter that serves to denounce the whitewashing that companies were looking for by feigning false involvement and diversity .

Myths of romantic love

Charlotte, who embodies all the symbology of traditionly old-fashioned romantic relationships, believe that there is a perfect person who complements you, that better half that feminism now runs away from.

At that, her friend Miranda expresses: “And what happens if you don’t find it? Are you incomplete? That’s terrible.” Two very different visions of seeing love, which represents the feminine frustration caused by the search for that “impossible” better half.

He myth that expresses the idea that we are predestined for each otherwidely assimilated mostly by women, is put on the table, and although attempts are made to denounce the situation, it is still not completely clear which idea is the winner.

female success

All the protagonists are successful in their jobs, although we see that it is within that high purchasing power level and from a privileged social class. In the case of Samantha or Miranda are leaders in their companies: lawyer and event agency and manager of movie stars.

The protagonists of ‘Sex and the City’.

HBO

The girls of Sex in New York They also talk about glass roof, without naming it directly, but they do suffer. They face paternalism that they encounter in their jobs and recount on several occasions the extra work they must do to achieve the goals they share with their male colleagues. “I want to enjoy my success, not apologize for it.”said Miranda Hobbes.

Independence

The love and sexual adventures of the four New Yorkers not only take us to the streets, restaurants and clubs in New York, But the series inspired by a compilation of articles by Candace Bushnell published in the “New York Observer” opens the doors to much more. With 7 Emmy Awards and 8 Golden Globes spread throughout the world some of the issues that most affected women, and although that diversity in the characters and a greater feminist involvement in the script is missing, it put on the table great empowerment speeches.

A force and female independence that are present throughout the seasons, because as Carrie Bradshaw says “the most exciting, challenging and meaningful relationship of all It’s the one you have with yourself.”

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