I my late teens I watched A LOT of Sex and the City. After sixth form I would come home and divulge in an episode or two (or five) of Carrie and the girls.
You know what, SATC made me feel empowered and inspired, it made me assess my image and how I came across to people or how I felt about my visual persona in private. Samantha made me think that no men could ever defeat me, and Miranda, the strong, independent character who can still fall in love. All of Carrie Bradshaw’s quote’s basically brainwashed me into thinking men were shit, women were better but in the end- men would still win because we can’t live without them but they’re still from Mars and women will eternally be from Venus…
It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realised the implications of what SATC tells women. I started following Carrie Bradshaw on twitter (a faux account that tweets the characters best quotations) and eventually got sick of the man bashing, gender binary stereotypes and general preaching that women are at their best when drinking cocktails and being fabulous. All right so the show is very 90s and rings true some of the values of first or second wave feminism- but in retrospect Carrie Bradshaw is a hideous role model for women!
My understanding of feminism is exactly what a number of my previous posts express- equal opportunities between men and women. This means no double standards, no one rule for the weak women and man bashing openly. No stereotypes that girls wear pink and boys wear blue, or outrage when a man doesn’t hold open a door because you’re a women, and no private club where women can be feminists and leave men out because they won’t understand. Feminism should be inclusive- it’s for everyone who upholds the core value to share that with each other be it men, women or non-gendered person’s.
Here are some of the tweets that illustrate my thoughts:
“Never underestimate a man's ability to make you feel guilty for his mistakes
Women don't need to make sense... women are always right.
Don’t start an argument with a girl because they all have 5330194 GB memories and will bring up something you did at 04:24PM on 12/04/2003
Boys are good for cuddling and killing spiders. And that's about it.
The way to a woman's heart is through new shoes...
Dear guys, a little effort never hurt anyone.”
This language promotes a gender binary outlook on sexuality and gender and they make sweeping statements about the sexes that I think is actually really offensive- I can vouch that not all women are shallow enough to allow new shoes to win their hearts…
SATC is exactly the sort of programme that separates men and women further from each other, that fuels hatred toward ‘useless’ men and alienates men who should be feminist allies, perceiving ‘strong’ women as angry feminists.
This is bad for feminism, right?