What I’m about to say is controversial, and could potentially fill my inbox with an intense swarm of emails demanding I hand in my laptop and bow out of this writing thing, instead banishing myself to a cave somewhere far far away. So note that I don’t say this lightly at all, and I would never admit it were I not safely hidden in my own home, the door locked AND dead bolted.
* deep breath *
I don’t get the whole Sex and the City thing.
There. I said it. I said it and I wouldn’t take it back.
Look, I’m female. A girl, even. And I love music made by waifish whispering women with guitars circa 1994, and movies wherein the attractive but not too attractive male lead wins the heart of the attractive but not too attractive heroine, and I own a shitload of shoes and uncomfortably large earrings and nail polishes in many shades of pink that are almost indistinguishable. I wear lotions that smell like lilacs and I buy picture frames and candles recreationally.
I am woman (hear me justify) and I don’t shy away from the clichés and stereotypes often associated with our gender, because you know what? Fuck all, a lot of the time it’s true. And that’s okay. But I’ve stayed quiet on this issue for too long and it is time for me to roar in word count numbers too verbose to ignore.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show and its inner workings (I’m desperately trying to refrain from snarkily typing “ie: men” in parentheses after that, please bear with me), let me break some character traits down for you, in really simple terms:
Charlotte: WASP prude.
Samantha: Big slut/borderline drag queen.
Then there’s Carrie, our hero. She’s a writer who spends an exorbitant amount of money on really ass ugly clothes. Money earned by writing about blow jobs and using a lot of bad puns. These are our four ladies, our icons. And I kind of hate it.
Not to be such a Charlotte, but I blame this show for the Great Slutting of America. Maybe it’s MySpace, maybe it’s Forever 21, maybe it’s Paris Goddamn Hilton and her gangrene vag, but something has caused young girls today to look and dress like huge giant floozies. Kids are having sex younger and younger and it’s not fucking cool.
And not to be a Miranda, but a lot of the girls who obsess over and adore this show are idiots. They’ve never read a book that wasn’t about some other idiot mentally unable to save money and live on their own, so they have to trap some man into doing it for them (I’m not being glib. That’s the exact plot of the hit Shopaholic books.) And slutty, badly dressed and stupid’s no way to go through life, chicks.
To be my own devil’s advocate, the ladies aren’t necessarily terrible influences, really. I mean they’re all four successful independent career women. Miranda’s even a lawyer which means she’s smart and stuff. And sure, they have a lot of relatively indiscriminate sex, but they’re owning their sexuality. They fuck like men, instead of desperately needing love to be made to them. That’s really never been seen before. That’s pretty cool.
Okay, self, here’s the problem with that: owning one’s sexuality has become the biggest lie perpetrated on womanity in this generation. In theory, an incredible idea, one women should strive to. In practice? An excuse for every Maury guest, Flavor of Love contestant and Girls Gone Wild star. This might be where the 13 some odd years of Catholic schooling comes pouring out of me, but sex is scary. I don’t want to rock your world here or anything, but it makes babies and gives you death diseases sometimes. You know what doesn’t? A damn vibrator.
Okay, so those are the extremes at war in my soul. Catholic guilt + a want for feminist solidarity. And yet neither of these things are really the case in the end. I don’t hate the show for being too whorey, and I don’t hate it for being a generic and romanticized dumbed down version of female independence. In fact I don’t hate it at all. That’s the rub. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s pretty heartwarming. And sometimes its quotes are uber Facebookable. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why people love it so much. I don’t get why it’s the pinnacle of girl society. I don’t get why everyone’s flipping out over the movie coming out next month. And I really don’t get why the fuck anyone likes the way they dress, I mean really now.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to climb carefully off my soapbox. I don’t want to rip my sequined hot pants or break my six inch diamond stilettos.
Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.