People Still Love to Bitch About Sex and the City


It’s about seizing the night with your best girlfriends!

On the days when I hate myself/love myself enough to actually make it on the treadmill, the only thing that keeps me motivated to stay on it for a full half hour, is the promise of watching an episode from my Sex and the City box set. I’m currently in the middle of the second season for the second time, and I’m reminded all over again about why I fell in love with these ladies to begin with. And I’m reminded that so many people hate them.

 

I find Sex and the City to be a more divisive subject than illegal immigration and this season of The Walking Dead combined. A lot of men love to hate it. They love to make fun about how the girls are all old, as if most of them won’t at some point in their lives be married to a forty-something woman that they find beautiful and still sexually desirable. And many men love to hate SJP. They love to make comments about how attractive they don’t find her. I think men don’t know what to do with a woman they don’t want to fuck and who is successful in spite of that. She doesn’t need them or their approval to be a leading lady. Weeks before the second movie opened they groaned about it in conversation and posted unprompted Facebook updates about how they weren’t going to see it, as if this might somehow be a blow to HBO’s marketing department that was basing their projections on straight, male ticket sales.

 

Of course, you’re not going to see it. It’s not for you.

 

One guy went as far as to comment on my friend’s post about seeing it, “My condolences.” When she said she loved it he responded, “Then you really have my condolences.”

 

No, you have my condolences for having nothing better to do in your day then to shit on something a “friend” has just told you brings her joy. And by the way, guess what, it’s not for you.

 

Some women dislike it as well. They find their humor unfunny and their horniness insulting to women and that’s their prerogative. Personally I have been hooked since my first episode and I am fortunate that my female soul mates are, too. We’ve had parties for the premiere, parties for the finale, and celebrated the two movies now with dinner and drinks beforehand and wearing new outfits. I’ve looked forward to few things as much as I looked forward to this.

 

I make it a point to not read reviews for anything I want to enjoy, but I’m always curious afterwards to put my experience up against the critics. I knew SATC2 had gotten bad reviews, and after having a great evening, I was wondering what the critics had objected to, so I read two that happened to be handy.

 

They were almost identical. Their two big issues: the girls’ lifestyle had become completely unrelatable and their problems were non-existent.

 

The girls’ lifestyle has always been somewhat unrelatable. Most of us don’t live in New York where you can drink all night and take a cab home. Most of us can’t get on guests lists to fancy events. And yes, most of us can’t afford $400 shoes. But we bought the knock offs and watched the show with a homemade cocktail in our hands because their experiences were relatable. Sex and the City gave us four women whose dating and professional lives raised the same issues for them that were often raised for us. And if it’s sugar coated with a little glamour – well, that’s why it’s called entertainment.

 

With the same mouth people use to criticize SATC2’s glamour, they call their conflicts mundane. They call the movie unrelatable, and then dismiss the parts people can relate to. Carrie and Big have been married for over a year; he just wants to watch TV and stay home and she’s worried the spark is going to go out of their marriage. If you can’t relate to that you’re either in an amazing relationship or with someone you don’t care to have sex with. Yes, keeping the romance alive may pale in comparison with problems like the loss of income or an illness (both issues that SATC has dealt with FYI.) But a healthy and thriving relationship can get you through the worst of times, and an unhealthy one makes even the best of times worthless. And regardless, it makes people feel good to see themselves represented on screen. To see that even the amazing Carrie and handsome Big have the same problems we all do. And then to see how they choose to handle it.

 

Sure there are women in films with bigger problems. You could watch Precious, but that’s a fucking bummer. And if it’s relatable you’re looking for, I’m guessing more women get frustrated with their husbands watching TV than have had to face what that poor girl did.

 

Yes, it’s a fantasy, but it’s one that inspires. It’s a fantasy that includes. It was never “you have to have this glamorous life to have fun.” To me it was “your life is already glamorous if you choose it to be.” It was never about $400 shoes. It was about seizing the night with your best girlfriends.

 

And it doesn’t just inspire you to have a good time – it inspires you to work hard, too. None of these women – with the exception of Charlotte once she got married in later seasons – paid for this lifestyle with money that wasn’t her own. Yes, Mr. Big did something lucrative to earn that nickname (and Raoul the driver) and yes, there were other wealthy boyfriends, but these women never relied on any of these men for what they wanted. They were all successful professionals. If anything, perhaps these women inspire young women to not be content with less; to achieve more professionally and create goals that are for them and have nothing to do with a man and to not rely on a man to support you financially. And while some may look at their lives and think “unrelatable,” I prefer to look at it and think “attainable.”

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