Sex and the City
The ideas in the readings What’s the Harm in Believing, Orgasms and Empowerment and Sex and the City and Consumer Culture centered on feminism, sexuality, character, choice, friendship and love.
All of the readings somehow revolved around the four characters of a popular HBO original series Sex and the City – Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes. Their qualities and actions gave new meaning to the word “feminism” at the very least, for the American public in the 21st century.
In the Orgasms and Empowerment: Sex and the City and the third wave feminism, the main point is feminism and its association with sexuality and freedom of choice. Astrid Henry expounded on feminism, as it seemed to be revitalized through various women writers and women activists and is shown much in television nowadays. However, since most of the viewers’ notions are preceded by the title, which of course connotes “sex” and trivialities, the important concepts and messages that the show wants to impart are ignored or worse left unseen.
In my opinion, this reading tells a lot about Sex and the City as it conveys messages with mature and profound content. It says a lot about platonic love among women, which is rare to see on television nowadays. The most important concept is love and friendship and how each one of them supports the rest in the most trying times. It is well supported in various ways and in different occasions too.
As stated in the reading (67):
“The women’s relationships with each other – both as a group and individually – are continually depicted as these characters’ primary community and family, their source of love and care and, in one notable episode, their economic support, when Charlotte gives Carrie her $30,000 Tiffany engagement ring so that Carrie can afford to buy an apartment.”
On the other hand, the weakest or for most of us call it; the flaw in the reading is that, feminism is shown only in the perspective of four white and middle-aged women who continues to baffle their lives in pursuit of happiness and finding Mr. Right. The flaw, which is in a more neutral sense, the restriction or limitation of the reading, is due to the concept of the show itself.
Furthermore, I agree with the author’s observation about family being not much mentioned and included in the show. The show merely focused on conversations of the four characters and their mishaps and victory over life’s continuous blows.
In DiMattia’s What’s the Harm in Believing, the main point is that Carrie is so engrossed with the idea of finding the right one when it is in front of her all this time – Big. Her quest for Mr. Right gradually dies down as the season progresses since the situation and people as well get more complicated as time goes by. This is supported by the continuous encounters with Carrie’s past relationships, Aidan Shaw and Big.
The strongest concept is Big’s constant presence and the irony that Carrie’s pursuit for Mr. Right is the absolute hindrance to true love. Carrie in her countless narration in the later seasons indicated her turnaround from finding Mr. Right to just settling for the “fine-one”. As what Akass and McCabe mentioned in the reading, she is completely oblivious that what she has, Big, is already the fine one she’s looking for.
On the other hand, I think that there are many weak and unfounded parts in the article such as Carrie’s superstition with the Locket, Berger’s big bike connoted as a phallic symbol.
The locket, shown in the series as always part of Carrie symbolizes love according to the reading, this is based on interpretations of the author and not really as important as what Carrie and the rest of the characters show in the series. It could be a subplot though but not as major as the other concepts viewed so far. I find this part insignificant to the reading.
Furthermore, the big bike associated with Jack Berger’s masculinity is by far superficial as the author himself mentioned as stated below (31):
“..Berger like a knight in black leather, enters the scene at the burger bar ready to sweep Carrie off her feet with this impressive and commanding display of phallic masculinity. Yet underneath the helmet, he is a mass of anxieties and nerves.”
In Sex and the City and Consumer Culture, Arthurs simply implied that the show has created a great impact on the consumer market as the four characters flaunt their expensive and elegant couture in each episode.
I believe that the main concept of this article is that the characters of the Sex and the City particularly Carrie Bradshaw and Samantha Jones are that influential enough to dictate the market and the viewers of “what’s in and hot” and “what’s not”.
However, though disadvantages are not expounded on further, I believe that the effect of the show on the viewers is not always good as it seems. Since there are also “sex” and trivialities in the series, younger, or we may say, less mature audiences may also imitate the less moral aspects of the series such as abortion, sexual promiscuity and too much freedom of choice.
Akass and McCabe. Reading sex and the city and feminist media studies, vol 3, no. 1, New York City: IB Tauris. 2003.
Arthurs, J. Sex and the City and Consumer Cultur. Reading sex and the city and feminist media studies, vol 3, no. 1, Routledge. 2003.
DiMattia. “What’s the Harm in Believing” Reading sex and the city and feminist media studies, vol 3, no. 1, New York City: IB Tauris. 2003.
Henry, Astrid. “Orgasms and Empowerment: Sex and the City and the third wave feminism” Reading sex and the city and feminist media studies, vol 3, no. 1, New York City: IB Tauris. 2003.