So, I’m coming up on my 35th birthday and, as I was browsing my free Amazon prime streaming selections, I couldn’t help but wonder… did I ever give Sex and the City a fair chance? I watched it, or some of it, a million years ago while in college and I decided it was not my thing. From what I very vaguely remember, I thought the use of puns on the show was unbearable, I thought Mr. Big was a total ass, and I was (and remain) appalled by paying $400 for a pair of shoes.
However, as a woman preparing to give birth to a little girl, I started wondering if I was being closed minded as a feminist. Sex and the City was a huge show that struck a major chord with tons of women. Why didn’t I like it? Was I limiting myself to liking only certain types of women in my entertainment choices? I mean, one of the most important things about feminism (other than the fact that, for now, we don’t have to die while getting coat hanger abortions) is to recognize that there is no one right way to be a woman – that, whether you’re a career minded CEO, or a stay at home mom, or a weird artist who paint with her vagina, all of those choices are valid and should be treated with dignity and equality. Not to be overly serious about my TV and movie watching, but I wondered if my choices in entertainment lived up to my feminist ideals of supporting different types of women.
I went to film school with mostly nerdy boys (and some nerdy girls), and found it was way more socially acceptable to enjoy Star Wars or every Martin Scorsese movie than anything remotely girly. Admittedly, though I never much cared for Star Wars (SORRY, NEARLY EVERYONE IN FILM SCHOOL), my tastes naturally leaned away from rom coms and girly things anyway. But… was it actually natural? Or was it social conditioning? Did I write off all super girly movies and TV because I really didn’t like them, or because I realized by saying I liked them it would make me seem less smart, talented or cool?
It is a pretty well documented fact that entertainment created for (or by) women is largely derided. From chick lit, to chick flicks to mommy blogs, it seems that if you center something in the world of women and the things that may interest them you’re gonna be labeled in an annoyingly cutesy and infantilizing way, and people aren’t going to take you seriously. (Even though we all live in a world where fantasy football is somehow considered a legitimate activity for adult males to participate in, instead of something we make fun of all day, every day because it is RIDICULOUS.)
Anyway! Back to my point and my concerns – I mean, there are some kind of girly things I like. I adore 30 Rock, I love the movie Sense and Sensibility (which is a literally perfect film and I god damn DARE you to find a flaw with it.) But really, it’s a pretty short list. Short enough to make me wonder if I could actually be part of the problem with lack of equality in media. Do I write off too much “chick” entertainment because I sincerely don’t care for it? Or am I being…well, sexist? Am I naturally identifying with female characters I like in a healthy way (your Liz Lemons, your Elinors from Sense and Sensibility, etc.) or am I being closed minded? Most importantly, am I ignoring the types of women I don’t naturally identify with, and therefore missing out other, just as interesting, just as valid and just as worthy expressions of being a woman?
Or am I thinking WAY too hard about this Sex and the City rewatch? Possibly!
But I’m gonna do it anyway, just to make sure I’m not missing out on something great and, even if I end up still disliking it on rewatch, reminding myself to keep and open mind and remember to give all types of women an equal shot at my TV watching eyeballs. Once I’m done, I may write some recaps by season, a giant recap for the whole series, or a skip it, watch it guide, depending on how long this takes, how much I like it, etc. But stay tuned! At the very least, we will FINALLY determine whether I’m a Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda.
Or, like my beloved Liz Lemon, maybe I am the Lady At Home Who Watches It!