How the ‘Sex and the City Mentality’ Helped Cripple a Generation of Women

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How the ‘Sex and the City Mentality’ Helped Cripple a Generation of Women

One of the people I follow on Twitter, Hunter Drew, did a tweet giving his opinion on how women could be better mothers and it inspired so many angry comments from women that it merited a cheeky article from the large British paper, the Sun.

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You can see this exact same formula at work in tweets done by Alexander J.A Cortes and Richard Cooper that blew up into news stories. A man lists a fairly basic, generally unobjectionable list of qualities a woman should have and it produces outrage.

When it first occurred, I was surprised by this, but then I started to wonder why it kept occurring. After all, women doing this kind of thing to men is so common that guys regularly make jokes about it.

So why would this make women angry?

Then, it came to me. The most influential and popular show for women in the last 25 years was Sex and the City. Women didn’t just watch that show, they had a strong emotional connection to the characters and many of them, at least to a degree, emulated their lifestyles. If you were trying to come up with the most influential role models for a generation of women, the Samantha, Miranda, Charlotte and Carrie from Sex and the City would certainly rank much higher than say Hillary Clinton, Oprah, Selena Williams and Britney Spears.

But, are the women from Sex and the City worth emulating? I have to admit it has been a long time since I watched the show and that when I did, I was looking at it through a much different cultural lens, but this is what I wrote about the 4 lead characters in a column I did on the subject back in 2008,

As a group, although the show tries to portray them as likable, with the possible exception of Charlotte, they’re an extraordinarily selfish group of women with meaningless empty lives. Their jobs are an afterthought, they’re all as shallow as kiddie pools, and they look at people outside of their little group, including the men in their lives, as little more than disposable playthings that have no purpose other than to make them happy.

You can read the rest at Brass Pills.


John Hawkins


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