Hear that high-pitched scream in the background? It’s either a traveling castrato choir, or Sex and the City 2 is opening in theaters this Friday.The sequel is set in Abu Dhabi, and I’m not really sure what it’s about. I looked up the trailer and watched it (just for you, readers), and it shows “the girls” doing various rich lady things. There’s even a scene of them riding a camel, for Orientalist good measure.
Now, I didn’t see the first Sex and the City, and have no plans to see the second. But I did watch much of the series in college with an ex-boyfriend, who really liked the show (yes, he is straight). My reasons for loathing the franchise are personal and political. You see, my first name is Carrie, and, over the years, some people have exclaimed upon my introducing myself, “Like “Sex and the City!” This is a sign we will not become close friends.
I identify more with aspects of second-wave feminism than that of the third wave. Obviously, a stay-at-home mom can call herself a feminist just as much as a woman who pursues a high-powered career. However, in an effort to be inclusive, some third-wave feminists defend a woman’s choice to do pretty much anything. There’s not even the suggestion that perhaps one woman’s life choices may be better than another’s.
Do we really have to champion everything a woman does? For instance, are Michelle Duggar’s “achievements” just as laudable as Michelle Obama’s? Don’t forget the former inspired the internet poster “Vagina: It’s not a clown car.”
Some applaud “Sex and the City” for its depiction of close female friendships, and the fact that it showed unmarried women having guilt-free sex. That’s all well and good. My problem with the TV show was its depiction of conspicuous consumption, or what I would term “feminism through buying.” For six years, “Sex and the City” presented a lifestyle unobtainable to most women, even in a more robust economy. The economic inequalities in a city like New York are never examined. But more importantly, why is it a feminist statement to own hundreds of painful, impractical shoes? When did it become empowering to pay money for a stranger to pour hot wax on sensitive body parts and rip out the hair?
Perhaps most importantly, why are we so starved for female-centric entertainment that four very one-dimensional, shallow characters became so important?