Sex and the City – Feminism with Subtle Sexism?

By Jake Moross

As was mentioned in the Sitcom Reader essay on Sex in the City, one of the strongest aspects of the plot was the way that the female characters were given agency in their ability to make choices about consumerist purchases, sexual pursuits, among other aspects of their lives. The focus on consumerism among females as well as sex is something that gives the women the power to control their destiny and make informed choices about their activities, but also portrays their goals and the way that they spend their time as being focused on menial, rather stereotypical things such as sex and shopping. What does this mean for the feminist ideals that are put forth in the show? Is it undermining the fact that the show is supposed to be about female agency and power to women in making personal decisions? My argument would be that no, it does not undermine the feminist agenda of the show. Despite the fact that it focuses heavily on consumerism and sexual pursuits, and the conflation of the two, as one of the main aspects of the show, the sheer fact that it portrays these women as agents, as in control of their lives and making decisions affecting others, mainly men, it maintains its feminist nature.

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2 Responses to Sex and the City – Feminism with Subtle Sexism?

  1. marymdalton says:

    Thoughtful response to the reading and the series.

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I agree with you Jake. I feel that part of post feminism is simply having the ability to act in whatever way one desires in terns of consumerism and sexual pursuits, having agency. I do not think that this agency undermines the feminist agenda of the show. Rather, it provides an insight that demonstrates that some women do have these desires and are not to do what it takes to fulfill their them. This provides an image of a very strong and independent woman, something that we are finally starting to see with the 90s sitcoms.

    -Emily Elliott

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