Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Culture War and the City

No matter what you thought of Sex and the City, the T.V. Show or the Movie, there is no question that it was groundbreaking.  Finally a show that showed women, real, flawed women.  Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte aren’t cliches, though they may be somewhat caricature-like at times.  

Since the release, and amazing success, of the movie, dozens and dozens of articles have been written about this ‘phenomenon.’  The articles have mostly been about how shocking it is that this movie did well; the ones I like are about how ridiculous it it to find this shocking.  But one article in particular caught my interest.  Not only does it bring up a somewhat horrifying look at a, I guess you can’t call it a culture war, gender war, but it brings up a particularly terrifying point about how far women have come really, the consensus, it is considerably less far than we thought.  
Consider this, Sex and the City was the first time on television (and it was on a channel that most people don’t get) women got to be flawed and imperfect and sexual and deep and shallow and tough and weak and fashionable all at once.  And the show came on the air in 1998.  
According to the Newsweek article, many men can’t stand Sex and the City, and not in the way many women can’t stand Football season or the Final Four or Sylvester Stallone Movies where we don’t want to watch it, but have no problem going out and doing our own thing while the men in our lives enjoy them.  No, men seem to actively hate Sex and the City to the point where they will bombard imdb.com to make the movie’s rating one the lowest of the year.  This is a movie, that, on the whole, got relatively positive reviews, and, I’ll put in my two cents, I absolutely loved.  More importantly, it was a movie that my mom, a self-proclaimed SATC hater, loved.  So why this backlash?  I can’t bring myself to bear the thought that a great many men would actively take this source of so much joy as a threat, but is there another explanation?  Are men threatened by the thought that our female friends are exceedingly important to us, perhaps, at times more important than men themselves?  In this new age where we are getting married and settling down later and later, your friends are the ones that have been there.  I’m not much of a relationship-y kind of person, but the vast majority of my friendships have outlasted multiple romantic relationships.  I’ve been there through numerous of my friends breakups and they’ve been there through my heartaches as well.  It stands to reason that these relationships become important, and more important than many of our romantic involvements.  Now, this is not to say that I don’t love men.  I do, sometimes to my own detriment.  This is not to say that I don’t want men.  Again, I do, sometimes to my own detriment.  This is just to say that my romantic relationships with men are not necessarily the most important relationships that I have.  Perhaps this fact scares men, but when the tables are turned, I completely expect that men will have close bonds with their friends that might be more important, and, for the most part, much different, than a relationship they have with me.  Do I feel threatened by this? No.  
On an almost completely unrelated subject, but still a Sex and the City subject, someone, as we were having a discussion about the men in the movie, asked me to name one ‘good’ man in the movie.  This struck me as somewhat of an odd question seeing as, I, as do many other women, love all the men that our ladies ended up with.  Personally, and I can’t speak for my friend, I think that all of the men in Sex and the City are ‘Good’ Men.  They’re not perfect men, that’s for sure.  They’re real.  Like our ladies, they have flaws, they make mistakes, they say the wrong things, sometimes they do things that hurt their significant others, but they are good men.  I won’t give anything away in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, but I will say that all the men make mistakes, as do the women.  Much like in the show, the people in the movie are not, as I said, cliched-stereotypes.  Mr. Big is not some asshole out to break Carrie’s heart.  Steve isn’t some poor bartender who has to, over and over again, convince Miranda to not be so cynical when it comes to men.  Smith isn’t constantly trying to get Samantha to open up.  And Harry, is well, he’s Harry.  And sure, as in any good movie, there is conflict and people hurt for a time.  But really, in the movie the girls and the guys hurt on equal scales.  It’s just that the story is about the girls, not the guys.  And really, that’s the point.
Peace, Love, and Culture Wars,
Julia
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June 21, 2008 - Posted by | Culture, Hollywood, Movie Reviews, Movies, Sex and the City, Television

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