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Great Debate: Should Women Like Sex And The City?

Sex and the City opens this weekend, and women will almost certainly be flocking to theaters. But is that a good thing? Cinema Blend’s Katey Rich and Kelly West go head to head on the topic of Sex. Should women like this thing, or are the positive messages of the show lost in the process of turning its viewers a bunch of shopping zombies?

NO! CARRIE IS TURNING US INTO A BUNCH OF MINDLESS, SHOE-OBSESSED SHOPAHOLICS!

-- Katey Rich

Summer is the time for big movie fantasies, and coming up on Friday is perhaps the biggest fantasy of them all: four single gals, being fabulous and having it all. As the endless hype machine for the Sex and the City movie constantly reminds us, a show that was once about friendship has been transformed into a marketing behemoth, encouraging us to be conspicuous consumers concerned with little more than the next hot handbag.

At some point since the show debuted in 1999, either we the fans or the marketers have transformed a series that at first aimed to truthfully examine the lives of people who, while maybe a bit richer or better connected than you and me, were essentially real. After countless box sets and board games and Sex and the City-branded cocktails, any semblance of real thought has been lost among the message of, "Let this show inspire you to buy our crap!"

And we've eaten it up. People who couldn't previously pronounce the name Manohlo Blahnik now lust after $400 shoes, and everyone thinks they're entitled to a walk-in closet as big as a normal bedroom. It happens on a smaller level too-- how many of you haven't at least heard your friend say, "Oh, I am such a Charlotte." We've persisted in seeing ourselves in these characters, even after their lives ceased resembling anything remotely familiar.

Yeah, yeah, it's just a TV show, but so many of us have come to treat it as something more, like a relic of a culture that exists, but is just out of our reach. We all have cocktails with our girlfriends, but now to be truly "fabulous," we have to wear our monthly salary's worth of clothes while we're at it. Why do Charlotte, Miranda, Samantha and Carrie have to be us-- why can't we be us, all by our frugal selves?

YES! IT’S ALL ABOUT FRIENDSHIP AND INDEPENDENCE!

-- Kelly West

Looking back at Sex and the City, one of the things that always appealed to me was the frankness of the dialogue and of the characters' ability to discuss their sexuality openly. Sure, their blunt references to their own personal sexual experiences may have been a bit over the top but that was usually for comedic purposes. What it comes down to is that Sex and the City was a mainstream show that portrayed women as confident, intelligent and successful people who embrace their sex lives as well as their singleness.

For once, single women over the age of 30 weren't being portrayed as pathetic spinsters with no chance of finding love. Granted, the adventures of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte did often emphasize just how hard it can be to find true love but in general, the series celebrated the value of friendship among four strong, intelligent but naturally flawed women as they dealt with dating and day to day life in New York City.

While Sex and the City might not be a totally accurate portrayal of what it's really like for all (or even most) single women in NYC, these characters should be relatable to women in many ways. Oh sure, not all women sleep around like Samantha. They might not be as wealthy or polished as Charlotte, as self-sufficient as Miranda or as in love with shoes as Carrie but at its core, Sex and the City often touched on things that most women can relate to and that goes beyond enjoying sex, shoes and relationships. Sex and the City is about friendship and about the main characters coming to realize that the challenge of figuring out what they want can often be just as difficult as actually getting it. What woman can't identify with that?

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