Desire - Sex and the City, Henry.docx

2 Pages
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Department
Women's Studies
Course Code
Women's Studies 2283F/G
Professor
Andrea Allen

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ORGASMS AND EMPOWERMENT, SEX AND THE CITY AND 3 WAVE FEMINISM – ASTRID HENRY  As Erica Jong has pointed out, Time has claimed the death of feminist at least 119 times since 1969  Sex and the City has been its frank discussion of female sexuality and its refreshing representation of the lives of contemporary women  Sex and the City focuses on a group of women, each of whom represents an archetype of contemporary womanhood  These perspectives are all decidedly feminist, or at least influenced by the feminist movement  The women’s relationships with each other- both as a group and individually – are continually depicted as these characters primary community and family – their source of love and care  The most important thing in life is your family, in the end; they’re the people you always turn to. Sometimes it’s the family you’re born into and sometimes it’s the one you make yourself  Another important aspect to friendships on Sex and the City is the value of women’s conversations. As feminist linguist Deborah Cameron has noted, women’s talk becomes subversive when women begin to attach importance to it and to privilege it over their interactions with men  Sex and the City routinely depicts women’s interpersonal struggle, as well as the emotional labour necessary to work through such difficulties  Humour is used as a strategy for addressing what are often difficult and complicated issues  As one feminist critic has noted, the threat to male dominance isn’t women laughing at men; the threat is women laughing with women  While the programme offers an important alternative to mainstream media images of female sexuality and sexual pleasure, its vision of female empowerment is severely limited by the fact that all four of its protagonists are white, heterosexual, thin, conventionally attractive and importantly economically well off  The feminist offered by Sex and the City suggests white upper class straight women have the luxury narrowly to define liberation exclusively in terms of their sexual freedom. This neglect of race and class mirrors a similar lack of attention in contemporary third wave writing  Walker describes a new generation of feminists, one that seeks to challenge many of the perceived orthodoxies of the previous generation; she argues for a feminism that includes contradictions and an ability to go beyond political correctness  Individualism as a share ideology makes for a political paradox, of course, since historically women’s liberation movements, like other civil rights movements, have required some sense of collectivity to pursue political goals  Feminism becomes reduced to one issue: choice  Yet the show is incredibly progressive for US TC in its stigma-free discussion of abortion – feminism on Sex and the City like much of the third wave, lacks a larger political agenda but rather is focused on the effects of individual choices on individual lives  The show is really about a cultural movement, which we don’t realize at first. Our generation and those since have grown up with choices  Feminism
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