Friday, October 29, 2010

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" By: Faryn Wegler

In this episode, Carrie is dealing with the aftermath of her breakup with Mr. Big. Miranda and Charlotte try to convince Carrie to leave her house, and Charlotte tells her one of her relationship rules that “It takes half the time you dated someone to get over them.” Again, we see Charlotte following the anti-feminist “rule-book” of dating that is meant to guide women on the path to marriage. The girls drag Carrie to a Yankee game, where she happens to catch a fly ball from the field. Realizing that the new Yankee member could be her “rebound guy”, she asks him on a date.

The next day at breakfast all the women can talk about is how Carrie can make Big jealous by dating the new Yankee. A fed up Miranda says, “Why are we still talking about him…its over lets talk about something else.” When Charlotte states, “I have a problem with my boyfriend,” referring to the fact that the man she is dating is always touching his genitals in public, Miranda goes into a rage. She says, “All we talk about anymore is Big or balls or small dicks…how does it happen that four smart women have nothing to talk about but boyfriends? What about us? What we think, we feel, we know? Christ! Does it always have to be about them?” Miranda is clearly the most feminist of the women, as she finds it pathetic that all the other women can talk about it men. She is much less in touch with her emotions than the other characters, and is annoyed by the petty “girl talk” her friends constantly engage in.

In this episode Samantha is in a monogamous relationship with a man named James. The fact that this sexually promiscuous character is in a relationship, let alone a monogamous one, adds more depth to her character. It shows that like the other women, Samantha too craves the love and attention from one specific man. This traditional view of women finding the perfect mate is counteracted by Samantha’s claim that James’ penis size is too small. She even tries to coach James on how to give her an orgasm but it doesn't work As an independent, go-getter woman, Samantha refuses to settle for anything less than her standards, which evidently include her partner’s level of endowment. Just when viewers assume Samantha is finally succumbing to emotional feelings of love and affect, she re-asserts her more feminist status towards men and dating.

After Carrie bumps into Big at the Dolce and Gabbanna party she attends with the new Yankee, she calls Miranda stating, “We need to talk.” This episode emphasizes the importance of friendship between the women; even when Carrie is upset about Big, the first person she calls is her “feminist” friend Miranda. When they meet at the diner, Miranda confesses that she ran away from her ex-boyfriend on the street earlier that day, demonstrating that she too is obsessed with how men see her. Even though the women may be “obsessed” with men, they look for validation in each other when making decisions. The episode ends with Carrie stating, “The most important break up rule: no matter who broke your heart or how long it takes to heal you’ll never get through it without your friends.”

Oh Come All Ye Faithful: By Jennifer Marie Stranges

The season finale starts with Miranda having sex with her new boyfriend. The sex is great but he has a habit of showering immediately afterwards because he is convinced sex is a sin. In typical SATC fashion, Miranda tells Carrie all about "Catholic-guy" and his habits. They analyze the situation while enjoying some frozen-yogurt on a Manhattan street. When Miranda tries to change her boyfriend's ways, he blows up on her and asks her to leave. She ends up using her ex-boyfriend Skipper for sex simply because he doesn't shower after he has sex.

Carrie steaks out a church on a Sunday morning, researching the theme of "religion" for her next column, and sees none other than her boyfriend Mr. Big leaving the service with his mother. Carrie is smitten when Mr. Big tells her he takes his mother to church every Sunday while she is busy writing. With some thought, she becomes anxious upon realizing she doesn't know Mr. Big as well as she thinks we does. The girls shed light on Carrie's situation; pessimistic Miranda sees this as a bad thing, while hopefully optimistic Charlotte sees a relationship with a mother as a good thing in terms of "husband-material".

Samantha does the unthinkable when she confesses to the girls that she's in love with her boyfriend James, who she met at a jazz club. The relationship started in a fashion out of the norm for Samantha: non-sexual. The audience has been so used to attributing sexual qualities to Samantha and now is getting to see a more emotional, sensitive or "feminine" side of her. Samantha said that "all the bullshit" that Charlotte had said about not sleeping with a guy too soon is paying off. When Sam and James do finally have sex, Samantha is disappointed with his lack of "endowment". She begins to question whether or not she really loves him anymore.

Charlotte becomes jealous of Samantha's relationship after Sam mentions that she could see herself marrying James. She books an appointment with a psychic to put her at ease. Here we go again, another desperate woman who validates herself by the prospect of men. When the psychic does not see marriage in Charlotte's future, Charlotte becomes very upset.

Carrie continues to pry about Mr. Big's mother. She hints that she wants to meet his mother, and he doesn't seem keen on the idea. Instead, he invites her to the Caribbean on a vacation. Carrie and Miranda go to church to spy on Mr. Big and to catch a glimpse of his mother. Although this is the absolute most uncomfortable scene for the audience to watch, females can understand Carrie when she admits that watching Mr. Big made her "fall a little more in love with him". The scene gets worse when Carrie drops a choir book and Mr. Big sees her. Carrie finally gets her wish when Mr. Big introduces her to his his "friend", and she has clearly never heard of Carrie before. Mr. Big is rightfully angry with Carrie for intruding and then upsets Carrie when he tells her he needs to take the relationship on his own pace and to have a little faith.

 When Mr. Big picks up Carrie to catch their flight, Carrie asks Mr. Big to give her more than "faith" that their relationship is really something. The episode and seasons finishes with Mr. Big driving away alone, after Carrie says she can't go away with him or be with him if it's going to be a waste of her time and her heart. This is a strong feminist moment, when Carrie gives up Mr. Big even though she loves him, because she knows she deserves more than someone who is uncertain if they love her or not.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

“The Drought” By: Jami McGuigan

In the beginning of the episode Carrie says: “New York City is all about sex, people getting it, people trying to get it, and people who can’t get it, no wonder the city doesn’t sleep, its too tired trying to get laid”. Throughout the course of this episode, women are portrayed as sex-obsessed, while men are shown as thinking that sex is not the most fundamental aspect of a relationship. This reversal in assumed roles is interesting in terms of depicting what relationships are all about. 
As exemplified through Samantha’s relationship with her Yoga instructor, she is the one obsessed with sex while he is practicing celibacy. When Samantha makes it very clear that she wants to have sex with him, he says: “the only thing hotter than having sex is not having sex”. After only a few days, Samantha can’t handle the lack of intimacy anymore and starts to ask random men in her yoga class if they “want to fuck”. By showing Samantha’s aggressive side (when it comes to her relationship without sex), she demonstrates the diversity of both male and female ideas when it comes to the level of sexual and emotional expression in a relationship. 

In Carrie’s part of the story, she farts in front of Big which is then followed by days without sex. Carrie tells Samantha about the farting incident and says “it wasn’t a choice, I’m human, it happened”, Samantha replies by saying “no honey, you’re a woman, and men don’t like women to be human, we aren’t supposed to fart, douche, use tampons, or have hair in places we shouldn’t… just go over there and fuck his brains out and he’ll forget all about it, men aren’t that complicated they’re kinda like plants”. This part of the episode portrays men as insensitive, judgemental, and unintelligent. Unlike the rest of the episode, this aspect of the show was a bad representation of the way women are expected to be based on the standards of men.

In another part of the episode, Miranda is being sexually harassed by a construction worker who repetedly says “I’ve got what you want, I’ve got what you need”. The next time she sees him she stands up for herself and yells “what I want is to get laid, what I need is to get laid” and that he is “all talk and no action”. Durring this scene Miranda demonstrates the power, sexuality and control that women have in the world.

When all four women gather in Carrie’s apartment to watch the neighbors have sex, Miranda says to the girls “if I make it to four months [without sex] I’m humping one of you. Ultimately, this episode plays with the stereotypes associated with how men and women feel about sex. The reversal of roles also portrays how meaningless sex can be in a relationship compared to the many other important factors. A relationship is about so much more than sex, and it was interesting to see that shown from a male perspective. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“The Baby Shower” By: Laura Daniel

There is an assumption that women have that when they hit a certain age there seems to be an instinct  to settle down, buy a house and have children... is this really what women want? 
Paradise? Really?
In this episode of Sex and the City "The Baby Shower" (SATC) the women attend a baby shower of one of their previously outrageous friend who partied and stripped at parties. They never thought that she would ever settle down none-the-less have a baby. Carrie ends up toying with the idea of having a baby when her period comes late and tries to figure out if she has a maternal instinct.
Is this secretly what
women still want?
Do all women have to have that maternal instinct? Men usually say yes. The norm of women is that they want to have children and stay at home taking take care of the house. I happen to have more ambition for my life. I want to have a career and work outside the home. I am not saying that women who want to have children and work in the home are wrong, however the concept of the homemaker is a little outdated and slightly glamorized. Television in the 1950s started showing women working in the home and tailoring their viewing around the housework that they had to complete that day. Daytime television was female centred because they were the ones who were at home taking care of things, while the primetime (night) television was focused on the male viewer because this is when they were home. This is a rather sexist view and SATC brings this into the light. Women don’t have to just be homemakers.
In Jersey at the baby shower
Now this is what
I'm talking about! 
Today if a woman doesn’t want to get married and wants to work and be single and successful people say that she has drive. However, some people would still see this as something that only a man could do. Yes there are still those people out there that don’t want to let women be independent. I am not one of those women. Sure being married would be pretty cool to have a double income, but children? Having children today isn’t the same as having children way back when, there is a lot more to worry about. Having a double income today is “normal” however; a double income is necessary to stay in the middle class economy of today.  Going back to children, it isn’t absolutely necessary for families to consist of two parents and a child, you don’t need children to survive. In the early days people had children to help with the farms and had to have lots in order to survive. Today children don’t (usually) contribute constructively to a household and its income; rather they suck the income away from the earners.
The women in the episode might be on to something. L.S. Kim said something about the show Ally McBeal saying that rather than being a feminist text it is more female centred and prowoman. Which the women of SATC are, they are conscious of the ways in which woman are viewed but do things for their own benefit. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mr. Darren Star: By Jennifer Marie Stranges

Ever wondered who was the brains behind the wildly successful Sex and the City series?

Darren has been with the Sex and the City brand as a writer/producer since its inception in 1998. He gained experience through Producing other shows such as Melrose Place & Beverly Hills, 90210. Both shows were lucrative for the FOX network in their time, and prove to be a continuing source of revenue for the industry as they have both been re-made into current day dramas on The CW. 

Making the move to cable, Darren joined the Sex and the City crew on HBO. Success has come to him from the two films following the finale of the series and the continuing loyalty to the Sex and the City brand from devoted fans. 

Since SATC, Darren has been keeping busy writing for the new 90210. What better way to keep the authenticity of the show than to have one of the original producers on the current writing team? Darren has been on board with shows similar in concept to SATC such as Cashmere Mafia, but has yet to see the same success as the series in question.

Meeting of the Minds, Oct 20-27


Our meeting this week observed several clear themes: motherhood, female desire for sex, faith, & validation.

  • Can today's woman still have it all? This question is something that the women of SATC ponder. The women fear having to sacrifice too much of their current lives for a future they are uncertain they even want. Women have so much going for them that having a child isn't as much as a priority as it once was.
  • As the show's title suggests, the women like sex. They enjoy it. And why shouldn't they? Sex is a powerful thing for the females in this show, however it becomes problematic when they place too much emphasis on it. Sex with their partner validates their relationship, so when sex is taken out of the equation how do the women know their relationship is stable?
  • Whether it's in a higher power or finding the "one", the women struggle to believe. Sometimes it takes believing in something "greater" and learning to let things happen, in order for good to occur. Sometimes "women's intuition" is powerful enough to make a risky decision based on.
  • It's not always about men. At least, it shouldn't be. The characters struggle with how much of their emotional stability is dependent on the opposite sex. The women learn to stop validating their self-worth by their relationship status, and learn to look towards each other as anchors.
Jennifer Marie Stranges.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Turtle and the Hare By: Faryn Wegler

This episode begins with Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha attending their friend Brooke’s wedding. Wondering why their friend is finally settling down, the bride whispers into Carrie’s ear, “It’s always better to marry someone who loves you more than you love them.” Carrie puts this comment into her column, and begins to question whether or not it pays to “settle” with someone who you do not have the same feelings for. Big then tells Carrie that he never wants to get married again. Carrie is shocked, and tells her friends the news. Charlotte asks, “What if you spend five years with him and have nothing to show for it?” According to Charlotte, the entire point of dating is to land a husband, or else it can simply be considered a waste of time. The idea that women need to settle down can be considered anti-feminist, as the pressure to start a family may surpass them achieving their career or life goals.  

In a more progressive plot, Miranda discovers a vibrator called “the rabbit.” At first Charlotte does not approve of this with her conservative, traditional values; she states “I’m saving sex for a man I love.” Charlotte later succumbs to her friends influence and purchases a vibrator for herself. She finds it extremely liberating to have sexual gratification on her own, and begins to wonder how she will ever enjoy sex with a man again. Her friends eventually stage a “rabbit” intervention, in which they imply that she needs to go out and actually interact with men. The fact that the women believe men are still needed in order to achieve true happiness counteracts the more feminist plot line regarding female sexual liberation.

In another plot, Carrie’s gay friend Stanford has problems dating just like the women do. He tells Carrie he thinks he just marry a woman and collect all his inheritance from his grandmother. Carrie and Stanford then suggest marrying each other eventually, causing Carrie to ponder, “Can you have it all?” This question deals with the idea of being married to a man you are not in love with. When Carrie meets Stanford’s grandmother she tells Carrie, “Stanford tells me you’re a writer…I was a career woman many years ago…but I gave it all up to have children.” This causes Carrie to ask herself if she is okay with Big not ever wanting to marry again, and whether or not a traditional family is what she truly wants. Carrie tells Big that she does want to get married someday, stating, “I can’t date somebody who wont. What’s the point?” Big says it’s all about timing, and takes on the stereotypical male role of having a very casual approach to marriage and children. Despite being a successful career woman, Carrie clearly feels pressure to conform to traditional, female expectations of being a wife and mother. To the Sex and the City women, ending up single is the equivalent to “losing” the game of love. 

Three's a Crowd: By Jennifer Marie Stranges

This week’s episode starts with Charlotte quickly falling in love with a new man she met at a Charity Benefit. When he proposes the idea of a threesome, she discusses the matter with her friends. Miranda characteristically suggests that it’s a man’s “cheap ploy to see you naked with another girl,” while Samantha liberally warns not to “knock it ‘til you try it.”

Miranda feels left out when the rest of the girls admit they would engage in threesomes with each other but forget to include Miranda. She begins discussing her fears of being unattractive with her therapist and admits that she is feeling self-conscious because “if your friends won’t go down on you, who will?” Miranda’s self-esteem gets the best of her when she replies to an ad for a threesome with a married couple. Because they validated her attractiveness, she doesn’t feel the need to go through with it.

Samantha is having an affair with a married man. When she bumps into them on the street together, tension arises. The man decides to leave his wife and be with Samantha, who absolutely does not want to be with Ken. Ruth, the wife, asks to join Sam and her husband in a threesome in an attempt to keep him with her. Samantha is utterly disgusted by the idea and ceases to sleep with Ken.

Charlotte is overwhelmed with her sexuality when Jack, her new boyfriend, insists that a female hit on her while on their date. That evening Charlotte dreams that she and Jack participated in a threesome with the same woman from the bar. She begins indulging her fantasy and allows a woman to join them while they are beginning to have sex at a party. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned, when Jack and the other woman leave Charlotte out of what was supposed to be a THREEsome.

The episode shows Carrie flirting with the idea of threesomes in her column. She even reads the classifieds that seek a “guest” for a couple or a “guest” looking for a couple. Although Carrie isn’t closed to the idea, her bias comes from her monogamous relationship with Mr. Big. She is enjoying their progress and is excited by the traditional pattern of their “duo” sleepovers and putting on his ties. Mr. Big admits he’s not only had a threesome before, but that it was with his ex-wife – two bits of information Carrie was unaware of. Carrie begins to get insecure that Carrie and Big’s sex doesn’t measure up to the sex he and his wife had. Her friends suggest that she find more about his ex-wife.

Carrie does something that makes all of the viewers squirm – she schedules a meeting with the Ex-Mrs. Big, who’s in publishing, and makes up a fake story to pitch to her. In this desperate attempt to meet Big’s ex, Carrie embarrasses herself and the audience by being needy. Carrie is intimidated when she finds Barbara Big to be “smart, beautiful and she got me”. Although Big briefly explains the divorce to Carrie, she can’t help but feel Barbara’s lingering presence whenever she is with Big. She begins to worry even more when Barbara says the reason she and Big split up was that he had a wandering eye.

Big admits to Carrie that he cheated on Barbara, that he knows Carrie had lunch with Barbara, and he knows all of this because he and Barbara still have a friendly relationship. The episode ends with Carrie and Big sharing a kiss on the staircase to her door.

The idea of the episode was great, but there were no depictions of successful threesomes. In the case of all four women, the idea of a threesome never functioned. Samantha destroyed a marriage, Miranda felt neglected, Charlotte lost her boyfriend to the "guest" and Carrie went crazy over Big's past. The episode reaffirms a traditional sexual relationship, while acknowledging and experiencing with a wild version.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Monogamist By: Jami McGuigan

            In this episode, Carrie becomes obsessed with the beginning stages of her relationship with Mr.Big. At the start of the show Carrie explains how, “it seemed like the city had magically been reduced to only us”. Her whole world becomes about Mr. Big to the point where she ditches her friends to be with him. After being missing in action for quite some time, Miranda calls Carrie and says “Hi… I’m looking for a Ms. Carrie Bradshaw she used to be a friend of mine…” Carrie apologizes for not being around and they make plans to get together that Saturday night. After hanging up the phone, Carrie says, “I realized I had committed the cardinal sin… I’d forsaken my girlfriends for my new boyfriend”. Because Carrie is such a strong and independent woman, I thought she would be smart enough not to abandon her friends for a man.

            This episode portrays Carrie’s life as revolving around Big although his life does not revolve around her. When Carrie is out to dinner with her friends she sees Big on a date and realizes that he is seeing other women. This episode exemplifies all the stereotypical roles of a needy woman who will do anything for a man and a man who does not reciprocate those feelings. During the episode Carrie not only gives Big the upper hand but also obsesses about him to her friends. Throughout the course of this show, men are portrayed as dominant and controlling over women’s lives. Even when Miranda and Carrie go out to dinner to catch up, they discuss men and how they feel about them the entire time. This portion of the show is presented in an anti-feminist light and portrays Carrie as representing everything she says she is against.
            In Charlotte’s part of the story, she plays “blow job tug of war” with her new boyfriend. When they would make out he would push her head down to try and get her to perform oral sex. Charlotte should not have to do anything she does not want to do but feels pressured from her new man. As their relationship progresses, the man says what charlotte wants to hear in order to get what he wants from her. In the end, Charlotte stands her ground and refuses to do what he wants. It is interesting how male control and dominance is shown and how Charlotte then rejects him because of it. It is important that Charlotte stood up for herself to provide a strong role model for women who may feel the same way.
            At the end of the episode I though it was great how the producers managed to turn the damage done to female power and integrity around. Samantha says to charlotte about giving head “The sense of power is such a turn on…maybe you’re on your knees, but you’ve got him by the balls”.  In addition, Big changes his mind and decides to become exclusive with Carrie. Women win in the end!

“Secret Sex” By: Laura Daniel

Plot Summary (spoiler alert*):

The power of secret sex is what is being talked about in this episode. Carrie talks to the other girls about sex with someone who they are ashamed of.
Carrie does a photo session to promote her column on the side of a bus. She goes on a dinner date with Mr.Big in a sexy dress and swears she won’t have sex on the first date but does. She see’s her friend Mike Singer out on a date with a woman he is trying to keep a secret. Carrie realizes she may be Big’s secret sex partner.
Miranda meets a sports doctor by kicking him in the head at the gym and learns his secret passion for spanking videos and when she reveals she knows he never speaks to her again. Charlotte recalls her secret sex partner, a Chassidic Jew named Shmuel, and artist.


Second-wave feminism addresses many different issues that have shown up as a trend in a lot of different television shows. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, feminism or second-wave feminism is shown to be a predominant force in Sex and the City (SATC).  Because of preconceived notions of femininity women feel less adequate than men. In this episode Carrie feels like she is being hidden from Big’s friends, however she doesn’t know the whole story. It is her insecurities that drive her mad. The women of SATC often drive themselves to a point of insecurity when they think the worst.
Being kept a secret is a fear that women have where they think their man is ashamed of them. This episode helps by addressing the situation and proving that trusting their partner is a big key to a healthy relationship. While it is important to be open about sexuality it is also important for the women to explore new things, which is clear when Charlotte talks about her sexual encounter with the Jew, she just feels like it is something so forbidden that it is a turn on.
Sex being a secret is the main issue of this episode and the women come to terms with it and realize that it can be a good thing. SATC shows women that they need to liberate themselves and stop conforming to the house wife role and that there are things that we didn't talk about. But NOW we can! There are so many things that we need to address and in todays world we have the means and the out-spoken-ness to do so! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Meeting of the minds October 13-20

Meeting of the minds is going to be meeting minutes from our group meetings. In these meetings we get together and talk about what our episodes have in common for the week and our general ideas of working together as a group.

Our Thoughts 
This week in our group meeting we have all come to the conclusion that Sex and the City is an essential show for any woman today, to watch. Issues that are important to women are explored, some questions are answered and women as a society in itself needs back up support.
Women need women as a means of support, we need to talk to each other to explore the issues that we are going through every day. We also need to examine the way we think we should be rather than the way we think men think we should be. 
As a society where women are now having the same jobs as men, gaining more political, social and basic power it is important to have others in the same position to talk. 

Our Plan
Each week the four of us girls are going to analyze one episode each. We are going to pull out the main themes and post them on the blog. Our week will range from Wednesday to Wednesday and the posts for each week will be posted on Thursday. 
Not only are we going to each analyze an episode but we will also be adding little bits of information about the show in general - Network, producer, characters, and much more. 

Why a blog? 
This group decided to do a blogger blog because we have the ability to post photos, videos, as well as it giving us the opportunity to make it look slightly more organized than webCT. 

Four girls will analyze four girls as the semester continues with a special focus on the feminist aspects of the show. We will discuss how we are supposed to see the characters and how the characters are actually being perceived. 

Meeting of the minds by: Laura Daniel

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Power of Female Sex By Faryn Wegler

Sex and the City’s “The Power of Female Sex” episode is both progressive and conservative in its representation of women. The episode begins with Carrie and Samantha trying to get a table at New York’s hottest new restaurant, Balzac. After the hostess refuses to let them Samantha exclaims, “If she were a man not only would we be eating right now, but they would be sending over free drinks!” Her comment alludes to the idea that while women can exploit their sexuality to gain the attention of men, they often see each other as threats in a competitive environment. When Carrie goes shoe shopping the next day she runs into her old friend, “international party-girl,” Amalita. Amalita offers to pay for Carrie’s shoes, asserting that her rich Argentina boyfriend Carlo won’t mind. In the narration, Carrie admits that she admires her friend, stating, “Although Amalita didn’t work for a living, she had a sexual power she used to her advantage.” Amalita’s dependence on men for money, status, and power gives an anti-feminist stance to the episode, implying that sexuality can be used as a tool for women to fulfill their dreams. 

A more feminist plot line in the episode revolves around the relationship between Miranda and Carrie’s friend Skipper. Skipper comes to Carrie’s apartment flustered, stating that Miranda has got a “power” over him and that he is “addicted” to her. He tells Carrie that while they have sex in the afternoon, she never lets him spend the night. In this scenario, the stereotypical gender roles of men and women are reversed. Miranda represents a modern-day, independent woman who believes it is okay to engage in casual sex without having any emotional attachment. Skipper on the other hand takes on a more feminine persona, as he obsesses over the woman and feels the need to his express his feelings to his friend about it. Although the reversal of gender roles can be seen as liberating to women, at the same it implies that sexuality is the only way women can have the upper hand in a relationship.  

Amalita introduces Carrie to her friend Gilles, a wealthy French architect. Carrie is infatuated by his charm, and after spending the afternoon in Central Park together they end up going back to his hotel room. By sleeping with a man on the first date, Carrie can be viewed as a character that functions to eliminate stigmas placed on women regarding sex in previous generations. This is undermined by the plot twist the next morning Carrie when finds an envelope beside the bed with a thousand dollars in cash included. The fact that Gilles leaves Carrie money insinuates that he is paying for her services, or that he believes she is a damsel in distress who needs the wealth of a man to be saved.

Carrie invites Miranda and Samantha to the hotel to discuss the turn of events and question the meaning of the cheques. According to Samantha, “Money is power, sex is power; therefore money for sex is simply an exchange of power.” This feminist view of female power can also be seen as anti-feminist, as it implies that a woman using sexuality to her advantage is the equivalent of a man using money. It creates the assumption that women continue to be exploited as sex objects, and will never be fully liberated from the power and influence of men. 

Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys: Jennifer Marie Stranges

Carrie and Mr. Big finally decide to meet - on purpose. They've been bumping into each other all around Manhattan, but when they finally set a "date", Carrie is left to wonder if it really is a "date". Mr. Big's ambiguity drives her crazy the entire episode, leaving her to analyze his tone in voice messages and seek the company of a younger guy named Sam that she meets through her friend Samantha.

Carrie relives her youth while dating Sam, as he's a lot younger. Being with Sam reminds her of how good just kissing can really be. Although her and the other women wonder what the wide variety of twenty-something guys would see in them, they take advantage of the opportunity and date younger man. The men in the episode testify that older women are grateful, give great head, know a lot about wine, remind them of their mothers, and know who they are/what they want. Carrie enjoys dating Sam, as proved when she ditches Miranda and a meeting with her editor to go shopping with him, but realizes she's too old to be dating a younger guy when she wakes up in his "twenty-something apartment": pizza boxes, no toilet paper, and roommates, oh my! Samantha jumps off the bandwagon as well when her twenty-something guy acknowledges the wrinkles in her neck.

Charlotte isn't dating a younger guy in this episode, but she's dating someone who wants to try something new - anal sex. Charlotte seeks the support of all her friends in a cab ride and needs their help to make her decision. Although her new lover has her "big 3"- looks, manners and money - she is uneasy with being the up-the-butt girl, because a wife isn't that kind of girl.

The episode ends with Carrie bumping into Mr. Big again, and him inviting her out on an official date. The episode eventually affirms the belief that we should date someone our own age.

"Bay of Married Pigs" By: Jami McGuigan

When Carrie goes to visit her friend Patience and her husband in The Hamptons she quickly discovers that married people see single people as a threat. During this episode, Patience immediately sees Carrie as untrustworthy after she sees her husband’s penis in the hallway. 

Throughout this episode, single woman are portrayed as desperate, threatening, and untrustworthy, all because they are not associated with another person. Samantha says that “married women are threatened because we can have sex with anyone, anytime, anywhere and they’re afraid we are going to have sex anytime anywhere with their husbands”. Miranda adds to Samantha's comment by saying “when people get married it doesn’t matter how good friends you are, they become married and we become the enemy…the married people who don’t fear you, pity you”. It is absurd that some people believe a person needs to be in a relationship to be considered "normal". 

The girls discuss how if you are the only single person at a party you are considered gay, a loser, a whore, or a lepar. It is ridiculous that women need to be dependent on another human being to have total respect and trust in society. In this episode, Miranda is only invited to her boss’s dinner party once he thinks that she is in a relationship (as if a woman is not enough on her own). If you are in a couple it should not define you, and if you are single you should not be excluded. In the episode it is also discussed how women forget who they are when they are married: “everything becomes ‘we’”. Ultimately, it is implied that whether women are in a relationship or by themselves they lose their identity either way. 

In the end of the episode patience is only happy to see Carrie once she discovers that she is dating someone. Throughout the episode, married people are portrayed as superior; I don’t see how relying on another person makes you better than anyone else. I also don’t understand how losing your independence makes you trustworthy. In my opinion, the more independent and sure of yourself you are, the more likely it is that you will make the right decisions in life. There are a lot of questions surrounding the relationship statuses of others, but in the end the status you choose should not matter to anyone else but yourself.

Models and Mortals: By Laura Daniel

Women face all sorts of issues; single, weight, age, looks. This episode of Sex and the City is just that, a summary of all of the women’s insecurities and how they plan on fixing them – or most of them.
The episode starts off with Miranda attending a dinner party with Nick a modelizer – a man who only dates models. She quickly runs to her friends to talk about how she didn’t even know that she was on a date with a modelizer because of an ultimatum presented to him by his friends.
The episode is surrounded by the idea of men dating models. The central theme is then discussed around how do ‘normal’ women have a chance if men that aren’t even that good looking date models.
The girls all gather together for a girl’s night and they discuss their insecurities. Charlotte hates her thighs, Carries hates her nose, Miranda just wants to force feed the models, and Samantha was perfectly happy with the way she looks and thinks that she can be perfectly fine with dating a modelizer because she (apparently) looks like one.
To satisfy herself and her idea that she is a model Samantha decided to date a modelizer and have him tape her having sex.
This episode of Sex and the City brings up one of most North American women have issues with, weight and physical looks. Sex and the City has a way of bringing up different issues that really need to have light drawn to them. Women have this ideal set out for them and have always had the ideal set out for them, they must be visually appealing, married by a certain age, and be the perfect house wife. Because of Sex and the City things that have had to been kept under wraps in previous years have now been injected into real life and women can actually talk about issues that are important to them.
            It is no longer taboo to talk about sex, our insecurities, or even obsessions with the way women look. This episode shows us that speaking out as women in how we feel and what we think is relevant to the world today. In the 1960s women had to conform to the way they were expected to act. The Brady Bunch would show women as under control, the perfect housewife with minor worries that wouldn’t have much significance to today’s woman. Women now face issues, usually more personal issues that most every woman is facing.
            At the end of each episode after the women all seem to sort out how they feel on a certain issue there is a general line focused at today’s woman. Carrie, at the end of the episode realizes that beauty is fleeting and something genuine is forever. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Miranda Hobbes by: Jennifer Marie Stranges

Meet Miranda Hobbes: lawyer, mother, wife, friend, super woman.

Portrayed by actress Cynthia Nixon, who has appeared on Law & Order, Murder She Wrote, and ER, Miranda proves to be one the most fascinating characters on Sex & The City. Her cynical view on relationships and her overtly masculine features make her to be an oppositional character from someone like Charlotte, who is a hopeless romantic. Miranda is a successful woman. A graduate of Harvard law school, she is determined and victorious in obtaining "Partner" at her law firm.

Miranda's "masculine" features are evident in her lack of enthusiasm toward dating in her first few seasons of the series. Although love is something she desires, she refuses to sacrifice her hard-earned success for a male companion. Furthermore, she refuses to settle for someone she deems unfit to date her. She participates in casual sex and initially rejects a marriage proposal from Steve Brady, whom impregnates her and she eventually marries (after she proposes to him). Their relationship was threatened by the financial barrier between the two; Miranda earned more than Steve.

Miranda is considered the "voice of reason". She could be viewed as the voice of the audience, who may be thinking certain things that Miranda vocalizes to her three friends. She is not afraid to "ask unpleasant questions" or to be honest with her friends. Miranda Hobbes represents the "working woman" that the networks we are studying are trying to reach. She is a work-a-holic, successful woman, who is eventually achieves balance in her life. 

Fun Fact: At one point in the show, she admits to having a "relationship with TiVo".

Carrie Bradshaw by: Laura Daniel

The stylish Carrie Bradshaw 

Sarah Jessica Parker born March 25 1965 in Nelsonville, Ohio is Caroline Marie 'Carrie' Bradshaw from the hit television show Sex and the City (1994-2004).
She isn’t a stranger to the world of film and television, Parker has appeared in a variety of other films, such as, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (1985), The Family Stone (2005), Failure to Launch (2006)
From the beginning of this role as Carrie Bradshaw she has fit into it perfectly. Parker takes on the role of a journalist writing a weekly column called Sex and the City.  Each week (episode) she tackles a different hard-hitting question about sex, life, and being single in New York City. Bradshaw uses her friends Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), as inspiration in answering the questions she develops for her weekly column.
            Parker is the unofficial main character of the series as the star narrator and columnist who always has the get to the bottom of the shows ‘issue’. During the opening of almost every episode she presents a question, which, has hit her in her real life; three-somes, giving head, finding ‘the one’, and all the heart break and troubles that come along with being single in NYC. 
            In the six season of Sex and the City Carrie is the glue that hold her group of friends together. She is always trying to solve the problems of her friends. Because each of the girls are so different it is only natural for them to occur differences of opinion and this is where Carrie usually sweeps in and saves the day by realizing both sides to the story and trying to have the girls confront their problems and see it from the other girls side. 
          Although she is a great friend and usually can hold it together for the group, there are times when she is the root of all problems and her problems are the only thing she can think about. Usually on the brink of loosing a relationship or about to embark on a new relational adventure Carrie bring excitement and adventure to this ever single woman centered series. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Samantha Jones By: Jami McGuigan

Actress Kim Cattrall, was born in Mossley Hill, Liverpool, England on August 21st, 1956. Besides Sex and the City Cattrall is best known for her leading roles in the 1980s films Police Academy, and Big Trouble in Little China.

Cattrall chose to take on the role of Samantha Jones (a fictional character on the HBO produced television show Sex and the City) in 1997. Soon afterward she decided to act in a sexualized Pepsi One commercial, write a book about sex with her third husband Mark Levinson, and appear in a Britney Spear’s movie entitled Crossroads. Her career choices soon after she was cast the role of Kim Cattrall were a direct reflection on her role as Samantha Jones. The audiences that would be attracted to the Pepsi One commercial, the book about sex, and Crossroads would most likely be similar to those watching Sex and the City.

Throughout the six seasons of Sex and the City, Samantha is portrayed as sexually adventurous; most of her stories are based on her promiscuous sex-life with various people. Samantha claims to be a “try-sexual” meaning that she will try anything at least once. Anal sex, abortions, three ways, and lesbianism are all not too much for Samantha to handle.

Jones is both the oldest and most outspoken of her friends. She is not afraid to say what is on her mind, and she does not fit the stereotypical mold of what a woman is “supposed” to be. She is not very emotional, she rarely depends on men, and she is very career-driven and ambitious. In the beginning of the series she lives on the Upper East Side, but chooses to move to an expensive apartment in the Meatpacking District later on.

Samantha does not take a liking to children, which makes it difficult at first for her to accept the birth of Miranda’s child, Brady. Her personality also often clashes with her good friend Charlotte York's because of their differing values and beliefs when it comes to sex and relationships. Overall, Samantha represents a free spirited kind of woman who is strong and independent. Samantha definitely sets a good example for women who are afraid to take chances and break down barriers.  

Charlotte York By: Faryn Wegler

“I've been dating since I was 15. I'm exhausted! Where is he?” Sex and the City’s Charlotte York, played by Kristin Davis, is the most conservative and traditional of the four leading female characters. She is an eternal optimist when it comes to love throughout the entire series, and never gives up hope of finding her prince charming. Throughout all of her troubled relationships, she is always hopeful that the next man she meets could turn out to be “The One.” Even with her conservative personality, Charlotte has been known on occasion to surprise her more sexually adventurous friends with her actions.

Charlotte symbolizes the more traditional female role, as her main focus is to become a wife mother. Once Charlotte gets engaged to her first husband Trey, she decides to quit her prestigious job at an art gallery in order to fulfill her womanly “housewife” duties. With a husband who is handsome, wealthy, and successful, Charlotte sees no need to pursue her own career aspirations. When her inability to have children irreparably damages her marriage, the fairytale Charlotte hoped for turns out to be a nightmare. After her divorce, Charlotte does not give up hope of finding true love, remarking, “Everyone knows you only get two great loves in your life.” Charlotte later marries her divorce attorney Harry, and converts to Judaism for him. She refuses to give up on her dream of being a mother, and adopts a daughter, Lily, from China. Much to her delight, Charlotte also eventually gets pregnant and gives birth to another daughter named Rose.

Charlotte’s emphasis on emotional love is frequently juxtaposed against the more vivacious sexuality of the other women. She presents a more old-fashioned attitude about relationships, and is highly focused on following the “rules” of love and dating. Charlotte does not believe in sleeping with men on the first date, and believes that it is a man’s job to pursue a woman. She often criticizes Samantha’s many sexual rendezvous, and when Miranda contemplates getting an abortion, she is appalled that she would even consider up the chance of motherhood. The rules for capturing Mr. Right have been used in other female-centered dramas such as Ally McBeal, and give an anti-feminist touch to the program. This helps to cancel out more feminist plot lines involving the other characters that represent a more progressive view of female sexuality. Unlike Charlotte, Carrie, Miranda and Samantha redefine what it means to be a “modern day woman”, in their more casual approach to sex and high career ambitions.