Friday, December 10, 2010

The Final Meeting of the Minds: By Faryn Wegler

In our meeting this week, we decided to talk about our final thoughts on Sex and the City and what we thought of the whole season in relation to how women are represented on TV as a whole.

Major Themes We Have Covered
•    The Value of Female Friendship
•    Female Independence (i.e. career success)
•    Sexual Freedom
•    Materialism
•    Obsession With Men

Course Material We Have Tied In
•    Thematic parallelism
•    Serial and episodic elements
•    Stereotypical vs. non stereotypical gender roles
•    Representation of race
•    Readings by Amanda Lotz and L.S. Kim 
•    Is HBO a women’s network?

Is the Show a Progressive Representation of Women?

Throughout the semester we have provided evidence that supports both a progressive and limiting view of women in the series.

Progressive View
•    Sex and the City took after earlier situation comedies oriented towards representing the “new-age” woman. Shows such as Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970), Kate and Allie (1984), and Designing Women (1986) were about independent women making decisions for themselves.
•    Although the Sex and the City women are often focused on finding the “perfect” man, they each are career-oriented and strive to be successful on their own
•    The show is idealistic about the way that women can get unconditional love from one another; it shows that men are not necessarily needed to feel “loved”
•    The show tackled modern issues faced by many women (i.e. abortion, breastfeeding, STDs, getting dumped by a man)
•    Sex and the City has given women a language with which to talk about their experiences and their friendships. It has become “okay” for women to be open about their sex lives. 

Limiting View
•    The women’s constant obsession with talking about men, finding men and changing men comprised almost every episode we viewed
•    We feel as though this is a limiting view of women as it insinuates that they need a man in order to complete their lives (female friendship may not be enough)
•    In some ways, the show is at odds with how women's lives have changed since the rise of feminism. Their working lives have got longer, and their opportunities to have children have got harder. This makes viewers question whether or not the characters are really embracing feminism or simply dealing with its consequences

Final Thoughts on This Project

Our group has worked exceptionally well together in creating our “Sex and the City” blog this semester. By gathering together each week, we had the opportunity to contribute our personal thoughts on the series and hear each other’s viewpoints. We found that our different perspectives and opinions helped us gain a richer understanding of how the show is perceived by female viewers. We hope you had as much fun reading our blog as we did creating it.

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