Posted by: Ophelia | June 6, 2008

On Sex and the City

I thought I’d give a very brief mention of Sex and the City–mostly because the week of its release that was all the local news stations lady correspondents were given to discuss. You see, Sex and the City is supposed to be a chick flick. First and foremost, hip young women are supposed to have eagerly awaited this new chapter in the stories of the sassy ladies from Sex and the City. Likewise, men were supposed to come up with ways to avoid having to go–one newstation reported some website where men could print out personalized vouchers to get them out of going. Movies and shows that heavily feature women suffer from the same label that ones that prominently feature non white actors–they aren’t just sitcoms/dramas/or dramedys, they are chick shows/ethnic shows. In order to be masculine, you can’t enjoy the show. On the other hand, in order to be normal and feminine, you’re supposed to like Sex and the City.

I personally have never had any interest in the show, I saw one episode in a classroom context and wasn’t interested. The women seem to live in the same fantasy New York of Friends, Mad About You, and Seinfeld, hardly a non white face in sight. So it did bother me a bit to see the barrage of coverage talking about how “women” would be salivating while they awaited the movie’s release. Then again, I’m likely a bit sensitive to how “women” now means “white women” in the American understanding. Political coverage of the recently ended primary race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama maintained a focus on two large voter groups–namely blacks and women. The media has become quite comfortable in asserting that blacks are men and women are white and never seeing the issue inherent. So I wasn’t surprised that women who might not be white and might not enjoy a show wherein they have no representation wouldn’t be on their radar. They’ve got hype to maintain and all that. Just to clarify, my issue is with the media representation of the supposed audience for the movie, and their attempts to yet again define masculinity and femininity in opposition while squeezing out any racial component of those designations. I haven’t seen the movie and have no plans to do so, so my commentary isn’t directed specifically at the film but I did notice a few posts about the role Jennifer Hudson plays within the film, and she didn’t exactly break the mold of the “black friend” model.

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Responses

  1. YOu are so right to point out the invisibility of WOC in this film an throwing in Jeniffer Hudson does not cut it when one considers that there was no representation of us when the show was on the air. Woman equals white to the media unless they are exploiting our bodies. THis is why WOC cannot embrace the whole sisterhood thing.


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