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SEX AND THE CITY 2 – A POST-FEMINIST MOVIE

“The Sex and the City films and TV shows have struck a chord with female audiences because in a postfeminist age, women are looking for narratives that affirm their life choices without prescribing what they should, or should not do” (and that includes shoe shopping) says RMIT University’s Associate Professor Lisa French*, an expert on women in film and television.

Sex and the City 2 has been panned by some critics as anti-feminist and xenophobic (amongst several other things). But what does the Sex and the City phenomenon have to say about feminism today?

"setting a trend"

“Post-feminism is all about choices,” says French, “even those that second wave feminists may not approve of, so it isn’t necessarily incompatible with loving shoes or shopping. The television show Sex and the City was important in setting a trend for programs centering around female characters and female experience. In doing so, the show clearly evidenced that female characters and stories could be successful.

“The show influenced numerous other programs and films, such as Cashmere Mafia and The Women (2008).

"Carrie shops for identity"

“Carrie appropriates the historical motif of the flâneur (loafer), but in a feminist gesture she refashions it and claims it for women: as a flâneuse Carrie shops for identity rather than admiring the utopian spaces of modernism. Like a detective, Carrie observes society – with female eyes.”

*Associate Professor French teaches cinema and media in RMIT’s School of Media and Communication. She has researched post-feminism and postmodern-feminism in contemporary film and television, and is currently undertaking a research project that examines the status of women in the Australian film and television industry.

Published June 10, 2010

 

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