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