Monday, 20 July 2009

So SATC I am not!

I think it's time to clear the air. I'm not really a girl. Although anatomically-speaking I have all the correct software and I do enjoy many girl-related activities like acquiring pretty and expensive accessories, going to the ballet and judging people solely based on their footwear, I'm not what one would deem a girly-girl. For one thing I'm not that keen on pink, I do not have a dizzying puffy white fantasy about my wedding day that I've been clinging to since I was six and I think Justin Timberlake is a loser. Also, I never refer to my best friend as my "bestie", I don't watch Gossip Girl, I swear like a sailor, my gay friends are not screaming queens and I rarely hold my tongue.

Most importantly, however, I do not enjoy Sex and the City. And I especially hate being told that I am "so Sex and the City." Yes, I lived in New York. Yes, I am a writer. Yes, I have curly hair. And yes, I've been known to recklessly dabble in designer goods. But I am not a cliche of a television show that served only to set women back four decades causing our sisters of the female revolution to sink to their knees and wail for our salvation, and allowed men to engage in "sport fucking" all the while convincing us that we, the women, were in control. No, I refuse to be lumped in with that.

Don't be mistaken, I've seen the show. I've seen the movie. If there is in fact a sequel, I will see that too. Why? 'Cause it's pretty. I watch it for the same reason I watch Doris Day and Rock Hudson movies: the colours are brilliant, the clothing is smart and the men are dashing. But it is neither groundbreaking nor brain teasing. It's eye candy.

I beg of people to stop pigeonholing every female foursome out for an evening that includes martini glasses as "so Sex and the City." A few years ago I was involved in what could have been the makings of a "so Sex and the City" summer. We were four single gals out almost every night, at almost every party and everyone knew who we were. Except there was nothing cute or coy or polished about us. We were, as the now live-in boyfriend of one of us termed, the demolition crew. More Nancy Spungen than Carrie Bradshaw, for sure. Not that we betrayed our vaginal heritage: there were trysts and one-night-stands and post-party gossip sessions and loads of boy talk. But we never once ordered a Cosmpolitan in our Manolos; it was more like Jaggerbombs in our Alexander McQueen Pumas. We were not Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. We were four girls with lax office hours and lots of party invites.

I should also mention that many years ago, when I was a graduate student at NYU, I interviewed Candace Bushnell, the writer and creator of Sex and the City. I asked her about the individual characters and if she had used pseudonyms for them. I could practically hear her roll her eyes as she told me that every character was an amalgamation of several people she knew or came across in her halcyon days of the lower Manhattan party scene. A few months later, as I was sitting in a Toronto spa getting my hair done, I flipped through a Canadian magazine and found an interview with Ms. Bushnell. The same question was posed and the same vaguely irritated response followed. I closed the magazine and smiled, relieved to learn that even the creator of Carrie Bradshaw is reluctant to pigeonhole anyone as so Sex and the City.


  1. Totes agree - SATC sux! Ref: Julia Allison (have I told you about my obsession with her, uh, obsession with SATC?)

    Also - were you in London when Candice B. did an event here? I think the agency thought we were all supposed to be excited about it but in truth she was rather a pathetic creature, Botoxed within an inch of her life, uber-thin, supershort skirt and ridiculous $10,000 designer handbag. You could almost smell her insecurity - despite all her sucesses.

    So, ugh, no thanks. I'm glad our "SATC summer" (or whatever else we should call it) lasted only 4 months!

  2. I agree - I can't stand it when people think SATC is what being a woman in New York is really like. The ridiculous apartments, designer wardrobes on journalists' salaries, the fact that she seems to make a living entirely from one column, the fact that the newspaper she writes for would ever PUBLISH that column (as it's written in the voice overs)... I mean, that's just the tip of the iceberg. I also love how all four of them seemed to meet a new man every week. I went on like three dates a year, at most, when I was single. I didn't even MEET as many dudes in a year as they dated in a month! Plus, some of them just weren't even likeable. Would YOU hang out with Charlotte?

    That said... I watched it until the bitter end. And then I saw the movie (with you, if you recall). So I guess they got to me, somehow. SIGH. But I still think most of the franchise is idiotic.

  3. Demolition fitting!