Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Antonia's Take on Sex and the City

First of all, I don’t think the film or the show represent a singular definition of female experience in general--which I think is to their merit--because they include four distinctive female characters with unique situations and perspectives on relationships. The structure of a show allows for lack of resolution (as a ploy to have you tune in next week) that turns out to be more realistic and poignant in my view. But I think the movie dealt with the burden of tying things up at the end quite well as each character’s story promoted a different kind of happiness and fulfillment, with Carrie getting married, and Samantha ending her relationship, both of which was right for them as individuals, and neither of which was promoted as an answer for all women.

The goal of Sex and the City as I see it is to be a contemporary relatable comedy of relationship issues from certain female perspectives. Towards this end, it will define familiar types of people and situations that at worst are cliché and at best are moving and funny, but that I don’t personally find offensive. For example, one complaint might be that it presents a view of women as materialistic. Again, because I don’t think the show tries to be representative of ALL women, I don’t think the show is insinuating that ALL women are materialistic. It even includes Miranda as a counterpoint to the fashion craziness of the other characters, and each of the other characters has personal depth that complicates their materialistic inclinations. Evenso, I don’t think there is anything wrong with taking pleasure in material things in the first place, and in my personal experience, women tend to revel in these things more often then men do. I mean, if I look at myself, 75% of the physical things in the apartment are mine while Matt is more of an ascetic, and I know many women that appreciate visual and material things and many men who don’t even notice them, so I don’t think this is a negative or inaccurate picture to paint at all. And for the sake of visual interest in the medium of television, these extravagances make for a more pronounced aesthetic experience anyhow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Matt's Take on "Sex and the City"

****Warning: SPOILERS!!!******

I found some of the portrayal of women in Sex and the City to be kind of offensive. The general impression I got from most of the characters (the redheaded lawyer one being the exception) was that women are vapid, self-absorbed and capable of self-reflection only when pushed by others (which isn't really self-reflection after all, is it?). Why is it that Mr. Big realizes his big mistake just minutes after he leaves his wedding, while it takes Carrie the rest of the movie to see that she was insensitive to real concerns of his that he had tried to express well in advance? Jeeze, that's kind of depressing isn't it? Now given, I didn't have the context of the rest of the relationship from the ealier TV series, but this plotline struck me as particularily negative.
I was also concerned that the movie itself never really showed the women working. The women seem to be materialistic (which in itself if not neccessarily a bad thing) yet how they work to get the money for the designer clothes and whatnot its never portrayed - only referenced in passing. Is looking fabulous, having a lot of social capital and being witty really the key to life? Well, the underlying plot pieces would suggest "no". But if that is not the key to life, why is so much screen time devoted exactly to this?
Finally, don't even get me started about how racist the Jennifer Hudson plot line was. Ms. Hudson (the only black character, btw) comes in as Mammy to help poor old Ms. Parker's Scarlett O'hara put the pieces of her life back together. What does Mammy get in return? A Louis Vuitton purse ("Uh-huh, that's right girl, I got me a real Louis") and a pat on the back to go back to St. Louis (read, poor black city) and marry that black boy from back home. Nevermind that Carrie doesn't seem to impart any of her knowledge of the city or being a successful author to Mammy. Sorry, there's no place for Mammy in NYC - better go back home with your souvenir.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mid-Week Maintenance: The Virgin

Do you think the concept of virginity can be useful or relevant?
Can you think of an equivalent way to describe ones first sexual experiences that would revise our culture's "aggresor-gatekeeper" dynamic?

Friday, December 21, 2007


1) What do you think of holistic and homeopathic methods of medical treatment? Do you think they will always inherently be thought of as "feminized"?
2) Do you agree with the idea that for women to get ahead, they have to "join em, then beat em later"? Should a woman beat the system by playing by its rules, or create her own rules first?


1) How important is the separation of church and state to the concept of feminism? Is it possible to fit in a feminist agenda in the midst of a Christian state?
2) Do you think you can be pro-life and be a feminist?

Thursday, December 20, 2007


1) Young women frequently choose women rock musicians as their role models, often projecting feminist ideals onto unwilling participants. Alicja scoffs at the idea that her gender should be such a big deal as a rock musician, noting that she would not give special attention to a female fan. How does a fan reconcile between her (sh)ero worship and such a reality check?

Thursday, November 29, 2007


1) Do you agree that there are problems with, as Kate calls it, “the non-profit industrial complex”? What are they? How about Planned Parenthood in particular?
2) How does anarchism conflict or coalesce with your understanding of feminism? What might be a reason for perceived male-domination in this sphere of progressive politics?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


1) Do you agree with Noel, that the future of feminism should include a more flexible interpretation of gender?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


1) Do you think there is value in rejecting classic texts written by men and instead incorporating women's and feminist's voices?

Monday, November 19, 2007


1) Do you agree with Yasmine’s assessment that when women claim to be “humanist,” it is a direct result of being afraid to confront sexism?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


1) Is the (often spiritual) search for capital T truth incompatible with forming nuanced ideas about gender and inequality?
2) Why are hairy legs automatically equated with feminism? Does this stereotype need to be reworked, or des it make sense?


1) As a teacher, Krista sees damaging behavior forming for girls early on in school. How can teachers and schools help combat the frequent act of girls "playing dumb" without encouraging young women to form equally corrosive patterns of overachieving and perfection fears?


1) What do you think of Laurie's omission of the term "feminist" on Capitol Hill? Is this a necessary step to furthering a feminist agenda in a conservative environment? Or is it a relinquishing of power to those that villify the term "feminist" in the first place?


1) What do you think are the differences in connotation between stripping and burlesque? Do you agree with the troupe that it is a feminist act?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


1) Is the future of feminism to be found in the blogosphere and on the internet? How important has connecting through the web been to forming your identity and ideas?