Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

'Sex and the City' and the Married Boy

Recently, standing in my tasteful uptown Manhattan apartment--for which I pay two digits too much--I was scrubbing dishes and realizing my hatred of Sex and the City. The apartment agreed with me, and dropped a piece of the ceiling upon my head. It was then I began my rhetorical questions, as I stood with my Gap shorts clinging to my body with an expectancy not even the Virgin Mary anticipated.


How do you know if your apartment agrees with your distaste for a television show?

SATC is a fine show, I suppose, but I've seen too many young women standing on street corners in tutus and Jimmy Choos, staring at water puddles and hoping a city bus comes by. The city bus always comes by, and it always hits the puddle. Chill, girls. It'll happen.

What do you do when you're splashed by gutter-water?

Silkwood Shower. Immediately.

Why do young women continue to think they can be Carrie Bradshaw?

So, as I stood in my kitchen washing dishes and watching disc two of season two of Sex and the City, I couldn't help but wonder: Do single women in the city still identify with this show? Do gay men, who were also way into SATC back in the day, still think Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha are life-models? Do people still type rhetorical questions on their MacBooks, then answer those questions through a series of very tightly-scripted scenes involving photogenic extras?

Can there be a camera closing in on this sentence as I type it, in hopes that this sentence comes off as a profound question in need of answering?

No. Probably not. Also: don't stand on a street corner, in a tutu, next to a puddle, waiting for a city bus to pass and splash you with water. Again: you won't look adorable. You'll just look as if you got sprayed down with a salmonella bath.

No one wants to date you because you are tainted.

+++

Rewatching Sex and the City is infuriating. And honestly, I didn't start rewatching it so I could be infuriated. I mean, there are some things I watch just to get angry about--Who Killed the Electric Car, for instance, or random Frontline pieces, or season 9 of X-Files. But  SATC? Meh. It wasn't a hate-watch choice. It's been years since I saw the show, and I thought it might be a nice distraction as I scrubbed dishes.

Three rants later, Greg begged me to turn it off. But there were dishes to go before I slept, and dishes to go before I slept.

As a gay male, perhaps Sex and the City is something I shouldn't judge. You know, I mean, perhaps Candace Bushnell is the Helen Gurley Brown of our era, which means me--a man who likes dick--shouldn't criticize a fictional character hailed as a feminist icon. Hell, half the time there's a feminist hero, gay males appropriate her as quickly as white musicians appropriate black music. Madonna: feminist hero, gay icon. Elvis: appropriator of Black music, white icon.

The thing about Sex and the City is that it is not presented as iconography. We're not, as an audience, supposed to see the four main characters as anything other than realistic presentations of sexual beings in the city. They fight with cable companies. They go to ball games. They get robbed. But!

But!

They fail the Bechdel Test each episode. For a long-running series about four women--stretching six seasons and two films--there is barely a moment when the four leads fail to mention a man. And one of the actresses--Cynthia Nixon--is gay. Miranda also has one of the most real moments on the show when she stops being a terrible person and starts taking care of her husband's mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's.

Wake up, bitch
When the show first aired, it was about women being honest in sex and in life. Now, ten years on and several visits to The Pleasure Chest, I hope everyone has matured. Just as Seinfeld made straight man-boys popular, I think SATC made young women feel perpetual youth is a 'thing' rather than a condition.

Gay men, of course, will be waiting for the next thing to appropriate, because we've gone mainstream, and have a difficult time creating things straight America want to steal.

RuPaul, prove me wrong. You too, Lisa. Tappa tappa tappa.


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