Culture And Criticism

Please, PLEASE, No More Trend Pieces About Women Based On 'Sex And The City'

Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall

Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall and Kristen Davis starred in Sex And The City and its offshoot movies. And they live on in trend pieces.. Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Productions hide caption

itoggle caption Craig Blankenhorn/New Line Productions

A couple of people have mentioned to me the handful of anecdotes that recently ran in The New York Times about how men are threatened by successful women, defined as women who make more money than they do. It's so feather-light in supporting evidence (a couple of personal stories and some quotes from Marie Claire) that it's not a lot more than a personal essay to begin with, and it's certainly not worth getting all exercised about. (Honestly, as a woman with a job, I don't really have time, har har.)

But I do want to make one small point.

The sun has set on trend pieces about women that rely heavily on Sex And The City.

If you cannot find a lede more suggestive of the cultural relevance/currency of what you are arguing is happening right this minute than another quoting of another scene where Miranda and Carrie and blah blah blah, then it's important to at least consider the possibility that staleness has set in.

Sex And The City premiered in 1998. That's 12 years ago. It went off the air in 2004. That's six years ago. Many women never felt like that show spoke to them in the first place, and women who watched the premiere when they were 25 are now 37. The episode the Times piece references, where Miranda lies and says she's a flight attendant in order to get a date, aired ten years ago.

That is not a good lede for a piece attempting to palpate the zeitgeist with surgical precision.

Seriously, that is the entire lede. "Remember when this successful career woman couldn't get a date on a canceled show ten years ago? Is female empowerment killing romance?" That is ... not a thing. That is not an argument, not a piece of evidence, not a relevant pop-culture reference. It's about as meaningful as, "Remember Mr. Ed? Are horses learning to talk?"

Sex And The City was not a documentary, and it was a whole recession ago, and really a whole generation of online dating ago. So do us all a favor: Stop with Carrie and Miranda and especially Samantha, and while you're at it? You could give the Bridget Jones thing a rest, too.

We've all moved on. Please move on with us.

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