Sex and identity politics

I finally went out to see 'Sex and the City' last night. Before you all get on me about the identity politics in the film, I do have to say that I quite enjoyed the film. It could have been a better film, had the film's director cut the script by maybe an hour and tightened the story line. Hell, Samantha doesn't even have sex in the movie! (Sorry, if I gave away too much of the movie) Other than that, it was worth my hard earned money to spend on a ticket for the movie.

Moving onto the topic on tap, there has been a much discussion recently about lacking representations of women of color during the show's run on HBO. It seems like the makers of the movie tried to compensate for this problem by casting Oscar-winning songstress Jennifer Hudson. However, it became so apparent that Hudson's role as Carrie's personal assistant/therapist was a token gesture, that it just set the whole SATC phenomenon further back, rather than forward. Maybe if Hudson's character had a little more substance, she could have been more believable.

'Sex and the City' is a story about privileged white women navigating the romance in New York. Yes, like the TV show, the movie version is a glamorization of high price shopping, bitching gay men and all night partying. Yes, there are a lot of things about the show I can't really relate to not only because of the race issue, but also the class issue. Believe it or not, there are many low income white women who can't relate to the show either, and can only dream about the lifestyles of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte.

On the flip side, I know plenty of well-to-do black women who actually live the SATC lifestyle. I have a black hair and makeup artist friend who works on Broadway, and never forgets to find an opportunity to tell me about going out every night after shows to parties and meeting hot guys she later beds. And just the other day I discovered Brown Funky Chick, a black freelance journalist in New York trying to make sense of the dating world.

At the end of the day, 'Sex and the City' dealt with issues that were universal to all women. Every woman has gone through heart break, a weird blind date, bad sex or a combination of all three at once. And this is why the show is popular with women from across the spectrum.

While the many women who charged the movie theatres this weekend for the film premiere were looking to view the film for appeasement and escapism, they also saw themselves somehow in all the characters.

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