PIV in NYC
SEX AND THE CITY (1998-2004). out of all the shows ive included *and* the ones i didnt, this show probably skeeves me out the most: its entire premise is repulsive to me now, now that ive become a PIV-critical radical feminist. just, ew. 4 single women serially dating in manhattan — the extreme fuckability mandates alone are enough to send me into spasms of revulsion and despair.
on that note, the episode that sticks out to me the most out of all of them (although i dont think ive seen them all, at least not intentionally) is S4E16, where carrie realizes that she cant afford the downpayment on her apartment, and in fact has been utterly unable to save any money at all over time, because shes spent $40,000 on shoes. and thats just the shoes.
heres what wiki has to say about that episode:
Carrie is forced to buy her apartment back from Aidan. Charlotte doesn’t know what to do with her engagement ring. Miranda has to refurbish her wardrobe due to her gaining baby weight. Samantha tries to trick Richard into saying he loves her.
nothing about the fact that the main (THE! MAIN!) character of this super-sexxxay “feminist” show literally faced homelessness in this episode, and she herself makes the connection out loud, in front of witnesses, that its because she has spent too much money on shoes. shes says it outloud, after miranda corrects her: initially carrie blew it off, because she screwed up the math, which frankly is very easy to screw up, and by design, what with the numerous (literally countless) small-to-moderate sized purchases, over time. aka. wardrobing. carrie knew she had “about 100” pairs of her favorite designer’s shoes, at $400.00 each, but she thinks “oh well, thats just $4,000.” no. its not. when she realizes her mistake, she is shocked — it takes her breath away even. she says she will “literally be the old woman who lives in her shoes.” and thats the straight-up truth of it isnt it?
and it doesnt even get an honorable mention in the plot-summary on wiki. typical.
goal is to “land a man”. yes. OMG yes. the serial dating; the extreme EXTREME male-pleasing; the fuckability mandates, up to and including facing literal homelessness due to all the money spent on sexualizing attire; the constant availability for PIV. charlotte marries twice (the first was a mistake; the second was “the one”). interestingly, carrie once tries on wedding dresses and has a panic attack and breaks out in some kind of rash (i think?) and samantha is a maneater who doesnt end up wanting to commit to the man who treated her the best out of all of them (although that particular bar is set pretty low) but all of this belies what appears to be the truth, which is that fuckability mandates and heteronormativity (and marriage) all fall under the same umbrella of trying to land a man. dont they? i mean really. at the very least its extreme male-pleasing, and samantha stops short of actually getting married or partnering off with one man instead of all men, but for fucks sake, the male-pleasing. did i say it was extreme? ugh.
normalizing reproductive stress and pain. yes. theres at least one pregnancy scare that im aware of: miranda finds herself pregnant and actually goes to have an abortion, and decides to keep the baby instead. carrie and berger have “bad sex” and this is treated as an anomaly, instead of addressing the truth of PIV-centric sex generally.
pathologizing menstruation. [none that i can recall?]
pathologizing older women and menopause/fetishizing female youth. yes. the fuckability and grooming practices obviously fetishize youth, and meanwhile the oldest one gets breast cancer: statistically i guess one of them had to get it, and the writers chose her. why?
normalizing simulated/exaggerated female pleasure from PIV and PIV-centric sex. yes. YES. YES!!!!1!!!!1!2!3!4 this is literally what i hear in my mind, when i think about this show. thanks kim cattrall!
rape and rape culture. yes. restrictive female clothing and high heeled shoes; drugs and alcohol; mens PIV-entitlement; runaway bride.