Ada, those SATC girls should totally go read some Judith Butler, and perhaps some Karl Marx. I mean, I like shoes as much as anyone–I used to work at fashion magazines!–but the movie is really a perfect example of what happens when feminism meets rampant capitalism.
And you are right, I feel like my life was filled with SATC types sometime in the early 2000s. I remember sitting in my office at Conde Nast with a publicist who was going to St. Barthes with her boyfriend for a long weekend. She told me that she had packed 12 bikinis—3 for each day—then leaned over my desk and half-whispered, “This better be the weekend he proposes.”
Well, yes, he obviously owes her an expensive ring, given to her on an expensive island, since she was so considerate as to work out, diet, and make a lot of money at her glamour job, enabling her to buy a whole bunch of bikinis and therefore look hot in a way that will surely increase his status. Fair trade!
GROSS. And I used to have to have conversations like this EVERY DAY.
Anyway, I want to hear more about what you have to say about men being 100% projection. Because I think what bugs me the most about SATC is not the girls’ interest in real estate—which really, really bugs me—but the way in which their acquisitiveness extends to relationships. It’s the focus on getting the husband and the princessy wedding and the ring and the way it is all articulated in a language of female empowerment—“deserving the best,” “winning the guy”—that is so super-gross to me that I just can’t get as excited as I’d like to about the show’s much-lauded feministy focus on female friendship.
Meanwhile, I like to think about what a female friendship movie would look like if we made it. The main characters would hang out in their Brooklyn apartments, which they most definitely do not own. During the day they would work and during the evening they would post to their blog, watch Clueless with friends, show each other dresses bought at American Apparel (though everyone would agree that Dov Charney is sexist and gross) or the local thrift store, and discuss Karen Finley’s performance art. Some of the friends would make more money than their male partners; some of them wouldn’t have or want male partners. The climax wouldn’t be a wedding, but a feminist media conference, where everyone is flouting gender norms. Wait, that’s too serious. How about a Beyonce-Taylor Swift-Lady Gaga triple-headliner show? With all the money donated to feminist causes, obvs.
One last thing: a lot of the stuff we’ve been talking about with 90swomen is definitely particular to white, middle-class women—from SATC to Bridget Jones to riot grrrl. I’m glad we’re starting to talk more about class, particularly since I think our generation has a very particular relationship to class. (Have you read The Rise of the Creative Class? A flawed, but interesting, and relevant book…. And maybe it’s almost time to discuss Lisa Carver? Because no one talks about sex and class and the 90s better than she does.