My friends probably won’t believe that I’m going to skip the next (rumored) Sex and the City movie. And it’s not because Chris Noth, the actor who played Mr. Big, just called the Carrie Bradshaw character a “whore” in an interview with news.com.au. He was joking. Lighten up, people. But no … it was something else he said that was much more important.
You see, back in the day (let’s acknowledge that the show went off the air 10 … TEN … years ago), I was 100% in love with SATC. I threw viewing parties with my friends; I took the “which SATC character are you” quiz (Miranda); heck, I even have the SATC board game.
The show did its job: It made me feel empowered to brag about my sex life and entitled to bitch about the men in my life.
But since the show went off the air, my feelings about it began to evolve. The shows are readily available on syndication, and I’ve certainly indulged. But I began to realize that binge-watching SATC while drinking homemade cosmos and eating ultra-rich ice cream wasn’t fulfilling anymore. In fact, it was downright depressing.
And then I began writing this blog, collecting my man cards and tapping into the way guys think. When watching the episodes now, the male bashing and whining exhaust me. While I still hold Samantha’s character in high regard, I now see Miranda as a self-absorbed workaholic and Charlotte as trapped in tradition, but not in a good way. Carrie is truly the biggest disappointment of all, constantly sidelining the men’s perspective and demanding they bend to her will, or be kicked to the curb.
When I asked a more-enlightened-than-most man-card-sharing friend for his take on SATC, he replied, “I think my male friends would agree with me here. We didn’t just avoid SATC because it was a chick show and didn’t interest us. We actively shunned it,” he says. “It was because the show was giving off a vibe like it was in the know about modern adult relationships, and it was sharing its ‘secrets’ with women at large and for the most part those ‘secrets’ were twisted or distorted or just plain inaccurate.”
Wait. I give away secrets in my ManCard Chick blog, too, though. “ManCard Chick makes me and other guys a little uncomfortable because it is sharing our inner workings, but at least it’s doing it honestly,” my friend ensures. “SATC was pretending to do that but was really broadcasting a lot of fantasy and hyperbole in lieu of gritty honesty. … SATC tried to empower women not by lifting them up but by tearing us down.”
I will concede this: In the mid-2000s, we needed to see SATC, and we needed to realize that some men didn’t seem to be even trying to come close to our expectations for a successful relationship. Today, I believe we need to adjust our expectations to a more realistic, and ultimately more loving, acceptance toward the men in our lives. Yes, they need to not be dogs and try to make the relationship work, but no, it’s not just all about what we — women — insist upon. We’ve been fighting for equal, right? But is it, or has the pendulum swung too far the other way in terms of relationship demands?
Need proof? Answer this: How many 30-35 year old friends do you have who are still single and childless, but don’t prefer to be? I’ll let you dive deeper into the reasoning on your own.
The truth is that we need to break away from the false hopes and endless nagging that are at the heart of what subliminally frustrates modern women as they pass on man after man who just simply aren’t perfect enough for them. Do they really date a series of pot-smoking dudes who live with mom, premature-ejaculating writers, ADHD-addled musicians and politicians with urine fetishes? Not likely. And SATC inflated the imperfections of men beyond repair.
Noth, in his interview, nails it:
“[Mr. Big] was what he was. One of the things I tell people is that he never tried to pretend he was anything other than what he was. It was [Carrie] who tried to pretend he was something he wasn’t. He was always honest about himself — he never cheated on her. The relationship just didn’t work …”
So if Michael Patrick King and Darren Star want to create a SATC3 in which Mr. Big is finally portrayed as a human and Carrie owns up to her narcissism, count me in. But if it’s more of the same from 10 years ago, well, sorry, guys. I couldn’t help but … move on.