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Sex and the City and Girls are two of the most popular shows targeted towards a female audience in the last two decades.

 

None will forget the opening montage of Sex and the City with Sarah Jessica Parker in her nude, barely there nightie running aimlessly through the streets of NYC, and Lena Dunham became a household name virtually overnight at the broadcast of the first Girls episode.Cynthia Nixon,Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, and Kristin Davis from "Sex in the City 2."

 

In SATC, Parker’s gaggle of gals became the staple of every girl group across America because of their “fearless” sexual conversations on a scripted show about “career” women....and Girls has become arguably the most controversial comedy since it hit the airwaves two seasons ago. At the onset of their debuts, both female-driven shows became both adored and abhorred by loyal viewers whether in spite (or despite) of the characters’ flaws and strengths.

 

But what have SATC and Girls really done for the modern day feminist movement to date?  In SATC, women marveled at the outlandish fashion and the characters’ conversations about their sexual encounters, however the characters never (with the exception of Samantha) defied the glass ceilings that exist for many women in their positions.  At one point in the series, Carrie had relationship problems because her career was much more successful at the time than her men.

 

Despite the commitment to their careers, their lives still revolved around men. They were women living in a man's world, and doing well, but they never made it a “woman’s world.” Perhaps they saw a man’s world through a woman’s eyes, but their lives and happiness were still run by men (i.e. Mr. Big, Aiden, etc.).  For the better part of the show, Carrie spent her time pining over Mr. Big, a man who continually let her down, cheated on her, and demeaned her.  

 

Perhaps SATC was exhilarating at first.  For the first time in television history, women didn’t just have an opinion on sex, they owned their sexuality as well. They dressed sexy to prove a point, not necessarily because they were proactively chasing sex.  But the end of the day, despite their lavish lifestyles, were still insecure about their role as single women in modern society. They were women who felt self-conscious in their 30s as “single.”  That doesn’t exactly scream, “I am woman, hear me roar,” like Shoshanna in last season’s Girls.Girls photo: diaryyummymummy.blogspot.com

 

So what did they do to advance the women’s movement? Nothing, really.  As a young woman in her twenties, I don’t see the characters of SATC or Girls as any role models at all.  In fact, they seem just as vulnerable and scared as any 19-year old woman in college, or young female professional like the characters in Girls, and perhaps that is why so many of us at that age loved the show, and now brush it off as a “guilty pleasure” in our late 20s and early 30s.

 

As for Girls, it is merely a prequel to Sex and the City.  It doesn’t make young females look strong or intelligent.  It makes them look silly and emotional. How can one forget the scene in the latest Girls season where Marni lost her cool over her ex-boyfriend and does a cringe-worthy rendition of Kanye West’s “Stronger.”

 

Mostly, “Girls” is a reminder of how naive young women are in their 20s, and the bad choices that can result from such naivete.  But it does so in such an aggressive and sloppy manner that it’s off-putting to this generation of young women.

 

The modern day feminist movement exists, but hopefully women don’t look to Sex and the City or Girls for inspiration.

 

Contact Alyssa Bonk at abonk08@gmail.com

Find Alyssa on Google Plus here

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Check out more of Alyssa's work at Blocktalkradio.com/backroompolitics, Luckandhustle.blogspot.com and Smart Girl Politics

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SATC photo: Warner Bros

Girls photo: diaryyummymummy.blogspot.com