Almost any time I read about a group of women in a fashion magazine, I end up reading an alignment with each of the four: the one that’s prudish and controlling is a “total Charlotte.” The one who is slutty – “Samantha.” The one who works hard and has no patience with bullshit is “Miranda.” The one with no salient characteristics is “Carrie” although sometimes a girl gets “Carried” for no other reason than that she’s a writer…or knows how to write…the alphabet.
I enjoyed Sex and the City. The show opened the door to discussions at home that left some men crawling under the table and hiding, but also invited them and the women in their lives to be happier and discuss – and ultimately enjoy – sex more. And thankfully it gave us a perspective on women that is so much more interesting and complex than the Madonna/Whore, or from the Pagan perspective, the Maiden/Mother/Crone archetypal limits. These women, not even Samantha, were whores. They were working, educated women who were trying to make the best choices for their lives and not always succeeding.
The show succeeded in breaking that limited dualistic stereotype (or three options box among Pagans, for those who watched it.) Unfortunately, nature and the human psyche abhorr a vacuum. So while the Madonna/whore stereotype is now being used less and less, in its place is the Sex and the City trope. Women are more complex than chaste or not – but not MUCH more, since now she must be likened to one of these four characters. It’s getting profoundly annoying to read stories about groups of women who hang out together who either align themselves by SATS, or who are described by authors with very little adjective command.
Women make up 51% of the world’s population, so why do we only get three or four archetypes to work from?