Sex, the City, and the Feminist

Manifesta

Maura Church

My crime unfurled like a Clue accusation: Maura Church, in the living room, with the remote control. My eyes glued to the TV screen, I hardly noticed as my mom crept into the room. “Are you watching Sex and the City?!” she screeched. I was trapped.

Growing up in a household of strong women—my mom a dedicated pediatrician and my older sister a smart and snarky feminist—I was taught early on that women should be opinionated and independent. By the time I was a teenager, I considered myself a feminist, and by age sixteen I was writing research papers on lesbian feminism in the sixties and subscribing to the feminist publication Bust. It went without saying, then, that Sex and the City was the most chauvinistic, anti-feminist show on television. My mom slashed the show’s women-as-sex-objects story lines and its racy content. Yet there I sat, remote in hand, hanging on…

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