As a successful curator of an art gallery, she is giving up a career she loves and clearly feels ambivalent about doing so. In this episode of Sex and the City, when Charlotte refers to the women's movement, she seems to be referring to the idea that women have been "liberated" or freed from the constraints of patriarchy and are able to work and attain success at levels similar to those attained by men. While Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and sometimes Charlotte, act in ways that are decidedly feminist e. Her defensiveness, which comes through forcefully in a subsequent phone conversation with Miranda, implies that she realizes that she might have regrets about not working and that she has internalized the message that she should work. Her wealthy doctor husband presented the option to her as a gift of sorts, as if to say, "I give you permission to stay home," and Charlotte fails to acknowledge that her choice is made possible only by her subsequent economic dependence on her husband. The multibillion dollar weight-loss industry has capitalized on this as well. In fact, Charlotte's own insecurities about her decision and her concerns regarding how she would be judged also communicate the idea that work is and should be important to women. Rather, Charlotte's construction and employment of her own breed of feminism is depicted as one-dimensional, inappropriate, and certainly not feminist.
For Charlotte, fulfilling traditional roles is a fantasy to be realized with elegance. Rather, Charlotte's construction and employment of her own breed of feminism is depicted as one-dimensional, inappropriate, and certainly not feminist. This both oversimplifies and misinterprets liberal feminist goals, while still promoting the critical sentiment that women are diverse, and that one woman's decision of what to do with her body or her life should be in her hands, in spite of what her friends, family, or society at large may say. As Susan Douglas argues, industries ranging from beauty L'Oreal's "I'm worth it" to tobacco Virginia Slims' "You've come a long way, baby" have traded on feminist ideas of "women's rights" to indulge, to take "pleasure" in themselves and to pursue their interests, to do what men can do. When a show avoids using the word feminist—seemingly because of its still-stigmatized connotations in the age of postfeminism—it is difficult to interpret the show as such. The Trouble with Liberal Feminism Since the Home Box Office HBO is less constrained by a push for network-TV-like ratings and, given that it generates revenue from its viewers and is thus not dependent on advertising dollars, its programs' producers can instead focus on crafting intricate story lines that allow for the complexity of characters. Then there are those born of the patriarchal tradition—the public domain belongs to men, wives and their services belong to their husbands, and family life is the responsibility of women" Hoffnung — Charlotte follows dating "rules" such as restricting intimacy on a first date so that she will be viewed as marriage material. They allow the traditional feminine voice to be rejected rather than rewarded, while the voices of the career-focused workers-not-wives dominate. After getting married then separated, and then reunited with her husband , Charlotte decides it is time to quit her job. Growing Up Female with the Mass Media. For example, bell hooks attributes the divisions within early second-wave feminism to the fact that women from different racial and class groups have different interests. When, for example, she accuses Miranda of judging her and exclaims, "You think I'm one of those women. While HBO should be lauded for presenting women characters who are more complex, over the age of 30, career-oriented, and not solely wives or mothers, there are some problematic representations that should be addressed. She argues that many poor or working class women would have relished the opportunity to stay at home with their children, but this was not an economically viable choice. In "The Chicken Dance" episode 19 , in her role as a bridesmaid she is paired up with an eligible groomsman. This is a tactic that has been used by the media and advertisers in order to manipulate women into buying products or ideas about self-improvement under the guise that they deserve to be self-indulgent, that women have put themselves second or last for too long. The Trouble with Charlotte From the beginning of the series, Charlotte York is portrayed as the most innocent of the four women on Sex and the City—the most innocent, the most conservative, and the most easily embarrassed by graphic sex talk. She shouts into the phone repeatedly, "I choose my choice! Rowman and Allanheld, Without being explicitly feminist, Sex and the City still promotes feminist themes and provides four independent women characters space to be like real women—fallible, complicated, good, bad, and diverse. Furthermore, Charlotte's use of the women's movement as support for her decision co-opts feminist ideas in order to suit her purposes, and liberal feminism's simplistic premise unfortunately lends itself well to such appropriation. Not only have advertisers used feminist themes to sell products by encouraging narcissism, but as Arlie Hochschild demonstrates, other media have done so as well. So eager to wed is Charlotte that one month after meeting a man who she feels is an appropriate match, she blurts out a proposal, going against her own rules and expectations for how such a union should begin. When she demands that Miranda support her decision, Charlotte claims that, given the women's movement, she has the right to choose whether or not she should stay home.
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