Sex and the City as female financial fantasy

Women could break taboos around sex - not money

As many women of my generation, I used to watch Sex and the City and only later realised how FULL OF SHIT it was.

(But yes it was often well made).

Now the show is up for a reboot. And this made me think about how so many things marketed at women as “romance” are actually financial fantasies.

I’m not talking about how Carrie Bradshaw is able to afford ONE MILLION designer shoes on a freelancer income. I’m talking about how she has to end up with a superrich plutocrat.

It was EXACTLY the same for the English female icon of the same era: Bridget Jones. She is single, she is in the city. She does many things that previously only male characters were allowed to do. But she still has to end up with Mark Darcy…

And Mark Darcy is LOADED.

When Jane Austen wrote the novel that Bridget Jones is based on (back in 1813), the fact that Mark Darcy was LOADED was kind of the whole point. Elizabeth Bennet falls in love with him after seeing his house… COME ON!!

And in Jane Austen I have no problems with this. After all, Elizabeth Bennet didn’t have many other economic options. My point is that both Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw did.

They were both hailed as taboo-breaking examples of a new type of liberated woman. Through their stories we were told that a woman could have sex (“like a man”), binge drink, be funny, put her friends before her romantic partners, be terrible at cooking, and (in Bridget Jones’ case) not even have to be a size 0.

BUT in the end the prince still had to come riding in on his BIG FAT WALLET…

Christian Grey in 50 shades of Grey is a BILLIONAIRE. It’s not enough for him to be a millionaire, he has to be a BILLIONAIRE. And I think that’s kind of key.

These are fantasies marketed at women.


So I couldn’t help but wonder…

What was is it with this era of popular culture that keeps presenting women to us who break all sorts of sexual taboos but still can’t break a single one around money?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Thursday!