There was a time when taking a BuzzFeed personality quiz titled “Are You A Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, or Miranda?” and getting Miranda Hobbes as a result would sorely disappoint most diehard fans. Those days have lived their last breath. It’s 2018, the year that we finally recognize Miranda Hobbes as the most empowered, modern and soulful woman in “Sex and The City.”
Before we can appreciate Miranda to the fullest extent, we need to get to the bottom of her bottom standing. The “Sex and the City” character hierarchy is no joke. Since the show is centered around sex, the characters are expected to exude sexiness. The show crusades for women to embrace their sexualities, but the character hierarchy suggests that sexiness is determined by femininity.
Samantha Jones, a blonde, corporate queen with an affinity for younger men, is the sex Yoda of the group. Carrie Bradshaw, the show’s protagonist, is quirky, trendy, and totally girlfriend material. She runs her own sex column about her and her friends’ sexcapades, which makes her the sex expert of the bunch— and of the city. Charlotte York Goldenblatt is a sleek, ambitious and in-charge woman who is ready to be wifed. Meanwhile, Miranda, a lawyer with a pixie cut and more pantsuits than lipstick, does not exude the same feminine traits as her friends. In this context, sexuality is perceived as femininity, rather than simply as sexual expression. The show’s intention to challenge gender norms through Miranda’s character backfires because her hyper-feminine friends are glorified while she is swept to the side as the designated unattractive friend. More so, she is labeled as the “smart one” in the show, but her Harvard degree isn’t the center of positive attention, enforcing the belief that intelligent women are not nearly as valuable as attractive women.
“Sex and the City” tries to pass as progressively feminist by portraying career women in a bustling city taking control of their dating lives. But behind the show’s predominantly white cast are the underlying social norms that encourage men to pursue the most feminine women and for women to believe their desirability stretches only as far as their femininity. Miranda pushes against these norms as she shows how women can conquer both in the courtroom and in the bedroom. So why would anyone be upset to be the Miranda Hobbes of their group?