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Printer Version. Charlotte: The women's movement is supposed to be about choice and if I choose to quit my job, that is my choice. Miranda: The women's movement? Jesus Christ, I haven't even had coffee yet. 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 is the only one who, throughout the show, expresses a serious in her case, very serious desire to marry and have children.
Charlotte follows dating "rules" such as restricting intimacy on a first date so that she will be viewed as marriage material. Every Sex in Charlotte ok she meets is sized up as a potential husband. Dating is regarded as a competitive sport and Charlotte plays to win. In "The Chicken Dance" episode 19in her role as a bridesmaid she is paired up with an eligible groomsman. Before the wedding cake is cut she imagines their future as husband and wife, asking him loaded questions like how many children he wants to have.
In another episode, "Where There's Smoke" episode 31Charlotte decides to start spending time with her married rather than single friends in the hopes they will introduce her to marriageable men. 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.
While Carrie and Miranda often complain about their relationships or lack thereof, neither they nor the brash Samantha fantasize about marriage or motherhood and a traditional feminine life the way Charlotte does. Traditional feminine expectations fall heavily on Charlotte's shoulders as the other three women are mostly portrayed as happily inept at or uninterested in cooking, cleaning, and other homemaking tasks. For Charlotte, fulfilling traditional roles is a fantasy to be realized with elegance. After getting married then separated, and then reunited with her husbandCharlotte decides it is time to quit her job.
This plays out in season 4, in "Time and Punishment" episode As a successful curator of an art gallery, she is giving up a career she loves and clearly feels ambivalent about doing so. When Charlotte reveals her intentions to her friends they appear stunned and exchange only slightly veiled disapproving looks as Charlotte explains why she wants to stay home. When she says that there are more meaningful things she could do with her life, Miranda presses for details.
Charlotte states:. Well, soon I'll be pregnant and that'll be huge. Plus I'm redecorating the apartment and I always wanted to take one of those Indian cooking classes. And sometimes I'll walk by one of those Color Me Mine pottery places and I'll see a woman having just a lovely afternoon glazing a bowl. That'd be a nice change. Her friends stare at her, wide-eyed in shock that Charlotte would give up her job in order to do things they view as less meaningful, even trivial.
After a silence, and seemingly as a means of justifying her decision, Charlotte adds, "And I wanted to volunteer at Trey's hospital and raise Sex in Charlotte ok for the new pediatric AIDS wing. In this exchange and for the remainder of the scene, Charlotte's decision to enter a life of domesticity—historically the domain and Sex in Charlotte ok of women—is perceived negatively by the other women.
The very idea that Charlotte is willing to give up her career is inconceivable to her friends. By making Charlotte the minority voice in this situation, the writers and producers of Sex and the City have done something interesting and novel.
They allow the traditional feminine voice to be rejected rather than rewarded, while the voices of the career-focused workers-not-wives dominate. Throughout the history of television, there have been few independent women characters with both masculine and feminine characteristics, without such traits being the subject of humor or ridicule. Most strong women characters, particularly those who have masculine traits such as aggression, a work-focused identity, or aversions to marriage, children, or both, have either been connected to a man and thus feminized as wives, mothers, or daughters or balanced by feminine characters who perform gender appropriately.
When Murphy demonstrates ineptitude at cooking or parenting, Corky is there to help. In allowing Murphy to be disciplined by Corky, and constructing Corky's way of doing things the feminine way as the right way, Murphy's identity and possibility as a feminist character is implicitly chastised and limited. In "Time and Punishment," the reverse scenario plays out. Charlotte's aspirations toward domesticity are clearly viewed as the "wrong" way of doing things or the wrong goals, and Charlotte herself is well aware of this. She becomes increasingly defensive throughout the episode as she justifies her decision to stop working and even lies in order to make her choice seem less frivolous.
When she interviews women to replace her, a candidate asks how Charlotte can give up such a great job. Initially, Charlotte replies, "Well, I'm married and we're planning on a baby. In this incident, as when she told her friends, Charlotte knows that if she mentions a desire to do something beyond being a wife and future mother, in this case volunteer work for an important social cause, then she will not be judged as negatively for quitting her job.
In this sense, Charlotte is cognizant that choosing to stay at home is not viewed positively for upper-middle-class women.
Yet, at the same time, Charlotte seems to be aware of the importance of the domestic role. In twenty-first-century American society, women, like their mothers and grandmothers were, are socialized and encouraged to view marriage and child rearing as goals they should want to achieve. Thus, Charlotte's ambivalence toward her decision is indicative of the conflicting demands modern women face. As psychology professor and scholar on the subject of motherhood Michele Hoffnung writes, "There are two sets of expectations for women.
There are those made possible by industrialization—individuality, successful accomplishment, equality. 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 — Women have been taught that they should be successful in both of these domains, which is extremely difficult because the demands of one conflict with the other.
Women often have to choose, as Charlotte does, between career and family—and the writers of Sex and the City suggest that it is OK, and maybe even preferable, for women to choose or even prefer work. Of course, most women do not have the choice to choose either one or the other—most do not have the limitless financial resources that Charlotte and the other women seem to have.
And even for those with careers, the reality of trying to successfully balance work and family often in frustration, anger, and resentment given the impossibility of "having it all" Clemetson et al. Issue 3.
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. Charlotte states: Well, soon I'll be pregnant and that'll be huge.Sex in Charlotte ok
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