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  • Raygen Magiera

Candace Bushnell's 'Sex and the City' Show at The Artscape: Beyond Fashion and Feminism

I recently had the opportunity to attend Candace Bushnell's "Sex and the City" show at Artscape. Not being a die-hard follower of the series, I walked in with no preconceived expectations. My connection to the show had always been centered around its iconic fashion, which I've admired since its inception. Although I couldn't directly relate to the themes presented in the show, I was intrigued by the chance to witness it live. By the time "Sex and the City" arrived in South Africa, I was already married and pursuing a successful career, firmly believing that women could indeed have it all with the right partner.

My primary motivation for attending the show was, as I mentioned, the fashion, but little did I know that it would shed light on the fact that the life of Carrie Bradshaw was rooted in Candace Bushnell's own experiences. However, the show's format left me somewhat disappointed, feeling outdated both in terms of the outfits and the frequent provocative scenes, reminiscent of something out of a Sharon Stone film.

One cannot deny the remarkable journey and success that Candace Bushnell has achieved. Yet, I found myself pondering a question throughout the show: Why, at the age of 64, did she feel the need to create a one-woman show to recount the origins of "Sex and the City"? Was she attempting to champion a feminist movement that resonated with her series' viewers? The audience's reactions, especially from the women seated in front of me, suggested that Bushnell has a dedicated following who admire the life lessons she imparts in her show. Some of these lessons include beliefs that men always lie, married women avoid befriending single women, all men cheat, and all marriages are not what they appear to be on the surface.

So, what exactly is this show trying to promote? Is it a message of distrust in men? Does it convey that true love is a myth, and women must be like a "Mr. Big" to attain what they desire? Does becoming a "Mr. Big" mean emulating men in terms of casual relationships? As someone celebrating my 21st anniversary with the love of my life, having only truly loved one man, I can't help but challenge these notions. In my experience, men are just as capable of loving deeply as women. I refuse to believe that I'm the only woman who feels this way.

In today's climate, discussions about men often revolve around their shortcomings in treating women with the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, there is limited conversation about the men who genuinely respect and wholeheartedly love the women in their lives. It's my sincere hope that this conversation begins soon. As a mother of two young men, I hope they never feel automatically categorized as unworthy partners simply because they are male. It's essential to recognize that goodness exists in all genders, and we should promote the idea that love, respect, and equality are values to be celebrated by everyone.


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