Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell has admitted that the popular HBO series based on her column for the New York Observer was ‘not very feminist’ — and she doesn’t think fans should ‘base their lives’ on the show.
The 62-year-old writer noted that while the series is ‘great’ and ‘funny,’ it’s just that — a television show — and there are plenty of fans who let it ‘guide’ them in life when it shouldn’t.
‘The TV show and the message were not very feminist at the end,’ she told the New York Post. ‘But that’s TV. That’s entertainment. That’s why people should not base their lives on a TV show.’
The 62-year-old writer said the HBO show based on her New York Observer column ‘really guides’ some fans but ‘people should not base their lives on a TV show’
‘It’s a great show, it’s really funny. But there are fans who … it’s like, that show really guides them,’ Bushnell said.
‘The reality is, finding a guy is maybe not your best economic choice in the long term. Men can be very dangerous to women in a lot of different ways.
‘We never talk about this, but that’s something that women need to think about: You can do a lot less … when you have to rely on a man.’
Bushnell insisted that her original column was not just about men or the act of sex — but rather, ‘sexiness’ as it applied to everything in life.
‘It was the larger idea of what’s sexy: Doing business is sexy, being ambitious is sexy, staying up until four in the morning and partying is sexy. Power conversation is sexy. Getting to the number-one table in the restaurant — that’s sexy,’ she said.
But she also reflected on some of the not-so-sexy stuff that came along with the New York social scene in the ’90s — like convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein.
She admitted the series ‘and the message were not very feminist at the end’
Bushnell also spoke about how ‘sexy’ New York was when she was writing about it, but admitted there were ‘landmines like Harvey Weinstein’
‘New York was sexy. It was exciting, but at the same time, it was filled with landmines like Harvey Weinstein,’ she added.
‘These men are freaking scary. I would actually look at these guys and I would think, “How could the women even be around them?”‘
The author had previously blasted Weinstein in a 2017 piece for the New York Times, writing: ‘He was a rolling ball of outsized bad habits. He smoked cigarette after cigarette, appeared to consume drink after drink. He was spitting, he was swearing. You had the feeling you didn’t want to p*** him off.’
One of Bushnell’s female friends once told her why she had consensual sex with a man with ‘flesh was so pockmarked, it appeared as if chewed by a wild beast.’
Her friend claimed Weinstein described her as ‘smart’ and ‘beautiful.’ The friend later revealed that despite his challenging appearance he was still ‘sexy’ in some bizarre fashion. He later bought her an Apple computer and gave her $30,000 to work on a screen play.
She asked: ‘Why harass all those women who don’t want to have sex with you when there are women who do, for whatever bizarre and personal and perhaps desperate reason?’
‘Unfortunately, we all know there are many more Harveys out there. It won’t be long before another one comes to light. The only question is: Who’s next?’ she added
Specifically, she called into question the focus of finding a man, saying: ‘Finding a guy is maybe not your best economic choice in the long term’
Bushnell is currently gearing up for the debut of her one-woman show, ‘Is There Still Sex in the City?’ which comes to New York next month.
Also on the horizon is HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like that — and while Bushnell had nothing to do with creating or writing the series, she intends to watch it.
She told the New York Post that she is not surprised that HBO is ‘going to exploit’ the show ‘as much as they can,’ but she hopes it’s a success because she gets ‘paid a little bit of money.’
Though she may not consider the show feminist, Bushnell has previouslyreflected on how it was ‘revolutionary’ for ‘single, childless women.’
‘It was revolutionary to see single women — single, childless women, mind you — in their 30s, making their way in the world and having active sex lives,’ Candace wrote for Australia’s Stellar Magazine last year.
‘Nowadays we wouldn’t blink, but back then in 1994, when I first started writing the column, people felt there was something wrong with these women,’ she said.
‘There were a lot of guys who were really threatened by it. I had men saying, “You’re ruining things!”‘ she recalled. ‘”Now the women are talking. Now my girlfriend’s asking me questions about this and that. Now she wants things.”‘