In 2002, a New York Times columnist critically described Sex And The City as nothing more than four “self-absorbed and vain” women living in “a time warp of free love without consequence”. The journalist, a woman herself, not only sent feminism back 40 years in a single sentence, she failed to recognise the lasting influence strong female characters like Carrie Bradshaw would bring to the sisterhood and television scripts hereafter. The way the heroine decoded, addressed and broke up with the men in her life created a passport for women across the world to stride in their Manolo Blahniks, never tottering around a man again.
Carrie’s philosophy was simple: “Men in New York were like crossword puzzles; tricky, complicated and you’re never really sure if you’ve got the right answer.” Now, 17 years after that New York Times post (and nearly 21 years since the first episode aired), those SATC quotes are more relevant in relationships than ever and have no doubt influenced scriptwriters to pen female characters in more independent and financially powerful roles, irrespective of a man (Big Little Lies and The Morning Show we’re looking at you). They’ve also taught us some pretty poignant lessons about relationships. As we celebrate it’s Parker touching down in Oz, take a look at some of Carrie’s best (with our favourite being her reaction to the post-it break-up).
QUOTE 1. “Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than Butterflies…”
QUOTE 2.“I will not be the first one to speak. And if he never calls me again, I’ll always think of him fondly, as an asshole.”
QUOTE 3. “You can have the guts and the courtesy to tell a woman to her face that you no longer want to see her. Call me crazy, but I think you can make a point about ending a relationship that does not include an email, a doorman or a missing person’s report. There is a good way to break up with someone and it doesn’t include a post-it!”
QUOTE 4. “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.”
QUOTE 5: “Somewhere out there is another little freak who will love us and understand us and kiss our three heads and make it all better.”
QUOTE 6. “When men attempt bold gestures, generally it’s considered romantic. When women do it, it’s often considered desperate or psychotic.”
QUOTE 7. “Single and fabulous, exclamation point.”
QUOTE 8. ‘The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun’.
QUOTE 9. “All righty? He said all righty? Now I’m thinking the upsetting thing isn’t that you proposed, it’s that you proposed to a guy that says “all righty.”
quote 10. “There’s a fine line between pleasure and pain. In fact, it’s a common belief that a relationship without pain is a relationship not worth having. To some, pain implies growth. But how we know when the growing pains stop and the pain pains take-over? Are we masochists or optimists if we continue to walk that fine line? When it comes to relationships, how do you know when enough is enough?”
Cover Image: Instagram @misshattan
Tile image: HBO