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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Is the ‘taxi theory’ from Sex and the City correct?

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Do men just marry the first woman they find after deciding to settle down? Let’s understand what the “Taxi Theory” says about that!

“Men are like cabs. When they’re available, their light goes on. They wake up one day and decide they’re ready to settle down, have babies, whatever, and they turn their light on. The next woman they pick up — boom! That’s the woman they marry.” – Miranda Hobbes, Sex and The City, Season 3, Episode 8

The “Taxi Theory” says, in a nutshell, that men decide to marry and settle down on a random Tuesday night, probably watching a football play, and then the first woman they meet will be the new Mrs. Wifey.

As our favorite New Yorker lawyer Miranda Hobbes said: “It’s not fate, it’s dumb luck”

Men only marry when they are ready. Not when they’ve found “the one”, or when they’ve reached the milestone of five years in a relationship (the common sense time to start planning a wedding), but exclusively when they feel like the time has come.

That way, we women have to be lucky enough (or unlucky, call it what you want) to find this man when his light is on. 

Isn’t that a luxury? The privilege of not stressing over marriage or commitment only until you feel like doing it?

Certainly, not a benefit given to women. 

Women are raised expecting that a white knight (if possible, one with good hair and taller than 5’10 feet) will come and save them. As children, we dream obsessively about our wedding day, play house, and take care of our dolls with much tenderness. 

Meanwhile, boys are stimulated to shoot themselves with their “Nerf” pistols, play with mini Hot Wheels monster trucks, and do nothing related to initiating a family or hoping for a partner.

And I would never complain about that. A kid shouldn’t worry about those kinds of things, right? 

But why doesn’t it apply to girls?  Why are women stimulated with the idea of marriage and having babies since childhood, instead of, I don’t know, simply playing with a glittery Nerf as well?

Therefore, if we are chronically exposed to the idea that love is one of the biggest achievements in a woman’s life, isn’t that why girls are usually more interested in commitment than men?

While explaining the “Taxi Theory”, Miranda punctuated that we have been searching for love for as long as we can remember, opposing to men, who don’t even look for it, but simply commit when is timely:

“Most men don’t stay lit (with the taxi light on) for long before they take the plunge. Versus most women, who’ve been lit pretty much since birth.” 

As a result, in this misogynist society that we live in, things happen two ways:

Men can work on their careers, personal development, and try different relationships freely. All they’ll be called for are “Hard-working”, “Focused”, and “Disciplined”. 

On the contrary, women around the age of thirty who have achieved professional success but are not married to a man yet, are often seen as “Workaholics”, “Lonely” and are the object of pity by society.

Likewise, being a successful adult woman in modern society, despite your job and wealth, is only validated when you are happily ever married to a man. 

Above all, the “Taxi Theory” is truly about the fact that men are the ones who hold the power to decide relationship status and when a woman will be chosen.

The concept that women are “fated to be chosen by men” comes from my latest reading: “Aurora, O Despertar da Mulher Exausta” which translates to “Aurora, The Wakening of an Exhausted Woman”.

The Brazilian author, Marcela Ceribelli, quotes an interesting theory created by Professor Valeska Zanello called “ The Shelves of Love”.  This analogy connects the marketing strategies Supermarkets use to sell specific products to how the beauty standards organize women in society. 

When you go into a Supermarket lane, the products are all strategically placed, for example, certain food brands, that are less popular and looked for, are put on higher shelves with more difficult access.  On the other hand, the most searched-for brands, are put on easy-access shelves, where they can be taken with no struggle.

Valeska Zanello says that women are also put on display in society. The most attractive ones, according to society’s stereotypes, occupy the easy-access shelves and are most likely to be chosen, loved, and validated by a man. The opposite happens to those who dont attend the same standards.  Hence, she says: 

“We need to deconstruct the idea that we are merchandise displayed on a shelf, where men choose when we are worthy of being taken home.”

For last, women should not be put in a position of having no choice over their love lives. If you want to get married or not, If a man is not sure if he wants you, If you are in a so-called “situationship” that does not attend to your needs anymore:

Advocate the power of making the choice! Don’t wait around for a man to decide to turn on his light. 

Take one for the team, show this man he will not be the one making decisions about YOUR life, and most importantly: 

Don’t be just another “Carrie Bradswah” in a world full of annoyingly charming but dangerous “Mister Bigs”.


The article above was edited by Anna Maria Prado .

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My name is Nicole Dominguez, I am a 19-year-old Brazilian student. Currently, I am enrolled at the university Casper Libero and majoring in Journalism. My main interests are literature, politics, fashion, social media, cinema, and all kinds of music, especially Latin American artists.