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Life Lessons from Sex & the City:  What We Can Learn from Samantha Jones

When I think of the bustling scene that is New York City, I can’t help but be reminded of my love for the queen of the concrete jungle— Samantha Jones.  With her audacious flair and charming wit, Samantha took the city and viewers by storm in Sex and the City.  From her triumphs and disasters, Samantha imparted many lessons on me that I believe have greatly influenced my views on relationships, sexuality and myself.

#1: It’s a Man’s World, So Let’s Live in It

At face value, I realize this life lesson may seem contradictory to my overall point in female empowerment.  I have spent my life complaining about men and their abuses of women, and about the patriarchy that always seems like a dark cloud hanging over females across the world.  However, I learned something from Samantha on this specific subject that I found particularly revolutionary.  Instead of trying to change men, Samantha behaved like a man.  Now everyone knows good and well there is no right or wrong way to behave as a reflection of your gender identity. But my point here is that instead of chasing after emotionally toxic men who send mixed signals and use women for their own gain (a situation in which many of us have faced), Samantha decided to fight the feminist battle from behind enemy lines.  Instead of trying to “fix” men, she chose to harness her emotions and efforts into treating them exactly how they treated women.  This was mind-blowing to me, because I have so often seen women feel that the only way to date or explore their sexuality is by following the “traditional woman” model of latching onto a single guy and obsessing over him until he commits to you.  Samantha knew her worth, and that the guys in her life would behave however they wanted to, so she simply did the same.  This broke a lot of mental chains for me, because Samantha taught me that I can have relationships on my own terms and not on the terms of society’s view of how a woman should behave.

#2:  Embrace Emotions, Even if They are Unwanted or Novel

Out of the entire SATC franchise, one of my all-time favorite scenes is when Samantha receives a call from one of her lovers (who happened to be married, of course) in which he says “My marriage is over! I told my wife about us!” and she simply responds by asking, “Who is this?”.  This scene lives in infamy in my mind because it reflects Samantha’s sometimes callous manner towards the men who she was involved with, but also the fact that she didn’t feel obligated to be emotionally attached to a man, just because a man may be to her.  This ties into the previous lesson I mentioned, but I want to expand on the emotionality component with this next point.  Samantha felt little to no emotions for 99.9% of the men she dated or hooked up with, but when that .1% came along, she honored her feelings and became vulnerable.  Though it took some prodding for Samantha to be fully involved with Richard and Smith, she ultimately realized that it was okay to let go of her normal patterns in honor of what she was feeling.  I think that all too often we get stuck in our ways and completely shut off the possibility of exploring other dimensions of ourselves, simply because it is easier to remain as we are than be bold and risk heartbreak.  I really admire Samantha because she never forced herself to feel, or not to feel, but rather treated her relationships as an extension of herself and used her intuition to guide how to navigate each dynamic she entered into.

In conclusion, I think Samantha Jones is one of the most radical (and necessary) media characters the world has ever seen.  We have seen the “girl next door” or the “beautiful seductress” played out a million times, but Samantha was the first female character to really break out of these female stereotypes and embrace her identity as a woman who loved her career, sex, and friends.  I have learned more than I ever thought I could from Samantha, and I will carry some of her iconic moments with me forever.

Hey! My name is Ashton, and I am a Sophomore at the University of Tampa. I am a Psychology major and I love to read, make Youtube videos and the color pink!
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