Sex and the State

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By Jorja Rose '18

Nothing makes me nostalgic for the softer neoliberalism of the late 90’s/early 00’s like Sex and the State, the iconic six-season saga that follows four Marxist babes as they seek love in a violently capitalist world.  The show taught me everything I know about female friendship, good peen, and seizing the means of production.  If you’ve never seen it, you’re missing out on all the secrets of empowered boning -- and you’ll definitely be missing out when the worldwide proletariat joins in revolt and you don’t even know what “dialectical materialism” means.  Here, I get in depth about some of the most memorable episodes.  

Season 1, Episode 1:  Who could resist those first shots of main character Carrie Bradshaw smiling in her white tutu, before pointing a finger at a bus with her face on it and crying, “There -- that’s the State trying to co-opt my journalistic critique of them, all to make a profit off my labor!”  Further on in the episode, Carrie rubs shoulders with the infamous Mr. Big, but she sees right through his charm -- “BIG” is obviously just a shortening of “Bourgeois pIG.”  When he pulls up his limo beside her in an attempt to seduce her, she throws a molotov cocktail through the open window, effectively eliminating Mr. Big as a plot point.  

Season 1, Episode 10:  Tensions flare when the girls attend a friend’s baby shower (no gifts allowed, only communist sentiments).  Their pregnant friend gives a searing feminist critique of Marxist theory, alleging that Marx never properly address gendered divisions of labor.  Charlotte doesn’t like to see her dear Marx put down and exits in a huff, but reenters once she grasps that feminist Marxist futures can only be realized through radical solidarity with other women.  Girl talk.  

Season 2, Episode 2:  Could the “petite bourgeoisie” of Samantha’s new squeeze be -- how do I put this -- a little too petite?  In a couple’s counseling office, Samantha delivers her most iconic line: “What can I say?  I need a big dick.  And a copy of Das Kapital, which is like a big dick because it is literally almost 2,500 pages long and every wannabe philosopher I’ve ever met has told me to take a look at his.”  

Season 4, Episode 16:  The girls oust Carrie for her Manolo Blahnik obsession.  After an impassioned Charlotte yells at her, “Do you even care about dismantling late-stage capitalism?!” Carrie confronts the exploitative repercussions of her shameful consumerism, burning all her shoes and redirecting her energies towards distributing “Communist Manifesto” pamphlets.

Season 5, Episode 2:  Steve’s family urges Miranda to baptize her newborn infant, but she resists and patiently teaches them all how religion is just a ruse meant to thwart the development of a proletarian class consciousness.  Then they all take up arms and organize a city-wide worker’s strike.  Wow, we are all Miranda, am I right?

Sex and the State THE MOVIE, #2: The girls travel to the United Arab Emirates where they must apply their Marxist critiques to a new kind of State -- the Oil State.  In this fun and nostalgic spectacle, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha giggle over such confessions as “I just kissed someone who’s not my husband” and “Man, I think maybe my own upper-middle-class white privilege has been coloring the way I use Marxism to assess the world, and I need to leave this place immediately and confront my own role in the colonial power structure.”  

Malia Guyer-Stevens