Carrie Bradshaw

It’s funny I am doing a character biopsy of Carrie Bradshaw because she is a writer and does the exact same thing for a living.  Sex and the City  is a famous show featuring four women friends, who wade through life having each other’s back. All four are pretty strong characters in their own right, but the one that moved me the most is Carrie.  She lives in NY and is weekly columnist for New York Observer.

The first thing that made me feel connected with her was the fact that she was a writer AND she wrote about relationships, feminism, sexual freedom and promiscuity. Carrie falls in love with a certain Mr. Big, handsome but commitment phobic. Mr. Big develops cold feet on the day of their wedding, leaving Carrie at the altar. She is angry, depressed, and dejected all at the same time. While all her friends tell her that they have never trusted Mr. Big, Carrie still cannot believe it. This stuff always happens in the movies. Or to other people. For her, she had the perfect relationship. She had been hit by a running train.

Carrie is a deeply emotional person and a hopeless romantic at that. She loves Mr. Big deeply and wants him to reciprocate the same. But Mr. Big is commitment phobic and is quite open about it. But Carrie is so deeply in love with him that  even when she confronts the truth, she doesn’t want to accept it. She wants to go right back to the safety of the knowledge that Mr.Big loves her as much as she does. Eventually as she and Mr.Big break up, she takes a long time to come to terms with it. 

After a few inconsequential one night stands, she ends with the very sincere Aidan. He, is exactly what Carrie thinks she wanted. He is all things that Carrie ever wanted in Big. Aidan loves her deeply, for the person that she is. He never has any qualms admitting it either. For sometime, everything goes well. They even get engaged and Carrie thinks that  he is the one for her until one day, she bumps into Mr. Big at a party. He introduces Carrie to his girlfriend who he is about to get married to. And that throws off Carrie, right into that deep tunnel where she was after being dumped at the altar. She cannot understand why he didn’t marry her but was ready to marry this new girlfriend. She doesn’t want to admit to her herself that she cannot take it. Probably she is jealous. Or maybe she never got over him. And after a couple of short meetings, Carrie finds herself in Mr. Big’s bed one night and understands what she’s gotten into. She is the cheater in her relationship.

Carrie is also a very honest person. And so, one fine day she reveals the truth about her affair to Aidan, leaving him in pretty much the same state as she was after being dumped by Mr.Big. Aidan didn’t know what he lacked. What could he have done to not let this happen. And while consoling Aidan, it finally hit Carrie that there was nothing that Aidan could have done. Because the problem lied with her. And it also made her understand that it was also not her but Big’s commitment phobia that led to their breakup. It wasn’t her. 

Later, Aidan and Carrie do get back together only to part ways one more time. Aidan could never get back to loving Carrie or trust her as before. But Carrie finally finds herself free of any baggage and ready for a fresh relationship. Eventually she does fall in love with a French guy, Aleksandr, who convinces her to move to Paris with him. Long story short, things do not work out with him and in the meantime, Big’s marriage falls apart too. And he finally realizes that he has always loved Carrie. A very melodramatic reunion later, they do end up getting married.

The sexual freedom and promiscuity of western society aside, I connected a lot with Carrie’s personality. The depth of love she has for Mr. Big comes from a place of deep emotions. Even though she is a writer and can decode relationships for friends and the entire city of New York, she herself is at the mercy of her own heart. She loves her friends and they have all been there for each other through multiple heart breaks, child birth and even cancer. They have all discussed retiring together and being there for each other without needing a man. That, not marriage is the only “happily ever after” in a woman’s life. It may have been true for some others, but the Carrie I know and understand would never ever be satisfied with just that.
This is what she is, in her own words:

I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love. 

Women and (anti)feminism!

As I grow older with each passing day, I realize how difficult it is to be a woman in this world. And no, I won’t start talking about women abuse, female infanticide and bride burning – typical women abuse at the hands of men. The culprits here are the other women. Women, I see, are extreme and quick to judge other women. And hence I have come to believe that a certain part of abuse in our society goes on only because there are other women out there who are watching you move every muscle and quick to pounce on any step that seems non-committal.

Slowly, I understand how strong women have to be especially the ones who are celebrities or in limelight.
The cleavage is judged – too high (trying to act Sita), too low (they all are whores!).
The hemline of the dress – too short (why is she wearing it anyway!), too long (she’s such a matron!)
The makeup, the shoes, the career choices, the personal choices – everything!
Too many boyfriends – these girls are like that only. No moral character!
The ones that don’t disclose their personal life – As if we don’t know they are sleeping around with everyone that can help them with their careers!
The ones who loose baby fat quickly – Isn’t that SO wrong? Why do they have babies when they can’t even take care of them?
The ones who don’t – What is she even thinking? Look at her…looking like her husband’s mother!

One would think this kind of bullying existed only for the celebrated celebrities. But no sir. All of us women are made to feel like “celebrated”, albeit in a twisted way!

I have friends who work in the same company as their husbands or have similar work schedules. Yet they go home and manage the house including cooking the meals. Now, if the two people involved here are happy doing it, where’s the problem? With the other women of course. They will be quick to judge the husband, “all men are like that”, “girls have to do all the work after marriage” etc etc.
There are some like me who prefer to relax, read and write after the office hours and H is absolutely fine with it. We have a maid who cooks for us. And yet, I hear this all around, “Haaye, you don’t cook for your husband?”, “You don’t make him breakfast?”, “You don’t give him lunch?” I mean as long as my husband and I don’t have a problem with the “setting”, why are all the other women so concerned? I am termed lazy, someone who doesn’t take care of the husband too well. All by other women of course. In this case, there hasn’t been a single man who has told me this. Instead, they have told me that I am very lucky to have such a husband. I agree sir. No doubts about that. Now why can’t our women be like that?

And then there are the interminable comparisons. She does xyz, why don’t you? She doesn’t do abc, why should you? Why o why is it so difficult to understand that all of us are different in our natures and probably want different things from our lives. And hence we don’t do xyz or want to do abc. You don’t know a f***ing thing about anyone’s journey of life. How they reached where they are right now. Probably they had/not had to take some pretty tough decisions. You can’t question choices. There is no right or wrong. They are all individual prerogatives. God made us a certain way for some reason. Let’s respect that. Can we, please?

And then the unsolicited advice. Please cut us some slack ladies. If we want it, we will ask for it. Like you don’t dole out your extra cash, it would be such a relief if you stopped doing that with the stash of free advises you carry around in your secret armor and fling at unsuspecting souls. The unmarried will decide when they want to get married, the married will decide when they want to have a kid, the pregnant ladies can decide what kind of food/exercise/doctor/medicine is best for them, and parents can decide if they should have 2/3/4 or more number of kids. You know what? It might come as a shock, but no one really cares about your advice. So please. Save energy. Yours and mine.

Off late, I have this feeling over and over again, that our fight for feminism is against our own self. Against our own. Because for them, nothing is ever right. It’s either wrong or grossly wrong. May be they need to learn that my choices suit me best. It, in no way, says that if you agree with my choices, you should do the same. It means that there is a certain way of doing things that works best for me and you are happy to know that. It might/might not work for you. May be we just need to learn to appreciate the good things in our and others’ lives and just keep the not-so-good out of focus. I am not sure if that is feminism but that’s definitely a key to being happy! Let us be fabulous women and not wo(e)men!!