Women and Comedy: Sexual Humor and Female Empowerment

Essay by Sarah92685University, Bachelor'sA, October 2006

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"No one has breakfast at Tiffany's and no one has affairs to remember - instead, we have breakfast at 7am and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible."

- Carrie Bradshaw

Times have changed and so have the social norms preventing women from openly expressing themselves across a wide spectrum of issues in our society. Women have evolved from the "young ladies should be seen and not heard" standard to a world accepting their presence and encouraging their participation. The television series Sex and the City reflects an important vision of female empowerment that is now prevalent in today's society. Female empowerment has evolved through history, and through the use of sexual humor, women have been able to exert their newly acclaimed power in society.

Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte represent a new generation of women who freely celebrate their sexuality and economic power. The character of Samantha, particularly, exploits female sexuality without emotional strings.

Samantha is a sexy, confident, successful woman who flaunts her conquests, in much the same way that men have been known to do. Samantha is a saucy member of a group of articulate female friends who genuinely care about each other. The frank conversations these women have over lunch are humorous, because they express many of the sentiments women grapple with both in their personal lives and in the workplace. Vividly portrayed, Samantha explores sexuality with men, women, and vibrators. Unlike Mae West who pushed the boundaries of feminine acceptability, Samantha unselfconsciously ignores social constraints. The women's movement in the 70's opened the door for women like Samantha to express themselves freely and even aggressively. The adorable, but incompetent Lucille Ball has been replaced by a self-actualized dynamo of a woman.

"Sex and the City" became an instant hit when it...