How 'Sex and the City' betrayed the sisterhood

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the iconic show “Sex and the City” — and the devastation it wrought in women’s lives.

It was June 6, 1998, when four women strutted onto our screens purporting to show what New York City single life was like. Except in this telling, women could stay single well into their 30s and 40s, spend all their money on shoes and have no trouble whatsoever in landing a super-hot or insanely wealthy — often both — man.

The show portrayed the women as choosing an alternative (each other!) to boring marriage and children yet wrapped up the series with all of the women in serious relationships. It taught women to say they want one thing while not-so-secretly wanting another.

In a 2004 piece in The Guardian marking the end of the show and celebrating “what it has meant for women,” Kim Akass, lecturer in film studies at London Metropolitan University, said the show has “almost given [women] permission to have female friendships that are more important than anything else.”

That’s the biggest joke about “Sex and the City.” For all of their feminist empowerment and loyalty, the show was primarily about finding a man. The friendships were just a stopgap until then.

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Karol Markowicz is a columnist at the New York Post. She has also written for Time, USA Today, The Observer, Heat Street, Federalist, Daily Beast and elsewhere.