This past weekend we all witnessed a cultural phenomenon step beyond the confinement of a small screen to one decidedly larger. The women of Sex & the City are on display in theaters nation-wide. Even before all of us movie-going women have seen it, we’ve cast our ballot by standing on line to buy tickets, selling out screenings across the country. And, the movie itself does live up to all the hoopla and haute couture, provided you abide by the law (authored by writer/director) Michael Patrick King, that women can in fact, have it all — right down to the peacock blue Manolos.
Though the movie dream is all fun and fluff, we know the reality for women is very far from the high heels and high-priced labels. And while Carrie & Co. make a box office killing, find their men, and themselves, we all file out of movie theaters and watch a different kind of romantic wooing occur on TV, in print, and online; there’s another race going on, one where the end result isn’t about finding the right man or the perfect apartment, it’s about winning the affections of a country’s citizens and super delegates. In this race, only one woman is standing up, in her heels and power suits, commanding an audience, flashing a smile and making promises for a better nation. And, love her or hate her, she’s the closest we’ve come so far to having a Madam President. Though midnight is looming for Mrs. Clinton, she’s still doing her darndest to romance us and probably will until the credits roll.
But like Carrie Bradshaw would say, “I can’t help but wonder, where are all the [wo]men?”” Where are the ones who will come after Hillary Clinton? The women who will stand on platforms along side of their male counterparts, pledging their devotion to our country, pitching their agendas and keeping our hard-won female rights in tact (hello, Roe vs. Wade).
These questions devise the premise of another film, also screening now, called What’s Your Point, Honey? Directed by Amy Sewell (Mad, Hot Ballroom) and Susan Toffler, this documentary follows a group of ten young women, seven of which range in age from 18-21, and three ten-year-olds, as they look ahead to the future of women in power and politics. While Sex & the City features appearances from the likes of Candace Bergen and Andre Leon Talley, What’s Your Point, Honey, gives us cultural icons such as feminist leader and founder of Ms. Magazine, Gloria Steinem, who remarks, “it’s been my experience that girls ages eight to ten are as smart and wonderful and deep as they’re ever going to get and haven’t yet been messed up by the feminine role that’s going to take them till 40 or 50 years old to get out from under” (case in point, Sex & the City). And there’s Marie Wilson, founder of The White House Project, an organization whose aim it is to, “advance women’s leadership in all communities and sectors, up to the U.S. Presidency.”
The young women profiled won a contest sponsored by CosmoGirl! magazine, who partnered with “The White House Project,” a non-profit, to create Project 2024, which places seven girls in high-powered summer internships in various professions and industries (ironically one young woman worked in then-Attorney General Elliot Spitzer’s office). The hopeful outcome being that by the year 2024, one woman from each contest year will “grace the presidential debate podiums and town halls, providing choice, and getting beyond gender to agenda.” The CosmoGirl! interns span the country and beautifully represent the potential power and voice that come with the next generation of women in America. These girls may have the wit of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte, but their passion for social change runs deeper than any romantic comedy can, with career dreams that range from public service to stronger marketing messaging for women.
Much like Sex & the City: The Movie, What’s Your Point, Honey? doesn’t claim to deliver a message, rather its mission is ask the age-old question, with a post-Hillary spin: “can women have it all … and be President too?”