The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Sex, Freedom and the Older Mama

Recently, I went to see the film version of Sex and The City with a friend who, like myself, is a mom in her sixties.  She said the movie is about sex.  I said it's about freedom.

A few years ago I sounded just like my friend, until I watched the HBO series with my daughters. 

"Mom, you're not going to like it," my twenty-year old tells me.

"Why not?"

"There's a lot of sex," my twenty-one year old chimes in.

"So what?" These girls weren't even alive in the sixties when my generation was promoting "free love and sex."

One Sunday night my girls call me to watch Sex and The City with them.

As I head for the living room I see a naked couple on the TV having erotic sex in a pool.

"Oh, my God!"

"We told you."

I became immersed in the stories of these four women in their thirties living in New York City:  Carrie, a writer and sex columnist; Samantha, a PR executive; Charlotte, an art dealer; and Miranda, a corporate lawyer.  Initially, I thought these women represented the antithesis of what my generation of feminists fought for.  They seemed only concerned with designer clothes and the men they dated.  We were hippies and political activists. We ran barefoot in the parks.  We didn't stroll on Fifth Avenue in six-inch heels.

Designers were out, freedom was in.

I told my girls that if it weren’t for the 1960's Women's Movement there wouldn't be a TV series like Sex and The City.

"Later for the history lesson, Mom.  Times have changed."

"Precisely my point!" I said.

I wanted to tell them that these women can chose to have lovers because my generation promoted "sexual liberation" and the birth control pill.           

We challenged stereotypes limiting women's roles in jobs and education and the idea that females must marry and have children to be "real" women.

We valued women's friendships. Girlfriends for life, rather than girlfriends until married.

Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda can stroll down the streets of Manhattan, arm in arm, laughing confidently because they are living the lives they chose: Miranda, decided to raise a child with her ex because she had a career and the means to be a single parent.  Charlotte chose to give up her career and become a wife and mother. Samantha decided to have a young lover stand beside her as she faced breast cancer. And Carrie chose to write about all their escapades because women are free to have them now.

What I discovered after watching this series was that these women's lives actually did represent what my generation of activists believed in: women are free to choose their own destinies. While some may not like the choices they make, the point is that they can make them. 

Some things haven't changed.

Forty years after the 1960's Women's Movement we are still debating whether women's rights is about sex or freedom.  My daughters' generation better keep marching for choice, even in six-inch heels.

By Marilee Stark


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For all its worth, thank you from a mom who indeed was not even born in the 60s. Thank you for your activism back then, and for touching, gentle reminders for us, young ones, to not take it for granted.
this is GREAT!!
What a great piece. I often think of my feminist beliefs from college, and how they've evolved now as a mom to value the work I do at home as well. That said, all those who paved the way for women's rights did so much for all of us.

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