Hillary and Hobbes
I was at a party my senior year of college when a freshman girl paused after taking a long sip from her PBR tall boy to tell me I reminded her of Miranda. A noticeable chill fell over those involved in the conversation; it was clear to the group that I had been insulted. When I recounted the story to friends over breakfast the next day, the reaction was more of the same.
It was universally understood that the only “good” results when taking a “Which Sex And The City Character are You?” Quiz on Buzzfeed were Carrie and Charlotte – Samantha barely acceptable, if you reported your results with tongue firmly in cheek. But God help you if you got Miranda. Most likely you’d refresh the quiz and start over, settling for Magda or Stanford, and never speak of it again. But we live in a post-“Lemonade” world now – the idea of feminism and the unruly woman go hand in hand. I couldn’t help but wonder…is Miranda actually the most modern gal of the bunch?
Miranda Hobbes is, by today’s standards, a successful woman. A graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School, she becomes a partner at her law firm, all while raising a child as a single mother and navigating a complicated relationship with her baby daddy, one that only gets more complex after they are married.
She helps care for his aging mother who is eventually diagnosed with dementia. After he cheats on her, she briefly strikes out on her own, kicks ass at co-parenting and eventually agrees to take him back. A woman ever at the helm of her own life, Miranda is able to step back from her career when she doesn’t like the direction in which it is going and start her own business. Miranda Hobbes does all of this and more. She not only knows her truth, she refuses to let anyone come in the way of her living it. So why, then, is she the most reviled Sex and the City character?
Most of this discussion is well-worn territory, but specifically only in the cases of Carrie and Samantha. For years, and even now, the characters have been slut shamed (specifically Samantha – there are think pieces abound on that subject, so I don’t plan on addressing it here) and ridiculed for dating around or placing most of their personal worth in their ability to maintain relationships.
Carrie, Charlotte and Samantha lived honest lives that were mostly realistic (okay, how much credit card debt was Carrie in?) but also aesthetically desirable. They had extensive closets filled with luxury labels, posh apartments and jobs that allowed them the luxury to come and go as they pleased, or even work from home. They left lunch and went to sample sales, not business meetings. They were fun to watch and had loves you could escape into.
Miranda lived in a new apartment with little character, had a demanding and well-paying job and probably paid her credit cards off in full each month. In short, Miranda lived the life I most closely relate to living right now, or at least the life I strive to live. Miranda is honest, sometimes wry and ironic, who keeps her cards close to her chest when it comes to her feelings. Based on these traits, I can confidently say I know a lot of Miranda’s, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Last week, a Miranda received the nomination for Democratic candidate for President. The only person to fit the Miranda mold more than Secretary Clinton is Ms. Hobbs herself; Hillary is driven, educated and frequently viewed as cold by her constituents. It’s a shift from the outwardly warm and friendly President Obama (a total Carrie), but there is a core group of young ladies who have pledged their support for years already. From Lena Dunham to Katy Perry to JLo – all have sung the praises of Secretary Clinton, but you could easily exchange Miranda for Hillary, and their quotes would still ring true. I wonder, if you asked them, who they consider themselves to be – would they declare they were Mirandas as proudly as they’d say “I’m With Her”?
I look back on that fateful evening when I was dubbed a Miranda and laugh at my reaction. I realize now that what I thought was a diss was actually high praise. Did she think I was a Miranda because I was strong, assertive and knew what I wanted out of life? I’d like to think so. One thing’s for sure – I trust her to run the country more than I’d trust someone who kept her sweaters in the oven.