To Understand Contemporary Continental Feminism, Watch an Old Episode of Sex and the City

Katrin Bennhold, Paris reporter for the International Herald Tribune, has a very important update for readers of the New York Times about the shifting power dynamics in heterosexual relationships brought on by the improvement in women’s social status and earning power. This is

how it begins


PARIS — Remember “Sex and the City,” when Miranda goes speed-dating? She wastes her eight-minute pitch three times by giving away that she is a corporate lawyer. The fourth time she says she is a stewardess and gets asked out by a doctor.

What made the episode poignant was not just that Miranda lied about her success, but that her date did, too: it turned out he worked in a shoe store.

Is female empowerment killing romance?

Sexual attraction in the 21st century, it seems, still feeds on 20th-century stereotypes.

Dateline: Paris! Well, at any rate, someone is certainly still feeding on 20th-century stereotypes. That particular episode of Sex and the City, whose fictional script Bennhold believes illuminates the facts of 21st-century life, first aired on

August 27, 2000