September 29, 2015

GOLDMAN | A Case for Miranda Hobbs

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By JESSICA GOLDMAN

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Photo Courtesy of HBO

For most Sex and the City fans, Miranda Hobbes is the uptight party-pooper friend who cares too much about work. She’s the least sexualized of the four, sporting some hideous outfits, and, yes, even adult braces. While Carrie is writing a creative article in her Manolo Blahniks, Samantha is on an exciting sexual adventure and Charlotte is being perfect in her breathtaking Upper East Side apartment, we often find Miranda watching soap opera reruns, working, eating takeout or yelling at her housekeeper, Magda. Finally, how can we ever forget the unforgivable moment when Miranda ate a piece of cake out of the garbage? But this superficial judgement is misguided: Miranda represents the struggle of an ambitious, modern women adapting to a transitioning work and family environment.

Miranda has a prosperous legal career, a child out of wedlock and remains single into her thirties. Dividing her time between her child, her friends and her work is a struggle that is becoming an increasingly prevalent hurdle that many more modern women are having to overcome. The median age for marriage in the U.S. is at its all time high today and a larger percentage of births are now out of the context of marriage. Additionally, women’s participation in the labor force has been increasing, though we are still largely underrepresented at the top of the ladder.

One moment that really encapsulated this struggle was when Miranda’s boss calls a meeting to discuss a case that she is working on. “It’s been noted recently that you’ve been late to important meetings and struggling to handle your case late,” her boss said to her. Miranda responds with confusion, and a colleague responds, “You’ve been late rather frequently. There was the deposition last Tuesday and the motion hearing last Friday and you left early on Monday… I understand it’s been difficult. With the new baby and all.”

“Got it. No problem. Won’t happen again,” Miranda responds, “But let me say as far as the McKenzie brief, Miranda Hobbs is kicking ass. Where I’m doing a bad job is at home.”

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Courtesy of HBO

Miranda also challenges the unfair perceptions of men and women. She famously remarks that “a 34-year-old guy with no money and no place to live, because he’s single, he’s a catch. But a 34-year-old woman with a job and a great home, because she’s single, is considered tragic.” She further challenges the stereotypes of gender norms by dating Steve, a bartender, and becoming the primary earner in the relationship. It takes a truly modern, enlightened woman to not allow this to faze her — and why should it, anyway?

It’s time that we take a moment to appreciate Miranda: a successful, modern woman who is sometimes too busy or tired to make it out with all her friends, but always tries her best to balance everything important to her. As modern women, we need to forgive her for that season where she wore her hair kind of spiky and the time that she accidentally ruined Carrie’s wedding, because she’s trying her best, and that’s really all we can ask of her.

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