Women now have a language with which to talk about their experiences and their friendships. It's almost given them permission to have female friendships that are more important than anything else.
It has given a respectability to something that previously was just gossip - something less than conversation. The episode about breastfeeding and Miranda's entire pregnancy was just revolutionary.
It was the first time you'd ever seen an engorged breast on TV. I think it's fantastic that women now feel comfortable talking about vibrators, whether you choose to buy a Rampant Rabbit or not. My favourite episode was the last one in the last series, where Samantha admits her age. She says, "I'm 40 fucking five and proud of it! That whole issue hadn't been discussed like that before - it was a celebration of women ageing.
My other favourite episode was the one where Carrie's Manolo Blahniks get stolen at a party - that whole dialogue about "I have spent money on wedding presents and on other people's children and no one has ever celebrated the fact that I am single.
It was maybe the first show to cover women talking about their relationships. It doesn't take itself seriously, it recognises the fun in those relationships. Ally McBeal was really annoying. I think the director was anti-feminist, so it always seemed to turn the storyline around to be anti-women. But everyone connects to the characters in Sex and the City - they represent extremes, and a lot of women relate to different elements in all four of them.
It attracts those single, career women in their 30s in particular; it's kind of the Bridget Jones generation. But Bridget Jones was always whining on about how fat she was, and, although the Sex and the City characters are really slim, they sit around eating pizza and not apologising for that. Bridget Jones is always on her own, talking about how she'll never find a man, and though they do talk a lot about men, the philosophy is that though the men will change, their friendship will be there forever.
In some ways it treats men as men have treate women in the past, but they have a heart, they always care for the men. One of the bad sides of it is that it is so consumerist, the obsession with shoes is ridiculous.
But it's comfort TV - bright and colourful and fun. Lynne Segal Professor of psychology and gender studies at Birkbeck College Sex and the City has been a sort of post-feminist empowerment of women, up to a point. And that point is, that all they really talked about was men. There were a couple of episodes where there was a discussion of lesbianism, but there was a certain horror about it.
It is a quintessentially heterosexual show. Before feminism, women were told that they had to be wary of other women because they would steal your man. But what feminism was in part about was friendship between women, which is what Sex and the City shows. But the programme is at odds with how women's lives have gone since feminism - their working lives have got longer, their opportunities to have children have got harder.
All that disappears from the soft-focus post-feminism that Sex and the City embodies. The show reflects those issues that feminists discuss that in no way threaten the easy-going surface issues: The place was just full of 5th Avenue women and they were all crying, "O My! Some were in tears. When they both walked in they just looked amazing.
And you suddenly realised why some people are stars. I didn't watch Sex and the City until it was halfway through. It sounded crude and awful. But once I did, I loved it. The scripts are so tight, and it's funny and cliched and rubbish all at once. Joyce Carol Oates said something about when a series is over it's like a tragedy. It's like that; you feel a part of your life has ended. Natasha Walter Author of The New Feminism What made Sex and the City worm its way into so many women's hearts, I think, is the way that it foregrounds female friendship.
That sounds counter-intuitive, given that it is meant to be about the hunt for a good man, but this show is intensely idealistic about the way that women can get unconditional love from one another. This certainly didn't come from Candace Bushnell - she tends to show female relationships as merely competitive - but from the show's writers, who gave it this distinctly warm, intimate tone.
It's a tone that is very reassuring, but which also surprised us, because, as Virginia Woolf pointed out 75 years ago, you don't usually get to eavesdrop on what women who are really close to one another dare to say in private. It shook us up. Even though the show is so funny and slick, it doesn't fall into the trap of most comedy series - it doesn't patronise its protagonists.
And so it expresses the level of sexual confidence that independent women have now without ever suggesting that they are heartless or slutty or out of control. When so much art and commentary still presents women as victims, of men's desire or of their own self-consciousness about their bodies or of their own need to be loved, there is something so refreshing about a show that gives this sort of self-belief to single women.
The show grew from pretty unpromising beginnings to become a classic for our times. I don't think anyone in the future will be able to write about the status of women in the US at the turn of the century without running through some old Sex and the City videos, and appreciating how single women bestrode Manhattan.
Noreena Hertz Writer and academic I find it a bit inane really. From the few episodes I've seen, I find it Gucci-Smoochie.
I'm more of a Cold Feet person. It's full of product-placement, with very little irony around that - not like in Ab Fab, which was all about joking about a certain brand. In Sex and the City it's brand as status.
To me, the characters just come across as the same sort of air-brushed, be-make-upped, bland women, no different to all the women on TV before. Not particularly feminist or empowered at all. The level of their empowerment seems to be whether they can book a table at a particular restaurant or snag a certain man.
Surely feminism can deliver more than that? Charlotte Semler Co-founder of Myla, the luxury sex brand for women No one really talked about sex toys or female masturbation before, but the programme devoted three whole episodes to different types of sex toys. Of course Cosmo talked about sex and orgasms, but it was almost if you weren't having 10 orgasms a night there was something wrong. Ann Summers was already selling something like over half a million sex toys, but still no one talked about them - they were seen to be sad and desperate.
Now they've become acceptable. And I think it even changed the way women thought about their underwear - it became a cool part of fashion - you saw these beautiful, highly-styled women and half the time they were in their bra and pants. I think it changed women's attitudes to spending money on these things. The pearl thong episode evidently made a huge impact for us. It was just fun, and there's nothing wrong with fun. Sex and the City taught women that. Plum Sykes Fashion journalist I was living in New York and I'd read the book and columns before the show started, so Sex and the City was already a big thing.
I was working for American Vogue, so I was spending all of my money on expensive shoes. It reflected the life I was already living. It was a mirror of our lives. No one in New York was saying "Oh my god! The girls on Sex and the City are discussing vibrators! A friend in New York rang up the other day and said "I had sex five times last night and I had five orgasms.
And I thought, I don't remember any of my English friends ever telling me something like that so seriously and openly. I don't know if it was the sex, or the women, or the fashion It might have been the cocktail of all of it. How they saw it in the beginning Sex and the City was not always so widely popular, as the reviews from show It should be banned immediately.
Not because it is rude, but because it is so deeply irritating Carrie Bradshaw, the heroine-narrator, goes in for the kind of twittery self-deprecation familiar to readers of women's magazines: The Times "The basic joke is that however low you think men can stoop, they will stoop lower And these smart, sexy people with their teenage libidos, middle-aged bank accounts and polished putdowns - what do they have to do with the real world of tired people with low job satisfaction struggling to be liked?
As far as I can gather, most women in their 30s just don't have the obsessive interest in sex that Sex and the City postulates. The Independent The first time round, you think how bright, sharp and shiny. The second time, you shiver a little. If some of the cracks lack snap I've been puzzling over "Cupid flew the co-op" to the point of insomnia , confident delivery whisks them quickly along. Busy and entertaining as a weekend in Manhattan, which is ample.
The Guardian The female characters are every bachelor's dream - fit, feisty and very, very forward But when it comes to finding a mate for life, they miss the target every time The tougher it gets, the harder these women try. The Daily Mail Something tells me these characters are going to find their way up our nostrils in no time. Where to begin in trashing Sex and the City? How about with the writing?
This programme, that's sold itself as "completely outrageous", wouldn't make your granny blush The London Evening Standard I wanted to despise it.