Sex and the City‘s Carrie Bradshaw was based on Cosmo editor Helen Gurley Brown. Brown is best known for writing Sex and the Single Girl in 1962. Peggy Olson in Mad Men (set in 1960 – 1962) somewhat embodies the book:
- don’t get married
- be your career
- be realistic about your looks but put effort into looking better
- enjoy sex
- get your boyfriends to buy you things
This pragmatic feminism was heavily criticized by 2nd-wave feminists but Brown’s work can now be interpreted as 3rd-wave feminism. But just because it’s on the 3rd-wave spectrum doesn’t mean it’s entirely positive, as Naomi Wolf notes (emphasis mine):
[Individualist 3rd-wave feminism is] ahistorical and apolitical… the world isn’t going to change because a lot of young women feel confident and personally empowered…a saucy tattoo and a condom do not a revolution make…What we lack is a grass-roots movement that will drive the political will. “Lipstick” or lifestyle feminism won’t produce that movement alone.