david-eigenberg-cynthia-nixon the former otp

Dislike of Che and Miranda’s Relationship in And Just Like That… Is About Bad Writing, Not Sexism

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It is hard for fans of Miranda Hobbes right now.

And Just Like That has crafted multiple divisive moments in the Sex and the City fandom, but none as heated and almost universally condemned as the choice to have Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) leave her longterm love interest and husband Steve (David Eigenberg) for newcomer Che (Sarah Ramirez), a nonbinary podcaster/comedian.

Let me start off by saying that, as a fan and frequent active thirster for Sarah Ramirez, it sucks that our first nonbinary character in Sex and the City has been involved in a cheating storyline. Che is written in a way that feels so paint-by-numbers in terms of what a modern audiences sees as a queer person. And while I know there are LGBTQ writers involved in the spinoff (well, only two and no nonbinary or gender-nonconforming writers), it still feels weird.

From their relationship to Carrie to that with Miranda, they are using Che to fill in the growing language of sex that Samantha would have if she were here (especially since Carrie didn’t even understand bisexuality and kink in the original show.) For Miranda, after their “meet-cute” of Miranda going full Karen on Che for giving her 17-year-old son Brady weed, she has had a growing obsession with Che that has gone from 0 to 100 so quickly that even thinking about it gives me whiplash.

The response to this, among some who defend the storyline, is to say that it’s fair that Miranda would go through a change and want something more—that she doesn’t need to stay in a “dying marriage” for Steve—and one of the show’s writers, Elisa Zuritsky, wondered in an interview with Vanity Fair if there was a “lopsided gender issue…you feel angry at her and more protective of him.” There are also many people who felt Miranda always read as a queer woman and that this makes sense for her.

With all due respect to Zuritsky, the issue isn’t gender. The issue that this is rushing the end of a relationship, when we haven’t been around to see the death of this relationship. It doesn’t make sense for Miranda to say she misses sex and wants a more active sex life but to, in the same breath, mock Charlotte for wanting to give her husband a blow job—just because.

It also feels as if in the years since the original series/movies, these characters haven’t spoken. Unless Steve lost his hearing overnight, he and Miranda have been in a relationship with changes going on for years. Why is she acting as though she hasn’t had years to find a more productive way to communicate? Plus, it is just so ableist to treat his having to use hearing aids as some kind of reason for him to be discarded. That is gross.

Add to that the fact that their relationship being comfortable doesn’t read as dead. Sitting on the couch after work, eating dessert with your husband after a long day? That sounds amazing, not to mention that Steve still bartends, so how could he be so “inept” at knowing what a social life looks like?

Steve and Miranda have always had an “opposites attract” element to them. They were on-again-off-again, and even when they had Brady, the two found ways to be healthy coparents. It was Miranda (while dating Dr. Blair Underwood) who fell back in love with Steve. She proposed to him. She wanted him—but also, at times, took him for granted.

In the first bad Sex and the City movie, Steve cheats on Miranda. It is treated (rightfully so) as a big deal, and Steve feels terrible, confesses he wants to fix things and go to therapy. Miranda says, “It’s the cheating part, the behind-my-back part, the violation of the trust. That’s what’s killing me.”

What I find painfully funny is the fact that the reason Steve cheated was because of a lack of sex in their relationship. And on Miranda’s pro/con list about Steve, “good lover” was on the pro side. I guess, in the last decade, he forgot how to fuck?

miranda pro con list

Yes, Miranda has always given off queer vibes, especially because Cynthia Nixon herself is queer—but the show also went out of its way to establish Miranda was not. We do remember her comments when Samantha actually experimented with her sexuality and when Charlotte hung out with power lesbians.

Can that change as you get older? Of course. What I don’t understand is why Miranda’s exploration is being used to throw her marriage away. Che is a non-traditional person who was fine seeing Miranda if she was in an open marriage. That never even gets put on the table. Miranda never talks to Steve.

The one time we see them try to have sex is Miranda lazily attempting to recreate her affair sex. There is no communication. No effort. No attempt to find a bridge between a heteronormative monogamous relationship and having the freedom to explore your sexuality as an adult.

Nothing to make me understand why this storyline is happening, in this way, besides that it has parallels with Nixon’s own life.

Cynthia Nixon is an actual person. Miranda is a character, and as a character, her decisions have to make sense to the people who have watched her since the original show premiered.

Plus, as a bisexual non-monogamous person, it is messed up to have cheating be hand-waved because it’s queer. To treat it as less serious because of someone’s pronouns is more of a “gender issue” than feeling like Steve is being treated like trash.

With only one episode left in the revival, I don’t know how they are going to fix or handle all of these issues, but all I can say is that I’m glad I’ve been a Charlotte fan.

(image: HBO)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.