Warning: Minor spoilers for And Just Like That ahead.
When Sex And The City, first aired I was in my late teens and early 20s. At the time, I was enamored with Carrie’s effortless style and creative spirit, Miranda’s passion for her career, and even Samantha’s sexual freedom and lust for life. While, I had no major issues with Charlotte, I often found her to be the buzzkill of the group, annoyingly obsessed with marriage and family, and far from the modern representation of feminism I admired in the other women.
As a college student, marriage and kids were the last thing on my mind, and I wasn’t even sure if my life would head in that direction. Though others may have casted them off as “old maids,” I thought these four women living incredible lives in New York City were the coolest. So when Charlotte got into her usual mope about never finding a man, I wanted to reach through the screen, grab her, and say, “don’t you realize how good you’ve got it!”
Now as a 30-something woman watching the SATC reboot, And Just Like That, I realize I relate more with Charlotte than anyone else, and she may be my favorite character in the series.
Like Charlotte, I am a married mother of two, who left a career to focus on raising a family. While, I may not have dreamed of marriage and family the way Charlotte did, like her, these are now cherished aspects of my life, and I can’t imagine my world without them.
Charlotte and I may differ on our mothering styles, and in many ways, I can relate more to Miranda’s “hands-off” approach. However, though Charlotte may at times seem pushy, overbearing and somewhat old-fashioned, her love for her children shines through.
Charlotte demonstrates this love in her efforts to understand and support her child, Roc, born “Rose,” in their desire to express their true gender identity.
The story arc of Charlotte and Roc’s relationship is one of my favorites on the show. I think the writers were true to Charlotte’s character and rightfully made her a bit unsure and even questioning of her child’s insistence on not being a girl. For someone like Charlotte, who is about as girly as they come, and whose dreams were fulfilled by having two daughters, this reveal from Roc was a huge blow to everything she knew. I imagine many parents of trans children went through a similar experience of having to accept the life they envisioned for their kids is no longer a reality.
Parents aren’t perfect, and sometimes it takes an outside experience to help us understand what is happening in our own families. For Charlotte, this “ah ha! moment” came during Carrie’s podcast boss Che’s comedy show.
A confident, non-binary character, Che is in a way the book-end to Roc’s journey. Whereas Charlotte’s child is just starting their path toward becoming the person they want to be, Che is fully realized and confident in their identity. Witnessing Che perform and speak their truth sparked something in Charlotte. Promptly after the show, we see her call Roc (then still known as Rose), and say how much she loved them.
In that moment, Charlotte didn’t attempt to make sense of or question who her child was, she just offered her love, which is always a great place to start.
In episodes that followed, we see Charlotte navigating more nuanced aspects of raising a trans child, such as the adopting of a new name, change of pronouns, and working with teachers and other adults in her child’s life. We also see how she has progressed more on this journey than her husband, Harry, and how Charlotte helps him better understand (if not fully accept) the changes in their child.
And Just Like That benefits from the 20-plus years that passed from Sex And The City‘s original airing. Both from a writer and viewer perspective, the world has evolved, and I appreciate how the reboot keeps the wit of the original series alive, while pushing deeper into important social issues. I look forward to seeing how Charlotte’s path as a mother to a trans child continues to grow.