You might totally be a Miranda, but Cynthia Nixon is not

Op-eds Opinions

Here’s why Nixon, not her character, is running for governor of New York

Cynthia Nixon at the 100-year anniversary of Grand Central Station. Photo by Patrick Cashin, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, via Flickr

On March 19, 2018, Cynthia Nixon announced her candidacy for governor of New York, and all anyone seems to want to talk about is the fact that she played Miranda Hobbes on Sex and The City (SATC). I’ve seen countless articles, tweets,   and Facebook posts that refer to Nixon as Miranda. The Stranger ran the headline, “Miranda Is Running for Governor of New York,” and USA Today’s read “Twitter’s on board with Cynthia Nixon (aka Miranda Hobbes) running for N.Y. governor.”

At first, I thought the reference to her SATC character was fun. “Yay, Miranda!” I thought. But I started to get concerned when articles were making it sound like Miranda Hobbes was the one running for governor.

Now, I understand wanting an eye-catching headline that will encourage readers to click on the article, but at one o’clock in the afternoon, Vogue posted an article titled “Cynthia Nixon Is Running for Governor of New York! She Already Dressed the Part for 6 Seasons on Sex and the City,” with a slideshow of different outfits that Nixon wore on SATC. The piece also mentions the ‘We Should All Be Mirandas’ t-shirts that have grown in popularity since Nixon announced her candidacy.

Dr. Katrina Sark, Women’s March Victoria organizer and sessional professor at UVic who teaches in multiple departments, including Gender Studies and Germanic and Slavic Studies, also struggles with the association.

“I posted ‘Go Cynthia’ on the Women’s March Victoria [Facebook page], but I had to catch myself because I almost wrote ‘Go Miranda’,” says Sark.

Sark said she wasn’t trying to diminish the importance of Nixon’s candidacy, but simply thinks of her as Miranda Hobbes. This could explain why so many articles are choosing the Miranda angle, but it’s important that we remember and recognize that Nixon is her own person.

I love SATC as much as the next person (I’d like to think I’m a Carrie, but my friends say I’m definitely more of a Charlotte). But I have a problem with people calling Cynthia Nixon ‘Miranda’ and attributing her ability to be governor with a character she played on TV 14 years ago.

Nixon is not Miranda. Nixon did not create the character (who was based off a friend of Candace Bushnell, the columnist who started the SATC franchise), nor did she write Miranda’s lines or choose her clothes. Referring to her as Miranda is disrespectful because it takes away from her selfhood. It’s like saying that her platform and none of her accomplishments outside of the TV show matter.

To be fair, the Vogue article does acknowledge that Nixon has said in the past that the only thing she felt she had in common with Miranda was being smart. “I wasn’t single, I wasn’t sarcastic,” said Nixon in an interview with The New York Times. “I’m a career person, but not like she was. My mother once told someone [Miranda and I] looked alike, that was about it.”

“I think there will always be silly people who care more about her clothes or other trivial things,” says Sark, “but it’s amazing that she is running and can actually make a difference.”

Nixon is a person running for governor of New York who also happens to be an actor. She has lived in New York her whole life, she is a mother whose kids attend public school, she is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and she has big plans for fighting poverty and inequity in New York. The fact that she played a character on a TV show should not be a reason to vote for her, and it should not be a reason not to.

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