Life

Why Sex and the City’s Aidan is the ultimate example of toxic masculinity

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Kayleigh Dray
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384168 07: Actors Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie) and John Corbett (Aidan) act in a scene from the HBO television series 'Sex and the City' third season, episode 'No Ifs Ands Or Butts'. (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Newsmakers)

Everyone thought he was the best of Carrie Bradshaw’s boyfriends – but a viral post has single-handedly proven that Aidan was the worst man in HBO’s Sex and the City.

It’s been just over 20 years since Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) bumped into Mr Big (Chris Noth) in a Parisian hotel and finally decided he was the true love of her life. And it’s safe to say that it was a very big moment for Sex and the City fans: after all, the “will they won’t they” storyline of Big and Carrie had always been the show’s biggest love story.

However, there have always been those who believed that Aidan (John Corbett) was the one that Carrie should have ended up with. He was kind, and he was thoughtful, and he always put her first. He made her a closet. He bought her flat for her when she was going to lose it after frittering all her money away on shoes! He was good with her friends, too: remember how Aidan rushed to help Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) when she had a bad fall?

In short, Aidan never made Carrie feel bad, or mad, or sad about anything. He didn’t deserve to be cheated on – and Carrie didn’t deserve him. 

However, it seems as if Team Aidan has been delivered a fatal blow, as one frustrated Instagram user has pointed out that he was actually a “manic pixie artisan boy” with a ton of “red flags” and a whole lot of toxic masculinity to work through.

Instagram fan account Every Outfit On Sex And The City has accumulated hundreds of thousands of followers worldwide. 

And all of them were rattled when a damning post about Aidan went up this week.

Labelling the carpenter as “awful”, the post reminded followers that Aidan told Carrie their relationship was over if she continued to smoke cigarettes.

“It’s f**ked up that his love for her is contingent on her ability to conform to his lifestyle,” insisted the writer. “Yes, he is allowed to have personal boundaries. But his ultimatum was ultimately passive-aggressive and petty.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

The post went on to point out that that, although Aidan took Carrie back after her affair with Big, he didn’t forgive and forget. Instead, he “inferred that he might f**k a bartender from Scout as form of retaliation” – which is undoubtedly “emotionally abusive behaviour, towards Carrie AND the bartender Shayna”.

“Feigning availability to someone while actively withholding from your current partner is a classic dick move,” it noted.

Unfortunately for Aidan fans, the post highlighted two more questionable moments: firstly, that he seemed relieved when Carrie lied and told him she never had an abortion (exemplifying Aidan’s need to put his own narrative of his partner ON his partner in order to feel secure). 

Secondly, that – despite the fact that Carrie communicated to Aidan that she was deeply anxious and overwhelmed with the prospect of getting married – he “swiftly ambushed her with the suggestion of a shotgun wedding”.

“He wanted be married so much that it didn’t seem to matter if Carrie wanted to or not,” it concluded.

And, to be fair, that is a point well made: his break-up speech (which can be viewed below) really does not come across well when you come at it with new eyes. Particularly as the thing he seems most upset about is that she won’t wear his ring and let people know she’s taken.

The post has since gone viral, with 32,000 likes and counting. And, naturally, it has triggered a pretty intense conversation in the comments section on Instagram, too.

“Amen! Aidan is the WORST!” commented one.

“I never picked up on any of this because I was too busy hating her,” chimed in another.

And still one more said: “I finally feel heard! We don’t f**k with Aidan!”

However, there were those who remained unmoved by the argument.

“Let’s not forget that he build her a chair and was friends with a squirrel,” noted one. “And no, I don’t agree with any of this (especially the cheating thing).”

Another added: “Aidan did her floors. SHE.BROKE.HIS.HEART! This judgement is atrocious.”

Essentially, it is an argument that has proven every bit as divisive as the “Ross from Friends was emotionally abusive” line that went viral last year.

We guess it’s worth investigating, though: perhaps we’d better all sit down and rewatch every single episode of SATC this winter, eh?

Image: Paramount Pictures/Newsmakers/Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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