"Gilmore Girls" is a phenomenon that has to be explained to those who have never seen it. To non-viewers, it looks like a cutesy show about the lives and relationship between a mother and daughter, which granted, it kind of is. But beneath the surface, there's so much more to it than meets the eye. As I grew up, so did Lorelai and Rory and the rest of the cast. As Lorelai and Rory kindly explained to television non-believer Dean, this isn't just a show: "It's a lifestyle." "It's a religion." With its endearing moments, witty humor, and compelling characters, this show has always been one to watch. "Gilmore Girls" has taught us not to sacrifice everything for a significant other, the importance of female friendship, and everything in between. Although I don't think the creators intended for the show to become iconic in the sense of feminism, there's no doubt the strong female leads align with feminist interests of equality.
1. "Who cares if I'm pretty if I fail my finals?"
This particular exchange between Lorelai and Rory highlights the overemphasis of female beauty in our society and the pressure placed on women to base their worth on their outward appearance. Rory defies the notion that her looks are more important than what's inside her brain when she's stressing over her school exams. One thing's for sure: this girl's priorities are definitely in order.
2. "Luke, will you marry me?"
Talk about defying gender norms. A defining moment in "Gilmore Girls" history is when Lorelai proposes to Luke herself. Very non-traditional, of course. But Lorelai doesn't care. She didn't wait for Luke to propose marriage. Instead, she made it happen herself. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. Lorelai taught me that it's okay, great even, to be a go-getter.
3. "Sure, we're girls, so we could only be arguing about a boy, right?"
Good ol' Paris. My favorite no-nonsense, driven feminist, demonstrating the absurdity of the principal's notion that all girls argue about are boys. Because clearly all female disputes are over guys. Clearly.
4. "She was lying in the hospital thinking about how men name boys after themselves all the time, so why couldn't women? She says her feminism just kind of took over."
Rory brings up a valid point when she's explaining the story of how she got her name. Really though, men name their sons after themselves frequently. That's a pretty normal, accepted practice in our society. So why should it be weird or shocking if a woman wants to do the same?
5. "I love the idea of being married to you, but there are just a lot of things right now in my life that are undecided. And that used to scare me, but now I kind of like the idea that it's just all kind of...wide open. And if I married you, it just wouldn't be."
Logan's proposal to Rory was a pretty big moment. She's at the point in her life where there are so many possibilities out there for her, and by choosing to go with Logan's plan for their life, even though she loves him, those doors would be shut. Rory chose to put her goals before her love life and establish her career before considering marriage.
6. "If you're gonna throw your life away, he'd better have a motorcycle."
It's hard not to love a character like Lorelai when she gives such great life advice. Another classic example of how not to let a guy become the main focus of your life.
7. "I stopped being a child the minute the strip turned pink...I built a life on my own with no help from anyone."
Lorelai is the definition of an independent woman. She was forced to grow up faster than her peers and had no help from her parents, relying on no one but herself to raise her daughter. She started from the bottom and became the boss. She's proof that hard work is necessary and pays off.
8. "I want to live my life so that I'll be able to read an in-depth biography about myself in later years and not puke."
Truly a force to be reckoned with. Paris is a girl who knows what she wants and always goes after it. Miss Geller taught me that in order to get anything in life, you need to know what you want and find a way to get it. You can't wait around and expect that whatever you want will simply fall into your lap. You've gotta admire her philosophy on life.
So there you have it. Beyond the heartwarming family moments, smart humor and endless life lessons, there are plenty of feminist leanings sprinkled in to satisfy viewers everywhere.