'Gilmore Girls' And Third-Wave Feminism

'Gilmore Girls' And Third-Wave Feminism

Where feminism lead, the Gilmores did not follow.
Candice
Candice
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Throughout its seven-season run and for years afterward, fans of "Gilmore Girls" have praised the show and its creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino, for its feminist ideas and strong female characters.

With the Netflix revival of "Gilmore Girls" on the horizon, I have seen a myriad of articles, tweets and Facebook posts concerning the show. I have researched through books, scholarly journals and re-watched every single episode ever aired, only to conclude that I completely disagree with the idea that "Gilmore Girls" is a contemporary feminist television show, and any third-wave feminist probably should, too.

An article titled “10 reasons Gilmore Girls was the ultimate feminist TV show” credits Lorelai Gilmore for her sense of independence and her rejection of traditional gender roles and the wealth of her family to raise Rory as a single mom. What articles like this ignore are issues of the show’s heteronormativity, lack of intersectionality and use of therapeutic rhetoric to praise women for working hard without speaking of the social injustices women face. After all, Lorelai Gilmore is portrayed as a thin, white woman who, despite her rejection of her parent’s money, still uses it as a last resort to pay for her daughter’s private preparatory school, leaving the truth and hardship of being a single mother in the dust.

I'll start from the beginning.

“Please, Luke. Please. Please. Please.”

The iconic first line of the WB’s 2000’s dramedy is Lorelai Gilmore’s plea for a man to allow her a sixth cup of coffee for the morning, as the diner owner named Luke Danes chastises her for her coffee addiction.

In a behind-the-scenes documentary titled “Welcome to the Gilmore Girls,” Sherman-Palladino reveals that Luke Danes, Lorelai’s eventual love interest, was originally a woman.

“One of the notes that I got was ‘There’s a lot of chicks running around here. Can we just have some more testosterone,'” Sherman recounts with a giggle.

Hearing this immediately made me wonder how the show would have changed had the character of Lorelai been a lesbian, as Sookie St. James was originally intended to be. The Huffington Post quotes Sherman-Pallaidino, stating:

“Things were different back then. The networks were very different in how permissive they would allow you to be. So, Sookie was originally supposed to be gay, but that was a non-starter at that time,” showing both heteronormativity and a lack of intersectionality forced upon “family friendly” television shows of the time.

Another way in which "Gilmore Girls" lacked intersectionality was on the topic of race. In a scholarly article entitled “It Takes a Classless, Heteronormative Utopian Village: Gilmore Girls and the Problem of Postfeminism,” Danielle M Stern writes:

“Throughout the 7 seasons, Gilmore Girls featured only five non-white primary and recurring characters.”

The two non-white primary female characters were Lane Kim, Rory’s best friend, and Lane's mother, Mrs. Kim, a Korean immigrant.

Stern goes on to state:

“The tensions between the Kims play out as a generational divide of new and old worlds, with small-town America clearly being the mythical ideal to which to aspire. Lane is simply a rebellious teenager striving to be a successful musical artist, unchained from her overbearing, no-frills mother. More relevant to race politics is Lane’s efforts to pass as White, or at least, not Asian. Lane’s choices rest comfortably in the postfeminist landscape of Stars Hollow, where individuality and personal choices eclipse actual institutional discrimination or geopolitical tensions.”

Finally, in a graduate thesis paper for the University of Akron, Lisa A. Davis writes on Therapeutic rhetoric:

“Rather than encourage women to channel their social frustrations into social activism, popular shows emphasize that women should take responsibility for their own problems.”

This is the ideal world that "Gilmore Girls" creates for both Lorelai Gilmore and Lane Kim.

“Thus, not only do television’s single female characters appear isolated and individualist, but their race, economic status and sexuality are unrepresentative of women in general… Indeed, the show is the ultimate presentation of the American dream, single mom style, even as it elides the class and race realities that make Lorelai’s success possible in the first place,” Davis writes in her thesis.

As a young teenager, "Gilmore Girls" gave me role models to look up to that weren’t Britney Spears or Avril Lavigne, to which I will be eternally grateful, but the show followed a script of unrealistically thin, privileged white women following their dreams through hard work and family money—ignoring social context, race relations, the reality of single motherhood, even the reality of how much they ate, making Gilmore Girl’s idyllic portrayal of women in the 21st century hypocritically feminist.

"Gilmore Girls" was feminist in the way of Elizabeth Cady Stanton—enough to inspire white women of privilege while ignoring, even degrading, various other social injustices and minorities for personal gain. It was certainly exemplary of white feminism, but not the third wave feminism the world needs examples of today.

Perhaps Netflix can change that. "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life" is set to release in late 2016.

Cover Image Credit: youtube

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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