GILMORE GIRLS – THE FEMINIST SHOW AHEAD OF ITS TIME

It is now less than a week until be finally return to Stars Hollow to catch up with Lorelei, Rory and the gang *insert excited squeal here*. It seems like only yesterday that we were visiting Kim’s Antiques, the dragonfly and, of course, Luke’s Diner, in fact the first episode premiered 16 years ago (boy do i feel old right now). The show still feels current because it was so ahead of it’s time, particularly in it’s representations of women. Rather than portraying the fairer sex as tokenistic eye candy, Gilmore Girls delved deep into female friendships, providing us with loveable, quirky, brainy and barmy role models aplenty. To celebrate it’s imminent return (6 days and counting) here are the show’s top 5 female role models, and the many examples of their brilliance. Once a Gilmore girl, always a Gilmore girl.

LORELEI

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The obvious starting point. Lorelei chose single parenthood over a parent-planned unhappy marriage- even more unusual in 2000! Not only did she fly in the face of her parents wishes to ensure the happiness of both herself an her child, but she knew that marriage wasn’t always happier ever after at 16 years old. I do was not going to solve all her problems, for her or the teen-aged Christopher.

Lorelei then raised Rory to value brains over beauty, so while the other girls talked lipgloss she was focused on literature. The only reason she asks her wealthy parents for money is for her kid’s schooling. She self sufficient and independent, but willing to break her own rules for the sake of her child. She braves her worst dears (her parents and their constant disapproval) for her little girl.

She places immense value on female friendship. She supports Sookie through marriage, kids and the start of their business. Miss Patty and Babette are constant presences in her life, and when Lane and Mrs Kim fall out, it is Lorelei who bridges the gap.

She refuses to settle for ordinary – marrying Max/Christopher isn’t enough. she wants true love. Managing someone else’s business is not enough, she creates the dragonfly. Inherited wealth is not enough – she makes her own way in the world.

Quote Her: ’In the movie, only boy hobbits travel to Mount Doom, but that’s only because the girls went to do something even more dangerous’

RORY

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Unlike her contemporaries Rory shunts glittery eyeshadow in favour of Charles Dickens and Tolstoy. She befriends her bully – understanding that Paris’ cruelty is rooted in insecurity. Even as a teenager she can see the best in people: Paris isn’t just obnoxious, she is passionate. Her grandparents aren’t just snobs, they are traditionalists who (despite appearances) value family and have a great capacity to love.

Rory bridges the gap between her mum and her grandparents, and cites her mum as her royal model at graduation. She makes mistakes, sure (who can forget ‘he took the ring off!’) but she fixes them.

She has not one but two best friends (Lane and Paris) and never gives up on them,though fall-outs are never glossed over.

Though a serial girlfriend Rory is hardly a pushover. She calls out Dean on his lack of ambition,

calls out Jess for being a jerk and calls out Logan for his jock antics. And lets not forget she turned down Logan’s rather premature proposal in favour of following the future President Obama on his campaign trail.

Quote her: “Who cares if I’m pretty if I fail my finals?”

LANE

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Lane defies convention in every sense. She refuses to been the stereotypical good-girl Korean her mum wants her to be in favour of drum kits, rock and roll and junk food. upon obtaining freedom she shuns the sex drugs rock and roll lifestyle that traditional comes free with the music, shocking herself by insisting on no sex before marriage, then becoming a young mum whilst still being the coolest girl in stars hollow.

No matter how off the rails Rory goes (affairs with married exes, stealing a boat, dropping out of Yale) Lane is always there for her best friend, and follows her passions, beliefs and dreams no matter the opposition

“eternal damnation is what I’m risking for my rock and roll’

PARIS

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Paris has a crazy home-life but still manages to rule her school with an iron fist. She bullied Rory as a pre-emptive strike, then softens when faced with true friendship.

Paris is a female leader in a man’s world. The editor of her high school paper and the Yale Daily news, capable of bouncing back from disappointments (e.g.: the Harvard rejection) and unafraid to be tough and ballsy.

Paris often faces ridicule, but she can conquer the world, and she know it.

Quote Her: “Of course. We’re girls, so we must be fighting over a boy. You sexist, white-haired …”

SOOKIE

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Sookie is unconventionally gorgeous. Sure she is overweight, but she is also beautiful and stylish. Best of all her weigh is never mentioned – because she is more than her clothes size. Jackson is besotted with her, and an old culinary chum cites her as the one that got away.

As well as always being there for Lorelei with home cooking and a shoulder to cry on, Sookie co-runs the dragonfly while parenting two small kids. A culinary wizard who admits her lack of maternal feeling before taking to parenthood with aplomb.

She also tells Jackson to get the snip whilst still on her birthing bed – and yes he doesn’t go through with her wishes, but she demands ownership of her own body and future, even after pushing a tiny person into the world she fights for her rights.

Jackson: I think we should get married.
Sookie: What?
Jackson: I think we should get married.
Sookie: But uh…
Jackson: Soon.
Sookie: Are you pregnant?

Where they lead we will follow, fighting the patriarchy one coffee at a time.

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