“And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable, and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”- HRC
by Mindy Silverado
The girls who had to watch Hillary concede the presidency also will be able to watch Gilmore Girls–A Year in the Life, which is going to be streamed on Netflix starting Nov 25th. When the release date was announced, the Gilmore community was over the moon with excitement. Two of television’s most independent women were going to come back to the screen amid the glass shards of President Hillary Clinton’s ceiling shattering victory. This is not the situation the American public has chosen. Our hearts are broken. The anti-girl hate, the disrespect for female life and the general disgust for anything that is not white cis hetero male sit heavily in the air.
As I watch Donald Trump assign his cabinet members, many things hurt my heart. There’s no end to unqualified leaders claiming to change the country and to pursue bigoted politics like ‘protecting the sanctity’ of marriage. There’s nobody so far that I consider a role model, not even the far flung woman or minority member mentioned. Instead of community building, the carrot’s people stand for destruction. They prefer anger over solutions. They deny the reality of our diverse country and instead adhere to a myth that everybody who does not look like them is a threat.
We can’t look to the incoming cabinet for support and inspiration. It is the Leslie Knopes, Liz Lemons, Mindy Lahirirs–pop culture–that seem to be able to help us back up on our feet.
Role models are everything. Growing up with Rory Gilmore, Paris Geller, Lane Kim, and above all Lorelai Gilmore has been my priviliege, and that of many teenagers of the 2000s. Rory makes studying cool, Lorelai makes business-ownership cool, and all of Stars Hallow make independence the goal above all. Community will come from doing the best we can.
Gilmore Girls represents a white Connecticut idyll of relative wealth and security. Lane Kim and Luke Danes are important charcaters to complicate this larger stories: second generation Korean-American Lane and second-generation working class entrepeneur Luke subtly tell us about different lives. Ivy league education might be what WASP Rory stives for but her best friend is busy breaking Asian stereotypes as a rock and roll drummer. There’s nothing but solidarity and support to their friendship. Luke is sunshine and the rock to both Gilmores, and to Stars Hallow, as a grumpy diner owner in the town center. A fairly undeducated white man doesn’t have to be a Trump voter, by any means. Of course, Gilmore Girls could do more in terms of diversity. But, it already contributes quite a bit by offering outsider paths that are potential role models for everyone.
It is no coincidence that Hillary looms large in Gilmore Girls. She’s a natural real-life person to turn to for them. Rory and Paris both want to write their college application essays about her. When Luke helps out his sister at a Renaissance Market out of town and delays his return, Lorelai tells him, “See you when Hillary’s president”. Now, we wont get to see Gilmore Girls in the context of a Hillary Presidency. But that’s ok. There will be a million more Hillarys, and one of them will win the White House. Pop culture has taught us for a long time that bossy girls have great leadership skills, and we need to honor that offer now.
Pic: the last Netflix poster for Gilmore Girls–A Year in the Life to come out before the release on November 25, 2016.