Whether you’re a newbie aided by Netflix’s updates last year, or a die-hard noughties fan; you probably have an opinion on Gilmore Girls’ Lorelai Gilmore. I, for one, have just finished all 7 series and am still in two minds about her. But selfishness, recklessness and vanity aside, it is undeniable that she is a great sex positivity advocate. In a time where slut-shaming and female meninists were rife in mainstream culture, Lorelai Gilmore became a beacon of light for all those girls who had ever been made to feel guilty about their sexuality or had never been given the right advice to have sex safely and confidently. Therefore, if you haven’t heard of her or just want to bask in all of her sex positive glory, this is the article for you.
- She’s a positive role model for young/single mums
As a teen mum who (shocker) had sex before marriage, she is the ideal character to destroy all patriarchal expectations of single and young mothers. Yes, Rory was an accident, but for all intents and purposes, Rory has a great upbringing. She grows up with a hard-working mum who provides for her, loves her and cares about her future, all things which any child would be lucky to have. The fact that she isn’t married or was 16 when she gave birth doesn’t even come into it and if anything, is seen as an advantage for being able to talk about usually uncomfortable topics like sex and relationships. Leading me to my next point.
- She talks openly about casual sex and is proud of it!
Case in Point:
‘Rory: You're happy.
Rory: . . . Did you do something slutty?
Lorelai: I'm not that happy.’
Being positive about casual sex, at times, may seem inappropriate to some audiences considering it’s with her daughter. That aside, for younger girls who have always grown up convinced that their ‘number’ matters but a boy’s doesn’t, Lorelai Gilmore breaks down this sexist discourse. Also, whether you agree with her parenting style or not, in having these jokes and conversations with Rory, she creates a safe space for Rory to discuss her own sexual experiences, the good and the bad.
- She never judges Rory, and even if she doesn’t agree with her choices, she supports her whenever necessary.
If you haven’t finished ‘Gilmore Girls’ yet, you might want to look away now just because there will be some vague spoilers coming up. Whilst at college, Rory begins a casual relationship with a boy she’s interested in. Because of her open relationship with her mum, she’s able to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being in this kind of relationship, even though Lorelai disagrees with it. And when the relationship turns sour for Rory, Lorelai puts her own personal feelings aside and is there for her one-hundred-percent. For many girls, this kind of relationship with their mothers isn’t possible because of the embarrassment or the fear of judgement from their parents. However, what Lorelai avoids is a toxic cycle of Rory making mistakes because she hasn’t’ been able to get advice from the person who knows her best, and then having to deal with the consequences completely alone.
- She advocates safe sex
Sure, casual sex might not be your thing, and that’s ok because Lorelai Gilmore is also into safe sex, which is something EVERYONE should be into. Having had the experience of getting pregnant at 16, Lorelai is a keen advocate of safe sex throughout the entirety of Gilmore Girls. It’s usually the first thing she asks Rory when she hears that she’s in a new sexual relationship. For most us, our sex education in school was pretty limited, and as a young mum, Lorelai probably had a similar experience. Therefore, in having a character like Lorelai unashamedly talk about contraception and condoms, young girls starting to explore their sexuality at least begin to ask themselves the same questions and become aware of the same issues.
I’ll admit, Lorelai Gilmore is not the most likeable character on our television screens, and she makes a lot of pretty bad mistakes, however, having safe, consensual sex is not one of them.