Why Paris Geller’s Bathroom Breakdown In ‘Gilmore Girls’ Matters For Women
Julianne Ishler
21411

The experience of educated, privileged (white, able-bodied, middle/upper class) women and their ability to succeed just by fighting is admirable but so far from the experience of many women.

Sometimes it feels like this narrative of self-doubt, not being able to “have it all” and worrying about being likable vs being successful is universal and on some level it is. But the difference here is women like Paris Geller and Hillary Clinton — that’s all the opposition they face. These concerns can feel highly unrelatable except for the abstract.

Because yes, privileged women face visible opposition, especially when they excel in male-dominated fields. But there are hundreds of women just as smart, driven, talented, etc as Paris and Hillary, but with such substantial societal roadblocks. So they never get to be Paris Geller or Hillary Clinton.

I understand the thrust of your article, despite some of the cringe-worthy moments (“Hillz”?) and I definitely understand the heart of what you’re driving at. (I do agree with you, don’t get me wrong!)

But we spend so much time on telling women to, as you put it, “In a world of Donald Trumps, be a Paris” without telling them how exactly to do it. I know that you’re not responsible for solely carrying the struggles of/problem solving for other women, but I mean “how exactly to do it” in the sense of cultivating a language. Or at least a way of saying, “Fight, but understand your fight is much harder than this woman with privilege,” so that we don’t alienate each other from the onset.

I’m all for feminist solidarity (and women succeeding, that should go without saying) but we gotta get in the mindset that some of us were dealt a much more dismal hand of cards than others. And some women are trying to play poker with a set of Uno cards. Until/if all of us have the same hand, the same playing field, we have to recognize that, even if just in the language we choose.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Meghan Penton’s story.