Guest Post! "Gilmore Girls: Choice and Wantedness"
Batman Beyond because it was amazing, and I have a couple of episodes on DVD of Transformers Prime, a more recent animated wonder. I also own the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. I am also an overgrown child. So, when it comes to "big people" TV shows, I'm a little behind the times. However, some people are not. So I thought it would be a nice opportunity to talk about TV shows and feature one of my favorite people in a blog post. So here is Rebecca Procure's take on an element of the show Gilmore Girls, re-posted with permission from her blog Catholic Ginger:
GILMORE GIRLS: CHOICE AND WANTEDNESS
Gilmore Girls is probably my favorite show. It premiered in 2000 and went off the air in 2007. On average, I re-watch all seven seasons once a year. Apparently, it is honesty hour on this here blog. Carrying on...
That is a weird way to start a post, I realize, but just go with me.
If you have never seen the show, it is about a mother, Lorelai, and her daughter, Rory, who are making their way in the small, eccentric community of Stars Hollow, Connecticut. Lorelai had Rory when she was 16. And even though it was 1985, and even though it is a full 12 years or so since the American Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, Lorelai chose to keep her baby. She chose to keep the baby even with enormous pressure, and she chose to keep the baby and raise it on her own, without the help of her wealthy parents.
And she and Rory thrived.
Christopher's parents, Rory's paternal grandparents, were unsupportive. They blamed Lorelai for getting pregnant and they suggested the best option would be an abortion. Not once did they express disappointment with Christopher impregnating Lorelai. Not once did they encourage him to own up to his responsibility. They blamed Lorelai and they encouraged her to abort.
In a flashback scene, Emily (Lorelai's mother) and Straub (Christopher's father) go toe-to-toe on the subject:
EMILY: Christopher is just as much to blame as Lorelai is.
STRAUB: Like hell he is.
EMILY: They are in this together.
STRAUB: I don't see why. Why should Christopher sacrifice everything we've planned for him just because --
EMILY: Choose your words extremely carefully, Straub.
FRANCINE: Emily, you know we love Lorelai, you know that. But Christopher's so young, he's a baby.
EMILY: Well, Lorelai's not exactly collecting social security.
STRAUB: Why doesn't she get rid of it?
STRAUB: It's an option.
EMILY: It certainly is not an option.
STRAUB: Why not?
EMILY: Because I say so. (Gilmore Girls, Sn. 3, Ep. 13: "Dear Emily and Richard")
And, although Lorelai isn't directly part of this conversation, her opinion is no different:
LORELAI: I know we're all upset here, folks, but maybe we should ask the kids what they think. Lorelai, Christopher, anything to add here?
CHRISTOPHER: Quiet, they'll hear you.
LORELAI: Not likely. I don't know how much longer I can just sit here like this.
CHRISTOPHER: It's okay, let them talk.
LORELAI: They're talking about us.
CHRISTOPHER: They're trying to figure out what to do.
LORELAI: What to do with our lives -- our lives! Yours, mine, and... its." [Emphasis mine]
Both Lorelai and Emily recognized the inherent personhood of Lorelai's unborn child. Rory, although unplanned and inconvenient, was still a person worthy of life in both their eyes.
In a different episode, Season 1, Episode 15: "Christopher Returns", when we first meet Christopher and his parents, Straub and Francine, the following exchange takes place:
STRAUB: If you had attended university as your parents had planned and as we had planned in vain for Christopher, you might have aspired to something more than a blue collar position. [In reference to Lorelai stating she runs an inn and is happy in how her life turned out]
CHRISTOPHER: Don't do this.
STRAUB: And I wouldn't give a damn about you derailing your life if you hadn't swept my son along with you.
LORELAI: [to Rory] Honey, go into the next room. Go, go.
RICHARD: I'm going to have to echo Christopher's call for civility here. A mutual mistake was made many years ago by these two, but they have come a long way since.
STRAUB: A mutual mistake, Richard? This whole evening is ridiculous. We're supposed to sit here like one big, happy family and pretend that the damage that was done is over, gone? I don't care about how good a student you say that girl is --
STRAUB: Our son was bound for Princeton. Every Hayden male attended Princeton, including myself, but it all stopped with Christopher. It's a humiliation we've had to live with every day, all because you seduced him into ruining his life. She had that baby and ended his future.
Again we are seeing Christopher's parents, who, even 16 years later, are still blaming Lorelai and Rory for how Christopher's life turned out. They view Rory as unwanted and don't acknowledge that Christopher, as it is alluded to over the course of the show, was hardly in Rory's life. Christopher's parents are looking to blame someone and don't hold their own son accountable, even though he wasn't in Rory's life, so Rory did not prevent him from going to Princeton.
But I have strayed off the point. In the "Christopher Returns" episode, we see Rory's existence reaffirmed by both her mother and grandmother. They confirm her wantedness:
EMILY: None of this means anything, Rory.
RORY: Oh, I know.
EMILY: ... Rory, I know you heard a lot of talk about various disappointments this evening, and I know you've heard a lot of talk about it in the past. But I want to make this very clear: you, young lady, your person and your existence have never, ever been -- not even for a second -- included in that list. Do you understand me?
RORY: They don't even want to know me, do they?
LORELAI: That is not true. They are just so full of anger and stupid pride that stands in the way of them realizing how much they want to know you.
LORELAI: Their loss, and it's a pretty big one.
RORY: I'm going to bed now.
LORELAI: Hey. No regrets -- from me or your dad.
Lorelai chose life for Rory because she was wanted. Lorelai acknowledged her personhood from the beginning and, even though it was inconvenient and the pressure from Christopher's parents was loud, and even though her own parents were disappointed, she wanted Rory, so she kept her.
But does that really define a fetus? Is an unborn child only a person if they are wanted? Why does a wanted child have more rights than an unwanted, unborn child? Even Abby Johnson, in her book Unplanned, reflected on the difference. While working at Planned Parenthood, she referred to unborn children as fetuses and medical waste, but, while she herself was pregnant, Abby referred to her fetus as a baby.
But fetuses are all the same. A fetus is always an unborn child. From the moment of conception, the only potential that fetus has is whether or not it becomes a female child or a male child. But it always is and always will be human.
Whether or not a child is wanted doesn't affect its inherent dignity and its indisputable personhood.
This is why abortion is such a travesty. It kills innocent children. That is all it does. Abortion kills.
Anyone who looks can find a person who would turn an unwanted child to a wanted child through adoption. Adoption is a hard choice, but there are far less complications and risks with adoption than with abortion. And adoption always brings joy to the people who choose it.
The real "war on choice" comes from people who dismiss adoption as a viable option.
The real "war on choice" comes from people who dismiss science, evidence, and growing public opinion that life begins at conception. Who arbitrarily decide that a person is only a person if it is wanted, or only if it was conceived in ideal circumstances.
Adoption is a real choice. It is a loving, selfless choice; it is everything abortion isn't. It creates wanted children because every child is a wanted child. Sometimes a family is not made by blood, but by choice.
Choosing life creates families; choosing abortion kills them.
View the original post @ catholicginger.wordpress.com
The point of this blog is not to tell anyone what they should or should not consider entertaining, nor what films, books, lyrics, or television shows are morally or artistically good or bad. The point is to engage with the stories that are creating our culture on an intellectual level, to meet the morals with our minds before they go to our hearts. Once you know what's in the entertainment you imbibe and you're aware of how it may be shaping your perceptions of the world around you, well then, imbibe away!