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E-Mail of the Week, 03.02.03 ...


From: "Vanda"
To: [email protected]irls.org
Subject: recent show
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 06:51:23 -0800

I watch the "Gilmore Girls" show with my 9 year old daughter every Monday night at 9:00. In fact I let her stay up late to watch it as it`s a school night. That won`t be happening anymore since the recent episode where Rory informed her mother that sex with her new on again off again boyfriend might just happen. What a disappointment.You really blew it.Here was one show which (I thought) was decent for a young girl to watch and look what you are teaching.

You have a social responsibility to the public and this family votes NO to your poor handling of that important position.To encourage sex as a casual pastime without the safety and security of being married is just plain irresponsible.Don`t you know about STD`s? Unwanted pregnancies? Not to mention the value of getting to know someone with the prospect of spending their lives together without trivializing the concept with casual sex?

The media has great power to control us if we allow it,please use that power responsibly and don`t give the excuse of "that`s where society is nowadays", or "everyone`s doing it".Everyone is NOT doing it and a large part of society can be guided into socially responsible behaviour if shows like yours showed some guts.

Sincerely, Vanda Wood.

---------------------------------

GilmoreGirls.org's response:

(Please remember that GilmoreGirls.org is a completely unofficial fansite. It is in no way affiliated with Warner Bros., Gilmore Girls, or anyone on the cast and crew.)

First of all, why does Gilmore Girls have a social responsibility to the public? Do all television shows have a social responsibility? It's important not to confuse primetime television with shows like Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street where viewers can go away having learned a new moral after every episode.

Secondly, you state, "to encourage sex as a casual pastime without the safety and security of being married is just plain irresponsible." Therefore, what you're basically saying is that people should not have sex without first being married because of the safety and security it supposedly brings. Recent statistics show that half of todayís marriages end in divorce. That doesn't sound very secure. What about the people who have yet to find the loves of their lives? Is that their own fault? Should they have to wait until they are 45 to have sex? Seeing how Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, and George Clooney have never been married, it's good to know that by your reasoning they should all still be virgins.

You also pose questions about STDs and unwanted pregnancies. When it comes to television shows, there are far worse shows to pick on. Letís use NBC's mega hit, Friends, as an example. Must See TV's number one show is still going strong in its ninth year, but hasn't Joey had sex with half of New York by now? Wasn't the baby of Rachel and Ross rather unplanned? Plus, wouldn't Rory and Lorelai know a little about the issues of unwanted pregnancies? Not to call Rory unwanted, but she probably realizes more than most about the consequences that unsafe sex can bring.

In the end, it all boils down to two things. Number one, this is just television. Its goal is to entertain. If you believe that Gilmore Girls is no longer entertaining, you have every right to change the station and watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer or American Idol. Number two, if you teach your daughter what you feel are good morals and beliefs at an early age, then you won't have to worry so much about what she watches on television because she will be intelligent enough not to be influenced by fictional characters and situations. Instead, you can focus on the more influential issues such as who her friends are and what they are doing.

---------------------------------

Visitor feedback:

From: "lasfan"
To: [email protected]
Subject: Comments regarding Email #1 (Mar. 2)
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2003 22:00:42 +0000

Hi, I'm writing in regards to the "Email of the Week" recently featured on this site - an e-mail written by a parent who watches Gilmore Girls with her daughter. I found the e-mail to be quite thought-provoking, as I agree with many of the ideas which the writer discussed; however, I feel that Gilmore Girls most definitely DOES continue to be a show which promotes good values, but which at the same time continues to be realistic.

I do not think that Gilmore Girls, in any way, encourages casual sex. If anything, it is one of the few shows on TV that has dared to show the effects of casual sex (an unplanned pregnancy, for instance). You also mentioned that Gilmore Girls is beginning to portray the idea that "everybody's doing it." The fact is, only about 1/3 of students will graduate high school as virgins. I find this statistic as alarming and scary as you probably do, but I think that the principles presented on Gilmore Girls are not ones which promote casual sex. Rory Gilmore, who we know is a virgin, is portrayed favorably on the show - one of television's smartest, most admirable teenage characters. I commend the show for showing viewers that there is nothing wrong with being a virgin, while at the same time, not completely failing to address the issue of sex.

Perhaps you can be comforted by words which came out of Lorelai's mouth in a recent episode, after learning that her daughter has not yet had sex, "I've got the good kid." If this quotation doesn't clearly present the view that virginity is acceptable, and even *admirable*, I don't know what does.

Vanda - I absolutely agree with your opinion that television should not portray casual sex as something trivial. But I think that Gilmore Girls should be commended, not scolded, for bringing up the question of sex in a realistic fashion, and continuing to promote morals in today's teens.

Sincerely,
Jamie


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