Essay: “Binge-Watching White Feminism” by Samantha Duncan

Samantha Duncan

Binge-Watching White Feminism

November 9

Rory Gilmore cries tears of shock into her coffee, because so much hate exists in the world that didn’t exist before. She knows, she’s searched all of Stars Hollow, including Jess’s coat pockets. First snow is soon. A different scarf and matching hat for each day of the week. Coffee and doughnuts to go, to get through this day and many more to come. Good thing denial is affordable, with help from wealthy grandparents.


November 11

Lorelai is brilliant. Lorelai says, Let’s go shopping to forget. Let’s brainstorm over an Orange Julius witty one-liners about other strong women who will rule the free world, after we finish the pro-con list for which pretty boy Rory should recommend dead white boy writers to over candlelit dinners. They eat too much before Friday night dinner again, subject themselves to Emily eye-rolls for being too full to eat. It’s okay, there’s lots to talk about, the stock market’s going crazy and there’s still so much anger to discover for the first time.


November 13

Rory shows Lane her latest byline, titled “So Much Hate,” about being rejected by a guy she fiercely and boldly asked out. She brought her foolproof charm, and it’s hard to understand what went wrong, aside from the world being unfair and riddled with mistakes. Lane agrees, so much hate, wonders when economic issues involved so many Swastikas. Lorelai calls in a panic, she’s searched the whole house and can’t find a single safety pin. Lane pulls a box from her secret floorboard storage, lends them safety pins in every color of the rainbow.


November 15

Rory cries into her week-old Chinese takeout because her Gwen Ifill tribute piece got pushed to page four. She worked hard to make it front-page worthy, had no doubt she was the perfect woman for the assignment, there’s no one more Gwen on staff than her. No one. She finds an eggroll in the bottom of her rice carton, and it’s a nice surprise to distract her from her stalled career and the marriage proposal she received and turned down last night. Patriarchy seems alive and well, in her neck of the woods. She wonders if moving to France would change anything.


November 16

Lorelai says, You don’t need page four. Let’s find you a new job. They gather their basic coffees and basic charm and quickly attract page ones, editors knocking on Rory’s door to beg for the chance to hire her. It’s magic, the way it comes together, much like the weather in Stars Hollow brightening to match their moods. Rory is assigned a Hamilton story, right away, and she’s thrilled to get free tickets to the show for the second time. She’ll write a superb review, she’ll use the word “edgy,” and it’ll make the front page, without a doubt.


November 18

Lorelai is in a Facebook war with her mother, because Emily finds the outfit she’s wearing in the selfie she posted that morning a bit too revealing. Lorelai meets Rory for coffee to discuss strategy, whines into her muffin that Emily started the fight. Rory fiercely takes her side and cites her first amendment right to post selfies wearing whatever she wants (but not topless, as Facebook doesn’t like that). It’s close to Thanksgiving, and they lament that this holiday will be particularly long and arduous, for them and maybe for others. Perhaps the best option this year is not following others’ leads, is staying in Stars Hollow for a multicultural takeout Thanksgiving dinner, just the two of them. Though that means one less dramatic story for Rory to include in her satirical feminist memoir, but she can always go to Greece and meet men with funny accents and write about that, instead.

Samantha Duncan is the author of four poetry chapbooks, including Playing One on TV (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2017) and The Birth Creatures (Agape Editions, 2016), and her fiction has appeared in Meridian, The Pinch, The Conium Review, and Flapperhouse. She serves as Executive Editor for ELJ Editions, reads for Gigantic Sequins, and lives in Houston.

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