March 24, 2009

Gossip Girl Feminist Index for "The Grandfather"

5 points to Deroda for calling Mr. Chuck and Serena and Blair out for being "very confusing." So true. These kids change their images more often than Mitt Romney.

5 points to Lily for keeping her cool with her art consultant when she found out her art consultant banged Rufus and Rufus never told her. Yay for not blaming the woman or firing her as a scapegoat!

5 points to Lily for being assertive enough with Rufus to ask for the "list of past lovers" but negative five points as well because the idea of a "List" is just so lame. I guess that's because it's such a contrived and obvious plot device...

Negative ten points to Serena for convincing her mom to LIE about her number with Rufus. Why should Lily be ashamed of her sexual history? Why should she actively LIE about her number? What's wrong with a healthy female sexual appetite, Serena? Serena has become so anti-feminist since becoming a "good girl."

Plus ten points to Blair for calling Chuck out when he tried to "save" her from Carter. Yeah, Blair is right; so what if Carter is bad news? Chuck has always been selfish and super bad news for her in the past. Too bad they are so hot together and I want them back with each other more than I want a pair of black patent Chanel flats...

- Negative ten points to Dan for saying he could relate to the Vanderbillt story of "coming from nothing." Um, Dan, you live in a HOT loft in Brooklyn with your former rock star father. You attend one of the most elite private schools in New York, as does your sister. Your dad owns an art gallery, he doesn't work in the salt mines! You are going to Yale next year! You are more privileged than 99% of the kids in America. You even have the more expensive black Macbook. If you were hurting at all, you'd at least have the white one. I'm not poor, and I have the white one because the black one is a waste of money. That black mac is the sign of bourgeois decadence, in my opinion! Stop pretending to be poor just because your family doesn't have an ancestral mansion like Nate's.

Plus ten points to Blair for being subversive at the Vanderbilt house in a super sexy bandage dress, and yet minus ten points as well because sure she stirred things up with stuffy and self-righteous society people, but did she really have to be so mean?

Negative 5 points for Chuck and Serena asserting that the "new Blair" is not the "real Blair." Why are we denying Blair agency and the ability to evolve here? You might prefer the old Blair, guys, but who is to say this new racy incarnation that doesn't care about high society can't be Blair too?

Overall Feminist Index for This Week: Negative 5 points..

Now some overall reflections on the episode that don't fit into the feminist index. Okay, so, what's this about Vanessa and Nate breaking up because Nate, who previously had no direction and NO interests at all now thinks he might like to take advantage of the opportunity his grandfather has given him to work for the mayor. Sure, he had to cancel his trip with Vanessa, which was jerky, but that's not why she walked out on him. Oh no! She did that because Nate's grandfather might believe in him, but she believes in a "different him." Uh, V, is that the loser without interests who just watches ESPN? He HAS NO interests of his own. HE might as well try this internship. It's not like his family doesn't like V., either. They were really nice and inclusive with her. She even WANTED him to go back to his family. The worst thing they did was open the door for Nate to be see what a life of public service through politics and government is like. What? Are rich people just supposed to cavort around Europe with their hot girlfriends with no interests for the rest of their lives? No, Nate didn't used to be into politics, but he didn't used to be into anything. Why can't he develop new interests? He's only 17? Is the person you are at 17 the true you? The person you're supposed to be forever? No evolution allowed? When I was 17, I wore lots of jeans, didn't identify as a feminist, thought I wanted to be a society columnist for Vogue and for some reason wanted to go to the University of British Columbia where I planned to study English literature. Well, at 23, I'm now a feminist, I have an undergraduate degree from Queen's University in history and Gender Studies, am doing a master's in Gender Studies at LSE and will start a PhD in Women's Studies at York next year. I now would prefer never to live in Vancouver for any purpose, never wear jeans and identify staunchly as a feminist. No, Nate's not changing into a foreign film buff, which Vanessa would probably dig, but what does she have against rich people that care enough about the world to go to law school and get into politics? I feel like out of all the rich families we've seen so far on Gossip Girl, this one is of the most benefit to the world. But oh no, heaven forbid Nate would want to do something like clerk for the supreme court like his cousin. Horrors!

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