Sex, Consent, and Gilmore Girls: A Closer Look at Rory’s Boyfriends

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Rory with her three boyfriends.
Rory with her three boyfriends. Screen captures from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

In just a few days, Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life will hit Netflix for viewers everywhere. In typical Netflix fashion, the show revival picks up the story after ten years off air. Over the last year, it has proven to be the most highly anticipated revival Netflix has done to date.

One of the biggest buzzes around the show revival is who Rory Gilmore will end up with. Show creator Amy Sherman-Palladino points out that Rory is an independent woman, and her three main boyfriends were largely plot devices to help explore and grow Rory’s life. Yet, the debate rages on; people are Team Dean, Team Jess, or Team Logan. I have to admit, I have an opinion on the matter, one that differs from most people’s thoughts and it centers around one thing: consent.

My choice is often not a popular one, which is fine by me. But it got me thinking: why do I feel so strongly against the popular views, when I understand why the popular views are as they are. Even when other people agree with me, it is for different reasons. In order to figure this out, I re-watched the seven seasons not once, not twice, but three times in the last year, until I was able to catch the difference. Let me explain.

Emily, Lorelai, and Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life. Image (c) copyright Robert Voets/Netflix
Emily, Lorelai, and Rory Gilmore in Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life.
Image (c) copyright Robert Voets/Netflix

Gilmore Girls is a story about three generations of strong women, each of whom makes their own decisions despite what is expected of them, and each of whom struggles in their own ways with their privilege. Each woman has a strong personality that is at times in direct conflict with her surroundings. The youngest, Rory, grows into her personality both because of and despite her surroundings. Unlike her mother and her grandmother, Rory had a wide range of growth to go through, as we meet her at the young age of sixteen. Each of her boyfriends helped her along the way.

Each of her main three boyfriends—nice guy Dean, bad boy Jess, and privileged Logan—provides something from their surroundings/trappings to Rory that she needs to become the woman she eventually will be. The right boyfriend for her at the right time. It is these trappings which most viewers seem to relate to, for better or for worse.

Dean and Rory in the car he built for her.
Dean plans the perfect night for Rory, ending at the car he is building for her. Screen capture from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Dean is a perfect first boyfriend for a small town girl who has yet to understand the privilege she lives in. He comes from a stable family, with a working father and a mother who cooks meals for him. He is the nice guy most middle American families try for. This is especially true in the early years before he cheats on his wife, Lindsay, with Rory.

Bad boy Jess reads
Jess reveals to Rory that he is more than just a bad boy with a book. Screen capture from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Jess, on the other hand, is the smart bad boy with a heart of gold. Sent to his uncle when his mom could not handle him, Jess didn’t have a village raising him and making him believe he can do anything. Despite his love of books, and his amazing intellect, Jess always seems to get the wrong end of the deal. When Jess seems to make good on his life later, he becomes a favorite among many fans.

Party Boy Logan and Rory
Logan talks with Rory at a Yale party. Screen capture from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Logan, on the other hand, represents everything Lorelai took Rory away from, and then some. His family is not just rich: his family is within the top 1% of the top 1%. He can get away with anything, and often does. Few people feel empathy for Logan as he is pushed down the single path his father has for him, with most thinking they would love to be in his spot or resenting him for what he gets away with.

Based on this, Team Dean people are often Team Dean “the early years”; Team Jess people are quick to point out how Jess turned his life around, and Team Logan people are drawn to the grand romantic gestures Logan can afford that the other two cannot.

Yet, when I watch and re-watch the show, it strikes me that these trappings are just that, trappings, there to give Rory what she needs to explore her world. In a show that is known for its fast dialogue and unique speaking style that can make everyone seem the same, each of these boys has a unique personality that has nothing to do with these trappings or the unique style of the show, and everything to do with their relationships with other people, and, specifically, Rory.

Each boyfriend loves Rory, likely loves Rory more than she loves him. And each displays this in a unique way to him and consistent manner. Only one of them shows her love in a way that sets her free, always asking for her consent and never expecting her to be more to him than she is to herself. This can be seen in the first six seasons, with the seventh, after creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left the show, allowing all the characters to be more defined by their trappings than their inner compass.

To see if you agree with me, I invite you to stop reading this now, and watch through the first six seasons on Netflix, looking specifically at which Rory’s boyfriends is always willing to be there for her but never trying to force her into something she doesn’t actually want for herself. In short, which boyfriend understands consent? Then come back here, and finish reading this article, and you can let me know if you disagree with me.

Why does consent matter so much to me, even when I was otherwise caught up in the trappings? I was in fifth grade when I kicked a boy in the balls when he would not leave me alone. No one else was around at the time, and I never got in trouble for it, so I am guessing he never told anyone. Regardless, to me, consent matters, and it seems like consent should matter to everyone.

Okay, back to the boys of Gilmore Girls. As I said before, each of Rory’s boyfriends was amazingly consistent through the first six seasons in their attitudes towards her, yet with each, I can point out two cases which both perfectly show how each loved Rory in his unique way.

Rory doesn't say 'I Love You' to Dean
Left: Dean tells Rory he loves her. When she doesn’t immediately tell him she loves him, he breaks up with her. Right: Rory and Dean get into a fight over the role model the Donna Reed Show. To fix things between them, Rory steps into the role of Donna Reed for one day. Screen captures from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Dean loved Rory and recognized that to have her would mean treating her well. Yet, he is a product of the American dream and the nuclear family. He had expectations for his life which Rory, a daughter of an independent single mother, was never going to meet. Dean’s struggle was always one between loving Rory for who she was and then wanting her to fit into an ideal he had before he knew her. This resulted in a series of attempts to make her fit into his fantasy, then (often public) rejections of her when she failed to do so, all while shifting the blame for the failure on her.

Jess wants sex, Rory doesn't
Left: When Jess wants to have sex with Rory, Rory has to tell him “wait” repeatedly, and then push him off. Right: After Jess walked out of Rory’s life without a goodbye, he shows up at Yale, and tells her to leave Yale behind to come live with him in New York. Screen captures from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Jess, on the other hand, wants Rory totally and completely. He has no fantasy on what this would be like, instead he goes with brute force. He simply wanted her, as one would want an object. When he sees her do something he thinks is out of character for her, he will call her on it, not because he wants her to be true to herself, but because he wants her to stay who he wants to have. When she refuses to be his object and to go where he wants to go, he simply vanishes, time and again.

Logan works to support Rory's dreams.
Left: After Logan and Rory break up, Logan works to win her back, but waits until she kisses him to try to kiss her. Right: After Logan’s father crushes Rory’s dreams, Logan is ready to have it out with his father, but doesn’t when Rory requests he avoids a fight. Screen captures from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Logan is drawn to Rory because she is a strong independent woman, and is willing to support what she needs when she needs it. Similarly, he wants to make his own choices and lives his life even as he does everything he can to give Rory what she wants. He asks her if she is sure several times in the process of getting together. After they break up, and he is working to get her back, he does many things to win her back, but never something she has asked him not to. Further, he waits for her to be ready to go out with her, or even to hug her. Like Dean and Jess, Logan is madly in love with Rory. Unlike the first two, Logan is willing to love Rory on her terms.

Logan accepts his friend's behaviors.
Left: While Logan respects Rory’s request for space, she is asking for it after finding out he slept with at least three women while they were apart. Right: Logan enjoys a beer while his best friend describe the benefits of sleeping with a woman who has had one too many drinks. Screen Captures from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

This is not to say Logan is perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. He slept with a bridal shower’s worth of women when he thought they were broken up. He drank too much, and let his own problems have a negative influence on Rory (on the whole, Rory’s problems never negatively impacted Logan). Additionally, he did not call others on behavior that did not include consent. That said, of the three boyfriends, Logan was the one I most liked, because he showed others how to ask for consent from a girl/woman. And that is something we still rarely see in a show.

Rory
Rory in full career mode in the upcoming Gilmore Girl’s preview. Screen capture from Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life by Netflix.

What team am I? I am Team Rory, believing she does not need to be defined by a boy. She is, after all, a person in her own right. Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life hits Netflix this Friday, Nov 25th, once again written by Amy Sherman-Palladino. I am looking forward to seeing if each of Rory’s past boyfriends holds true to their past characters, or if they have perhaps grown, as well as catching up with the lives of the Gilmore Girls.

Rory with her three boyfriends.
Left: Dean tells Rory he has left his wife right before they have sex. He hadn’t. Center: Jess, right before Rory pushes him away when he ignores her “wait” to sex. Right: Logan asks Rory twice if she wants him to leave and waits for her answer before he has sex with her for the first time. Only one of Rory’s boyfriends was upfront with her and respected consent when the topic of sex came up. Screenshot from Gilmore Girls by Warner Bros.

Did you watch seasons one through six with consent in mind? Do you agree with me, or think I am missing something? Or is this just a case where different people come at a story from different places? Let me know in the comments below.

Note: Amy Sherman-Palladino kept an iron hold on the different characters’ development in seasons one through six. Season seven went on without the creator, and a close watch will show subtle deviations from the core of each character, even characters that are there primarily to support Rory in her growth. I have never liked season seven as well, which I contribute to Lorelai’s ever so subtly different personality. Upon my second viewing, I recognized the differences in the characters across the board, including Rory and Logan. Because of this, season seven is not taken into consideration for the purposes of this article.

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32 thoughts on “Sex, Consent, and Gilmore Girls: A Closer Look at Rory’s Boyfriends

  1. I always liked Logan best because he seemed like much of a match for Rory from the moment they debated in front of her room. He always did seem to respect her more out of all of them. It drives me nuts when people are so adamantly Team Jess, because I would be willing to bet that none of those people would want a Jess to date their teenage daughter!

      1. I cried the last time jess saw rory it was so sad because i liked jess but he wasn’t a very good bf because all he ever wanted to do was just make out.

  2. Just to nitpick here – In Keg!Max! Rory says “wait” twice, not “no”. I know that in 2016 anything that isn’t “yes” is “no”, but I don’t believe that ASP wanted her watchers to think of Jess as an attempted rapist. You’re correct in saying he does not have consent and persists but I feel like if you want this article to be unbiased you should make that change.

    1. Kate – Thanks for the nitpick, I’ve re-watched the scene, and you are right. I’ve updated the article above where I had it wrong.

      Based on the treatment of this as the show goes on, I agree ASP did not want her watchers to think Jess was attempting to rape Rory. That said, it felt like a forced attempt for sex to me the first time I watched it – accidentally and because he did not have the idea of consent right in his mind, but it happened none the less. “Wait” does not mean “keep going,” and thus cannot be considered consent.

      The funny thing is, I like Jess, and want to see him happy, just not with Rory because of this.

      1. This article, and this comment in specifically were really lovely. I appreciate a lot how fair you are to all the characters, especially that you consider how their background plays into their behavior. However, the fact that you still were adamant about consent and a strong, female voice was clear. I love Jess, and I think he’s grown, but this was such a needed article. So well done!

  3. Dean is just creepy to me now. I liked him in the first season but when he became possessive of Rory in season 2 it reminded me of my ex who didn’t like me mentioning anyone’s name that I worked with unless I gave a complete dossier on them so he wouldn’t think I was going to cheat on him with them.

    I loathe Logan. Everything about him to me screams a manipulative selfish jerk. Getting consent from Rory wasn’t about her but about covering his own ass. It was him that saw Rory as a possession. The Berkin bag being a good example. Rory had no idea what was so special about it until Emily told her. After finding that out Rory then began to thought he must really love/care about me if he’s buying me something this exclusive and special and “unique”. The same with the rocket when Logan went to England. It was obscure enough of a reference in her/their life that it kept her thinking about him while he was gone and while he didn’t make her feel bad about not knowing the reference right away he did treat a bit like a child or a pet when she did realize the reference for the gift. Logan offered Rory a similar danger to Jess but there was also a safety net that came with Logan. Everything about Logan was “I’m not a horrible person really, I’m a nice guy that just enjoys manipulating people until they see things my way because my way is the only way.” The hissy fit Logan had after meeting Jess and then took Rory standing up for her very personally showed me how he didn’t care about her and just wanted to manipulate her into fitting into his world and if he finished doing that, he would have dropped her because what made Rory unique and special would be gone and no longer the girl he fell in love and then blame all the changes on her and make her feel like garbage until she promised to change and then it would be too late and he would be off to find a new girl he could control. That’s why he went through so many girls so quick. They were all too easy to do what he said and Rory was a challenge to him.

    Jess had Rory on a bit of pedestal. He didn’t think he was every going to measure up to society’s standards of being good enough for Rory. No one wanted to see how smart he was unless society said he was smart. No one listened to Jess or took the time to get to know him except Rory. He saw in Rory her need for adventure. Her idol is Christiane Amanpour who was CNN Senior War Correspondent at one time. He gave her that bit of adventure and didn’t ask for anything in return accept to keep talking to him rather than at him. Rory was his anchor and stability unlike his mother or Luke. When his life was completely falling apart he went to her because he believed with her in his life that he could do anything. What makes Keg!Max! scary is that how Jess was behaving was very unlike Jess. Jess was never so open and vulnerable to a person as he was with Rory and he was scared. I believe in a way, he wanted Rory to hate him to mirror the self-loathing he had so he could be justified in his hate for himself. That he really is the worthless person society wants to paint him as. Once he was set adrift, he found in himself the person that Rory always believed he could be.

    1. Hi Tina,

      Thanks for giving a counter point in favor of Jess.

      If season seven is taken into consideration, I would agree with you on Logan. I don’t take season seven into consideration, as even Lauren Graham has commented on out of character many of the parts from season seven is:

      “Christopher [Hayden] and I got married in that season. When we came back to do [the revival], I say something about having been married or somebody says it to me, and I was like, ‘I was never married.’ I forgot,”

      http://www.ew.com/article/2016/11/20/gilmore-girls-lauren-graham-season-7

      For Logan, season seven was one/third of what defined him to viewers. (Worst for April, for who it was one/half of what defined her.) If the writers were that far off with Lorelai, who they knew for three times as long as they knew Logan, I didn’t trust them to get any of the show right, so for me, season seven did not happen.

      Now, the Berkin bag did happen in season six, as did the scene with Jess (one of two scenes where Logan is shown jealous), followed by the time apart/break-up. I did think about how I would feel to come home early to find my husband about to get dinner with an old fling I didn’t even know about, and I tried to figure out how long they had not talked between the fight and Thanksgiving, as that would give Logan more or less forgiveness with the sleeping with others thing. As for his casual sex, I think it was really just casual sex, not going through girls. To go through girlfriends, you would have to actually consider them girlfriends, and such. I read those differently than you did, which is fine.

      Jess got Rory, and Rory was for Jess what no one else was. I love who he became, but still don’t like him and Rory as a couple, I prefer them as friends. I just did not find his actions in Keg!Max! out of character, as Jess was not great at setting his emotions aside to see how other people were effected by them yet (including those for Rory). Again, this is an area where we came to different conclusions.

    2. I totally agree with everything you just said, Tina. And I do not understand how people can look past all of Logan’s manipulations, his ego, selfishness, condescension, privileged attitue, and bullying just because he was (sometimes) nice to Rory. He had money and knew how to use it to get what he wanted. He treated her like a child, and like his play thing, and if she had married him I’d bet he would have become an angry, resentful alcoholic that either abused her in some way or cheated on her repeatedly (or both). No one can keep up those grand gestures for that long, and with his sense of entitlement, he would have expected something in return eventually.

      Logan played to Rory’s self-centered, entitled side, and to me the show should have dropped him after just one season and moved on after she learned a lesson about that aspect of her life.

      Btw, notice how Rory goes back to Logan (in the new season) when she’s floundering? I don’t know exactly how long they were sort of together again for, but I believe it was right around the time her life started to fall apart. That should say something about their relationship.

      I don’t think Jess encouraging Rory in healthy ways is being controlling. Your loved ones are supposed to help you bring you up when you are down, and tell you you’re being an idiot when you drop out of Yale to be in the DAR. And, comparing a 16-ish year old kid that was kicked out of the house by his own mother to Logan, is not really a fair comparison (not to mention comparing a 15 year old Dean to a 20-something year old Logan). Of course Jess is going to have some major issues, but despite all of that he still made something of himself by himself, and turned into an encouraging, responsible, fairly wise adult. While Logan is still acting like a spoiled rich college kid, up to the same shenanigans with his other spoiled college buddies, and had to work for daddy because he couldn’t or didn’t want to make a life for himself.

      I know this post was before the new season, but I actually would have said the same thing about them!

      Btw, I’m not team Jess, or team Dean, but I don’t loathe them like I do Logan. I hope she finds someone that is both sweet and encouraging, that can point out her mistakes in a loving way, and doesn’t throw a hissy fit when things don’t go his way.

      So much more to say, but I think that’s more than enough for now!

      1. I think it is a testament to the acting of both Milo Ventimiglia and Matt Czuchry that people are as passionate about those to characters (rather they hate them or love them, people tend to respond to them).

        For the most part, there is not much for me to add that I haven’t already added in response to Tina’s comment, so you are informed on my arguments, and find them not strong enough. This article is from before the revival, and complicated with ASP’s treatment of season seven in the revival. She has stated that she has not watched season seven, and that she was disappointed that Lane had kids in it, as it was something she could not largely ignore in putting the story lines back to where she wanted them. Her methods of putting the story lines back are, um, problematic, across the board. But that is a discussion for another time, which I would like to put more thought behind before I put it out there.

        One thing I will comment on is that when it comes to respect, I would expect the same from my five-year-old-daughter as I would from her when she is an adult. I would also expect the same from a boy as I would a girl. “Boys will be boys” is how we end up with a 20-something-year-old who thinks it is okay to have a “ego, selfishness, condescension, privileged attitude, and bullying.” Failure to stop pushing for sex when someone says “wait” is never okay, I don’t care the age of the people involved.

        That said, there is some truth to the fact that all boyfriends have major flaws, and I respect that you read the actions of Logan different than I do. I also respect that you put a different weight on Jess’s actions than I do.

        I had a conversation on Facebook with someone who felt I was too harsh on Dean, and I wish it would have happened here, to give people another take on the issue.

    3. Tina power, I understand where you’re coming from with Logan however, I can strongly disagree! Logan asked for consent and understood when he made the mistake of ‘cheating’ and apologized. When he broke up with her from his sister he seemed like a coward but tried to win her back, he thought it was just a silly experiment that failed but then he realised that he couldn’t live without her and he loves her! In the final season, he proposes and Rory said no thus was not because she stopped loving him it was because she new that she would have to leave and the fact that she had a strong bond with her mother prevented her from doing that. In my opinion, Logan was the best boyfriend as he bought Rory anything. When he got her the Berkin Bag (a bag that expensive) Rory felt that he loved her and told him how she felt about him, Logan then replied with “wow, the lady who sold me tge bag said this was gonna happen.” Rory then relied with something like “you don’t have to reply yet, I fact you don’t at all.” And Logan tild her a story of saying he loved other girls and not meaning it. This implied he is kind because he didn’t say it back just to say it, he didn’t say it back because he wasn’t ready and simply didn’t want to ruin the relationship between them although he made thing awkward when he said it while she was trying to get into her house. Thank you for reading this and honestly I think Jess was a jerk and u agree with on with dean.

  4. This is good food for thought! I’ve watched the show for years and this perspective never occurred to me. What I have based my boyfriend opinion on is who did Rory ever pursue? Most of them were pursuing her for the majority of the relationship. However, with Jess, she made a grand gesture towards him when she takes the bus to NYC, skipping school. And also when she heads to Philly years later to see him at the book release. I don’t see any other examples with Dean or Logan where she made similar pursuits. For this reason alone, I’ve been Team Jess. But your consent point is really challenging my opinion! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Wow, grand gesture huh? That is also an interesting interpretation! I had never considered anything like that before. People do note that Rory has never cheated on Jess but has cheated with Jess, but on the other hand Rory has also turned Jess down a lot. It’s difficult to see where they stand, but Rory definitely does stretch herself the most with Jess.

    2. Thanks Mandy.

      Looking at who Rory seemed o want the most is a good way to think about it. It was funny, when I was younger, I liked Jess better, but found I liked Rory and Logan together better, even when I didn’t really like Logan. I didn’t understand why until I was older. Funny how those things work.

      1. I think it’s hard to judge who is better as a couple, as people have said, Jess was a messed up teen when he and Rory actually dated- they only dated for half a season because of ENDLESS Dean drama before Jess was promptly written out of the show for an attempt at a spin off that never happened! That’s largely the reason for the scene in the bedroom if you ask me- they needed a reason for him to take off without talking to Rory, other than Luke kicking him out. The potential of Rory and Jess as adults, adult Jess as an author/publisher, is so promising! Potentially you can imagine their intense bookish connection as teens without Jess’s emotional issues from a messed up childhood. Fans were denied a chance to properly explore them as a couple, which is probably why people idealise Jess because all we have then, other then A brief season three relationship, is season 2 where they seem so connected, and have so much chemistry, but the idea that Jess was this ‘bad boy’ kept them apart (I always hated how Lorelai put so much pressure on Rory to stay with Dean in Season 2/3 when it was obvious the relationship had gone stale.) The problem with Logan and Rory is we’ve seen them together as adults, in both the revival and season 6/7 and it just doesn’t work. He brings out the worst in her; the selfishness and privilege. We have no curiosity about that relationship because it’s played out. Personally I could never forgive someone sleeping with three women in a like a months period of taking a break.

        1. No, you think Rory&Logan have been played out. And you have no curiosity about the the relationship. I personally think the surface of their potential has barely been touched.

          Plus in the revival, Logan listens to Rory’s issues and gives her encouragement, support and his own opinion on them. Logan isn’t the one that brings the selfish and privilege out. He’s just sharing the part of his life they agreed to share. Her actions are her own.And to the final night (until he finds out about the child) he allows her, her own brain, her own choices and her own right to consent.

          But Jess hasn’t seen her in 4+ years but he makes sure to tell her what she should do. Yes, it’s just her career this time but he tells her she’s not writing a spec script and that she should write a book and he tells her what to write the book about. He doesn’t talk with her about what she’s passionate about. He tells her what she’s passionate about. Jess is a good guy but he still doesn’t allow Rory her own mind.

  5. You’re missing everything.

    “When he sees her do something he thinks is out of character for her, he will call her on it, not because he wants her to be true to herself”

    This is what we call: a stab in the dark. There is no basis for that statement other than your own bias. In fact we have the creator of the show herself confirming that Jess understands Rory very well.

    In Jess’ situation with Rory and consent, yes he pushed it, but after he saw Rory wouldn’t relent, he let her go. Clearly he made a bad choice, but not necessarily a deal breaker.

    With Logan however, you commit the most egregious error. You omit when Logan tried to elicit consent unwillingly in the most sacred act of all: marriage. He used an ultimatum to try to force Rory into marrying him right then and there, when she clearly wasn’t ready. Now you can argue that ASP did not write that scene, which is true, but it is not out of the realm of believable behavior for Logan, simply because he is used to/adept at throwing his weight around to get his way.

    1. Hi AJ,

      It is nice to meet you and welcome to the site. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with our readers.

      First, of course this article is written from my bias, there is no way around it, just like your comment was written from you bias. What I love about the conversations with people from differing opinions is that they add more light into a topic, and give people more to think about.

      First, what basis do I base Jess’s reason’s for calling her out on things? Well, the easiest example is his visits to Yale. The first visit, he begs her to quit Yale and move to New York with him, the second visit, he calls her out for dropping out of Yale. For me, the two do not coincide unless he is not as concerned about her being true to herself as people often believe, simply because he gets her. If you see it differently, then you see it differently. As you pointed out, we all have our biases.

      In Jess’ situation with Rory and consent, even though he backed off, it is a deal breaker for me. Other people might draw the line in a different place.

      That said, I actually love Jess’ development over the series.

      With Logan, I did not include anything from season seven. As I stated at the end of the article, this had nothing to do with Logan specifically, but with the differences I saw in the characters across the board. ASP didn’t even watch the seventh season, and Lauren Graham blocked out a major plot line for Lorelai because it seemed so out of character, and we know that ASP has put Logan back in London, his father is in the revival, and the Life and Death Brigade is in the revival, I think I can safely ignore season seven as a whole.

      I know that some people put him not wanting to commit to a relationship, and “forcing” Rory to do the casual sex thing for a while, as manipulation, and getting her to do something outside of who she was. I also know that many people felt that his attempt to win her back was also manipulation. To me, these were not. Logan always communicated with Rory where he stood on things, and Rory believed that silence worked to tell him things. Once she told him where her lines were, he didn’t cross them.

      That said, season seven represents one/third of Logan’s screen time. If you choose to take season seven as part of the story as ASP wanted it told, then, yah, my article would be off.

      1. I just want to bring up Jess’s first visit to Yale. He had JUST been handed over the self help love books. Considering the confidence it gave Luke to persue Lorelai, I took Jess’s proposition as him going for it, as Luke did with Lor. I agree with several other points of the article. Curious your take now after how Logan was in the revival?

  6. As someone who experienced something very similar to what Jess did to Rory, watching that scene made my skin crawl. It wasn’t just that he was ignoring her obvious discomfort and requests to stop, it’s how he treated her afterwards, making her feel like she was at fault. She ran away thinking that she had done something wrong for not wanting to sleep with him. That was FAR from okay, and it really irritates me to see people worshipping Jess in this fandom. His development happened offscreen so it’s meaningless to me.

    I definitely agree with you that Logan is the one who respected her boundaries and desires. It wasn’t just in terms of sex or romance, but he actually listened to her when she told him what she did and didn’t like in their relationship. He not only listened, he respected how she felt and made an effort to adjust his behavior. I was astonished by how well-written their relationship was because often on tv, you’ll have a lot of mess ups and big reunions but nothing gets fixed. Rory and Logan are rare.

    1. Hi Elle, Thanks for the comment.

      I’ve always thought that off screen development was not nearly as important as on screen actions. While I like Jess as he interacts with Luke over time and even like the latest version of Jess seen in the revival, I don’t want to see him with Rory ever again. My desire is that he accepts that his actions were wrong, that going back to a person who you behaved that way towards is not a good idea, and to start new with someone he treats better. If I had a similar experience as you had, I would probably just want Jess written out of the show.

      Rory and Logan are rare, and that is a shame. And you are right, it goes much deeper than sex or romance. I think few people really get what makes this relationship so well written and so unusual, as most people don’t see past Logan’s (and to a lesser extent Rory’s) privilege.

  7. Hi, reading your opinion on Rory’s relationship is very interesting, and I have to say that I agree with you.

    And it is very heartbreaking to see Rory and Kogan’s relationship, either from the original series except the 7th, completed original series, or the revival.

    I know you did not include 7th season to write this opinion, but I really want to ask your deeper thought on 7th season when Logan proposed Rory. It seemed really out of character; Logan always ask Rory’s opinion and not forcing his opinion to her. He even said I will factor you in, but you need to not include me in your decision. So, why rushing the proposal? Why it has to be all or nothing? Are there any reasons we do not know? Did something happen between Logan and his family regarding the marriage? I just cannot get these questions out of my mind.

    Sorry if my questions are out of topic here. But i hope i can get some other theories from GG’s fans!

  8. I can’t help but disagree with this article. Not in its entirety, but on the subject of Logan.

    I completely agree with you on the Dean portions, and almost entirely on the Jess point, but I feel like Logan was more subtle with how he treated consent. While Jess and Dean both would get angry, upset, or into all out verbal fights over things that Rory did not want to do (Speaking of which, keep in mind, she often tried to make them do things that they didn’t want to do. i.e. Making Jess go a party/dinner/anywhere, and making Dead go to the coming out party/dinner/not beating Jess to death with his caveman arms) the thing is, they were all teenagers, and believe or not, most of this is actually pretty normal and healthy. It’s good to know boundaries, and it’s understandable to be upset when you feel shunned. (i.e. Rory not telling Dean that she loved him/not going with Jess) Their reactions were understandable because the situation caused them emotional pain.

    Dean has just professed love, and Jess was finally taking a chance, trying to find his happiness, and both were shut down. That hurts, and even though Rory wasn’t wrong to react the way she did, it’s still understandable that they would respond in a hurt manner. The interesting thing to me, in both of these cases is that Rory is the one more likely to actually make them do something that they don’t want to, so you don’t often get to see her reaction when she doesn’t get what she wants. Which, I think is why their reactions stand out more.

    The one instance here that I feel can’t really be argued for, is the Jess and Rory scene in the bedroom. He clearly wasn’t listening to her. True, she didn’t say no, and true, he did stop, but she had to push him off to make that happen. That’s not okay, ever. Now, from experience, I do know that “wait” can often mean that the person just wants to shift positions or take off their clothes, or any variety of things really. It’s not a no, it’s wait. But Jess didn’t really wait… he kinda just persisted.

    From a character perspective, I guess you can say that he needed to feel something that wasn’t his messed up life, and that the two of them had obviously discussed it before, but that is not consent. The thing I do take issue with in your article, however, is him leaving afterwards. I don’t think he did that because she wouldn’t have sex with him. I think he did that because he knew he messed up. He knew he was messed up. The second after she leaves the room, he immediately blames himself, he knows he was wrong. He left because he hurt her, that’s what I believe. That’s why he never spoke when he called. It’s why he finally professed his love to her months later and ran. He couldn’t get his mind off of her, but he knew he was still messed up. And that’s why, when he finally had some hope, after using the self help stuff from Luke, he went to ask her to come with him. He wanted a better life. He finally felt like he could have that, not be messed up. Like he was good enough. And he was rightfully rejected.

    Now, let’s talk Logan.

    He’s a self-centered, alcoholic, spoiled, irresponsible, patronizing sociopath.

    He, above all others, only does things to get what he wants. He’s not overt about how he does it. No arguments, really. No ultimatums, (until season 7 but, like you said, never happened) no. His form of control is more akin to Edward Cullen. He starts in a very Tristan-like manner (who I firmly believe this character was originally going to be, but due to One Tree Hill, they couldn’t get Chad Michael Murray, so they just created a new character) by rarely calling her by her real name. Instead, he goes with “Ace” which could be taken as sweet, or incredibly condescending. (Mary, anyone?) To me, the name “Ace” is him saying “Aww, you’re so good at stuff aren’t ya!” before patting her head like a dog. I mean, look at how he acts when she brings problems to him, he literally says “Aww, Ace.” and then hugs her. Repeatedly.
    Let’s start with consent by talking about their first in-depth interaction. He blind folds her into the woods, refuses to tell her anything that’s going on, gives her a tent to sleep in (without informing her that the trip would be overnight beforehand) and makes her wear a dress when she wakes up. She doesn’t argue with any of this because, according to him, if she wants her story, she has to do all of it, including convincing her to jump from a tower that they weren’t 100 percent certain was safe. Her first response when asked? “No.” Then Logan convinced her to do it. He heard “No.” and convinced her to do it because “it would make her a better journalist”. This is the definition of not caring about consent. Just because he was more clever and didn’t get angry, doesn’t mean that he didn’t do everything he could to get his way, against her wishes.

    This interaction, of course, causes her to second guess all of her life choices, which leads to everything else that happens eventually. But first, let’s look more at how Logan controls her.

    In the next episode, Rory is talking to a douchewad who clearly just wants to sleep with her and Logan “saves her” in the most cliché way possible. By wrapping his arm around her in a possessive manner and claiming to be her boyfriend, which she thanks him for. Think back to Tristan, he treated Rory much in the same way as the douche guy in this scene, yet Rory always knew how to handle him. But now she needs saving? Odd. Logan then steals some alcohol and gets her drunk with a bunch of his friends, which leads directly to her and Dean breaking up. Especially since he insists on going outside with her to meet her boyfriend and brings his entire entourage. Do you really think that wasn’t a deliberate move?

    And of course, who’s there to comfort her the second Dean leaves? With more alcohol, (which, keep in mind she refused earlier that evening) and another arm wrapping for good measure. Skip down two episodes and he embarrasses her in class in front of a student who she is supposed to be showing around school. Later on, he finds out that she wants to meet an author and drops the line “It’s boring. I just go, take a date so I have someone to talk to and bail.” Thus planting that idea that if she’s his date, she can meet the author. And this manipulative behavior is constant in nearly every episode he’s in, leading to him to convince her to have a stringless relationship with him (which of course leads to them nearly having sex at Emily and Richard’s recommitment ceremony) and while yes, he does make sure she’s okay with it, the reason it happens stems from him asserting how unadventurous she is. Then there’s him accepting her offer to hang out, yet forgetting to mention that it’s poker night and that there are tons of people over. This also seemed deliberate.

    I could go on and on about his influence in her life, things he’s convinced her of, the way he treats people and responsibility, how his offer to stand up to his father and agreement not to is more a show of his cowardice than listening to her, and on and on if you want. I just realized how long this thing is getting though so I cut it off relatively early into his arch in season 5. There’s still a whole other season and a half to talk about with this guy, but suffice it to say, he’s manipulative. He’s the Edward Cullen, the one who “knows what she really wants” and convinces her of it. And the worst part? He never really changes. Just look at how he looks at her. Dean looks infatuated, Jess looks in love, Logan looks amused.
    All of these things I’ve mentioned (and many, many more that I didn’t, arguably far more important things) were under the guise that it’s “an adventure!” or “fun!” And do we even want to get into A Year in the Life?
    My point here is that he doesn’t ask her to do anything. He convinces her that she wants to do it. He doesn’t argue about consent because he finds it easier to sway it. Simply, he gets what he wants. Like a sociopath. Dean is old-fashioned. Jess is anti-social. Logan is the devil.

      1. Logan called Rory ace for Ace Reporter. It wasn’t a sexual virginal thing like Mary. And he called her Rory quite often.

        And Logan did talk Rory into going up the ladder in You Jump I jump Jack but he talked to her and made his case. He talked about reporters who took risks for stories. He piqued her interest. Rory was already looking to be more gung-ho as a reporter because her coworker got an article reprinted in the New York times.

        And Logan never makes Rory’s decisions for her. (Not even in the revival). He does present his case. If anything he’s a businessman. Not a sociopath.

        The grandparents’ party left Rory in a position she felt she couldn’t leave or get out of situations she could have usually. It was her grandparents who put in in that position. Not Logan.

        Logan didn’t force Rory to drink so I don’t know why he brought that up. Rory agreed to go to the pool house on her own. And even with all that alcohol, nobody forced sex on her. Not even a kiss. Logan comforted her like a friend. But yes him going outside caused Dean to question his relationship and again Dean broke up with Rory.

        As for Logan talking about the famous writer and then choosing not to take Rory. It was because she was special and he could see she wasn’t the type of girl he usually hooked up with. He never promised her anything and made the decision that even though he liked her, it wasn’t a road he was going to go down. Then at the vow renewal, it was Rory who offered a causal relationship. After talking with her dad, Rory was trying to be like her mom and go for what she wanted. She wanted Logan. Logan didn’t force anything on her. She made her move.

        Logan liked Rory. Was he supposed to say no just cause he should make her choices for her? Rory wasn’t an innocent Virgin at this time. She chose causal. And she chose when she wanted more than casual.

  9. Love this point of view and agree completely. I did think about this in regards to Logan’s character and always loved that about him. He was rich and privileged, but didn’t use that position to try to coerce Rory in any way. Great article!

  10. ok so im 16 years old and love gilmore girls so much but anyways i think its really hard to actually choose between the guys cuz theyre great in their own ways
    dean is really kind and sweet and jess is fun and got that bad boy thing going but he has a soft side especially for rory and then theres logan whos a fun risk taker and very determined so like i said its really hard to choose which guy i liked best

  11. I personally don’t like any of the boyfriends! The scene when Rory goes back to Yale and Logan will not let her break up with him really makes me itch. It’s been a while since I’ve watched that episode, but it made me very uncomfortable when he barges in and has to convince her to stay with him, “c’mon Ace!” is repeated too much throughout the show and makes me really question how much respect Logan has for woman. Also, I’m never truly convinced that Rory enjoyed Logan’s lifestyle. Maybe its just character growth, but is the girl who watched movies with take out food and her best friend during spring break really the same girl who is constantly partying with Logan? Dean was possessive and though Jess comes around as a adult he was a little punk as a teen and needed a mentor – not a girlfriend. My biggest beef with Gilmore Girls is that we have to watch these guys for so many episodes (which has lead me to this thread!), it is my opinion that home girl has terrible taste in men.

  12. I liked Dean when I was younger. When I recently rewatched it, I changed my mind completely. There are two scenes were you have Dean and Lorelai talking about Rory and his treatment of her as if she was a little child.
    To me this shows how he dies not treat her as his equal/ does not support her independence. I hate this scene.
    This is not exactely on consent, but it feels like it is a similar topic.

  13. This is way late as compared to the other comments but while I am a fan of Dean simply because of Jared’s later role as Sam in Supernatural, I never liked Jess because his early punk a** actions ruined him for me forever. Now I haven’t quite gotten to Logan yet so I must respectfully sit his season’s out but, has anyone ever thought about Rory and her role in all of this? As a young man, admitting you love someone and them not saying it back is a serious shot in the gut. Imagine what it was like when you were a kid. Now she was in no way obligated to say it back but after that, it was never the same. When Jess shows up however, instead of talking to Dean about what is going on, she keeps him in the dark, she doesn’t understand her feelings? Groovy. However, she is mature enough to know she doesn’t want to say she lives him so she is darn well mature enough to realize she is dragging him along. She continues to drag him along until he finally says enough is enough. Jess is a piece of trash who essentially forces her into sex with brutish passive aggressiveness which to me, warrants broken knees. (Father of two girls myself. I am a little bias.) But I am assuming, Rory is going to be one of those girls who expects people to change for her while everyone should be expecting her to maintain her own identity. I guess I will have to wait and see. If I can make it past the Jess episodes.

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