Thank You For Being A Friend

Today is dark and rainy in DC, and its the perfect time for Hallmark channel’s Golden Girls marathon, in honor of Bea Arthur. I’ve been curled up on the couch glued to the TV. There has been so much already said by people more eloquent than I, but Bea Arthur was a wonderful comedian, personality, and somewhat reluctant feminist.

The Golden Girls is one of my very favorite TV shows, and its only been recently that I’ve realized amidst the puns, outrageous scenarios, and gaudy 80s dresses, there’s a whole lot of substance and progressive politics in that show.

Sure, many of the episodes can be awfully simplistic, but for a 30 minute sitcom from the 80s, most of it was seriously progressive for its time, and even today. The show dealt intelligently with homosexuality, racism, disabilities, sexual harassment, ageism, and even an AIDS scare, at a time when most Americans did not have any understanding of AIDS.

But perhaps the most influential of all is the fact that the Golden Girls completely normalized sexuality in older women. Sex is never shied away from; in fact it is a central part of the show. Blanche Deveraux’s escapades with men are the most standout, but each of the characters has her own plotlines involving being 50+, single, and dating. The show makes no excuses for this and allows these women to have relationships and flings. It realistically depicted widows and divorcees, who realized that after marriage and raising children, life and sex are not over. Few other movies or television shows even today can claim to do the same. We have the Golden Girls to thank for this. 


For more, check out The Kitchen Table’s Golden Girls Tribute, and Rebecca Traister’s for

Explore posts in the same categories: Personal, Pop Culture

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