Friday, September 21, 2012

Leslie Knope/Amy Poehler...I Love Ya

This week has been INTENSE. Not only am I about 5 weeks away from my event at work, but I also was out for a day and a half at a professional conference. Lots of learnings were had, which is great, but any time away from my desk means I'm playing catch up. I also have/had quite a few social commitments lately (including my birthday celebration this weekend, what what!) With all these distractions, I missed the season premiere of Parks and Recreation last night.

So unlike me.

Never fear. I just caught up and it's reminding me of just how much I love Leslie Knope.

You see--the writers of Parks and Recreation have been able to build a show around a female character who loves her job, is good at what she does, and is civic-minded, ethical, and smart, all while making us laugh at every turn. She struggles with things we can all relate to (this time long distance relationships and jealousy) but at the end to the day, she does what's right (cleaning up a local river.) And most of the time everyone, even Ron, has a thing or two to learn from her (employee appreciation events boost morale!)

In a world where so many female characters are secondary, vapid, "hot," objectified, and/or playing the "straight man" to men's comedic relief--Parks and Rec has a number of hilarious, wonderful, multidimensional, diverse women.

And it doesn't hurt that Leslie is played by one badass woman herself. Amy Poehler doesn't just play a cool lady on TV: She actually walks the walk. Through her work with Smart Girls at the Party (which is headquartered here in Austin!) and Ask Amy videos, Poehler is encouraging girls to "change the world by being yourself" and dispensing advice about body image, friendships, and dealing with stress.

Ah, I just love it.

As a feminist cultural critic (can I call myself that?) I spend a lot of time shaking my head and cringing. It's so nice to have a break where I can laugh, smile, and cheer for one bad ass lady.


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