Tag Archives: Leslie Knope

Monday Scraps 95

sunday96

1. DATING: Where do “missed connections” happen? In Illinois, on the train (duh), in Indiana, at home. Wait, what?

2. AUTHORS: Ugh. Ender’s Game was kind of my favorite thing for so so long. It still is, but I hate when the authors you love turn out to be raging homophobes. Dammit.

3. EDUCATION: This amazing investigative piece by WBEZ on the South Side’s Harper High School is incredible in basically every way journalism can be incredible.

4. KNOPE: NYMag has the inside scoop behind Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope’s amazing wedding dress.

5. SPORTS: For the very first time, a woman is participating in the NFL regional tryouts. Kicker Lauren Silberman will probably not play in the NFL, but that’s still pretty f’ing cool.

6. OSCARS: I would write about Seth McFarlane’s horribly sexist jokes, but Margaret Lyons at NYMag  nailed it so hard I’d just be paraphrasing. 

Related Post: Sunday Scraps 94: Bey, Connie Britton, Jane Austen and more.

Related Post: Sunday Scraps: 93: Guns, visiting Chicago, Margaret Atwood

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Effie Trinket Does Yoga, and other Halloweenery

So yeah, it’s Halloween. Cue gasps of horror at sexualized children’s costumes, cue hurrahs at non-hetero couples costumes (even if they’re still pretty lame), cue spasms of slut-shaming and victim-blaming about girls who wear revealing costumes.

Do I think it’s silly when girls decide a mini-dress and mouse-ears make a costume? Yeah, a little bit. Have a little fun! But do I think they should expect harassment for their wardrobe choices? Of course not, that’s classic victim-blaming and it’s capital-N, capital-C Not Cool.

If there weren’t so much pressure and judgment heaped on how women dress every day, Halloween wouldn’t be such a big deal. We spend so much time trying to look good (but not slutty), attractive (but not like we’re trying too hard), that on Halloween it’s almost a relief to be able to attribute your sartorial choices to an external holiday.

Halloween is a chance to be ridiculous, to set aside for a minute the constant pressure to look a certain way. For me, that means wigs and stickers, cardboard Scrabble games, and bandanas. All I want is to be able to look back at my photos and be like “Fuck yeah! Leslie Knope!” Has anyone ever said, “Fuck yeah! Sexy kitten!”?

My instinct is to be sad for women that don’t take advantage of that temporary freedom from looking sexy. But hey, maybe for them, the mini-dress and bunny ears is what they’ve been craving for months and months, and with the temporary free pass of Halloween, they finally feel allowed to do it up right. What do I know?

My Halloween was outstanding, largely due to this series of photographs:

Effie Trinket drives a car

Effie Trinket does yoga

Effie Trinket know’s what’s up

Effie Trinket and Leslie Knope, BFFs

Related Post: Halloween 2011

Related Post: Even pumpkin-carving gets weirdly sexual around Halloween.

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Is Parks and Rec the Most Feminist Show on TV?

I had an epiphany last night while watching the episode of Parks and Rec where Andy takes a women’s studies class. I said to myself, “I think this might just be the most feminist show on television.”

Then I was all, “Whoa there, girl, what are you metrics? Criteria? A rubric perhaps? Where’s your evidence?”

Emily: It’s just a gut feeling!

Emily: Gut feelings aren’t academically rigorous. What makes a show feminist?

Emily: Um…Gotta pass the Bechdel test, for sure, plus healthy stuff about female sexuality, male female relationships, body image, women in the workplace, etc. You know, women as well-rounded, fully-formed (and flawed) characters with concerns that extend beyond men, yada yada yada.

Emily: Make me a list. Check that shit twice.

Emily: (sigh).

After more rigorous analysis, I stick with my initial epiphany. Here is my hastily assembled rubric for determining if a show is “feminist”:

  1. The central drama is not aimed at addressing the question “when will she get married and have babies?” (Leslie Knope is 37, FYI).
  2. Women like sex too, and not just when they’re in love. Corollary: A one-night stand, though sometimes a mistake for emotional or practical reasons, does not lower a woman’s worth as a friend or partner.
  3. Lots of bodies are beautiful (Have you noticed how Donna’s size is never a plot point on Parks?)
  4. Men and women can have deep, meaningful platonic friendships (Leslie and Ron, Leslie and Tom, Donna and Tom).
  5. Female friends do not only discuss their boyfriends and the boyfriends they wish they had.
  6. Men aren’t just after sex. Women aren’t just after love. (See the respective plot arcs of Chris Traeger and Jennifer Barkley).
  7. Some women are bitches. Some men are douches. These are not stand-ins for some sort of Battle of the Sexes, but are representative of the fact that, oh hey, sometimes people suck.
  8. Feminism is not a dirty word. In Parks, we get Gertrude Stein jokes, portraits of Madeleine Albright, a women’s studies class (that isn’t a joke about lesbian colleges), debates about “Separate but Equal,” and so, so much more.

I know that there are other shows that fit this list as well (The Good Wife and Friday Night Lights come to mind). Some shows definitely do not (2 Broke Girls, The Newsroom). Are there bullet points I’m forgetting to qualify something as a feminist show? Are there sexist elements of Parks I’m ignoring?

Related Post: The best two minutes of TV about sex.

Related Post: The Good Wife handles second vs. third wave feminism gracefully.

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Filed under Gender, Hollywood, Media