“She’s the kind of person who believes that, no matter how much power you have, you can make a difference, you can contribute, you can change things. Her kind of blind spot is how slow and hard it is. How slow change it happens.” – Amy Poehler on Leslie Knope
The series finale of Parks and Recreation closed last night on a close-up of Leslie Knope, smiling into the camera. “Yes,” she said, “I’m ready.”
If NYC single life actually resembled every bad rom-com ever, I’d be telling you about my ultimate meet-cute right now: me, a feminist media critic alone at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to review a movie for Bitch, him a handsome, witty stranger reading Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine.
Anna Faris (left) and Rebel Wilson star in two of network TV's five new female-focused comedies coming up this fall.
What are you doing with your summer? Catching up with friends? Starting a fun, new creative project? Just kicking back and relaxing?
Wrong! The correct answer is: "Analyzing the fall 2013 network TV schedules!" I mean, seriously. You can go camping or swim at the beach any time! But you can only prep for fall's new TV comedies right now.
Based on this TV Guide listing of fall's new shows, 21 new network comedies are slated to debut this season. Of those, only five appear to be focused primarily on female characters.
I'm a feminist and a high school English teacher in the south suburbs of Chicago. Last year, one of the students in my class was inspired to start a group for girls at our school and approached me about sponsoring it. Of course I agreed! A few weeks ago, we tackled the topic of positive female role models in pop culture. The high school students came up with a list of eight current, mainstream "feminist idols" they and their friends look up to.
The list is a good insight into what interests teen girls these days, as well as hopefully a helpful resource. We talk a lot about degrading and regrettable portrayals of women in media, here are eight actresses and comedians my high schoolers are excited about supporting.
1. Emma Stone: My students loved the movie Easy A, a modern film inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. In it, Emma Stone plays a high school student who tries to bring the book into her real life. The movie definitely has feminist undertones, but Stone herself is a major feminist. In a recent interview she did with her boyfriend Andrew Garfield, she was asked who her style icon was. After Garfield said he never got asked questions like that, Stone piped up, "You get asked interesting, poignant questions because you're a boy... It is sexism." Way to call out sexist media, Emma Stone!
Monday's inaugural entry focused on a Palme d'Or winner. Thus it seems only appropriate to switch gears today and discuss a movie that was shelved for three years before it went straight to DVD in 2009.
Smart Girls at the Party fans, prepare for a disappointment of the douche kind. In order to increase viewers for their second season, the SGATP team (whose first season focused on young girls kicking major ass – check it out if you haven't seen it) is joining forces with Joe Francis (the owner of Mantra Films and the jerkstore behind the Girls Gone Wild franchise) and his band of douchenozzles to create a Girls Gone Wild-type show for tweens. That's right – now, instead of watching tween girls talk about their awesome bands or cool art projects, on Smart Girls at the Party Season Two we can see them flounce around in teeny bikinis holding wet t-shirt contests and seeing who can tie a knot in a cherry stem the fastest. W.T.F.?
It's just about time for Spring Break, and you know what that means don't you? Well, for some of you it might mean a trip down to Señor Tadpole's to have a margarita made in your mouth, but if you're a pop culture lovin' feminist with a day job to keep, this year it means another Spring Break-themed Amy Poehler movie! (Yes, I said another. You have seen Spring Breakdown, haven't you?) This one is called Wild Girls Gone, and it comes out on iTunes tomorrow. (Somehow I doubt it will see the inside of a movie theater unless you decide to watch it on your iPhone when you get bored during Avatar.)