Sunday, March 28, 2010

I heart Parks and Recreation, too!

WEEKEND ARTS SECTION: Dear Leslie Knope of TV’s "Parks and Recreation,", by Sady, Feministe.

[ . . . ]

I don’t know what sealed the deal, but I strongly suspect it was the episode “Galentine’s Day,” where I figured out that you were probably the most likable lady character I had seen on TV in a long time. “Galentine’s Day” is, in addition to being the title of the episode, your name for how you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Leslie. It is an occasion on which you have breakfast with every lady you know and like — there are a lot of ladies you know and like, apparently! That is a full table — and you celebrate your mutual friendship and ladyhood with gifts, including “a personalized 5,000-word essay on why you are all so awesome,” written by you personally.

It is like the best! I mean, I can’t even count the number of times Parks and Recreation has shown ladies hanging out and relating — ladies talk about a lot of shit with each other on this show, things like politics and career and whether or not possums are hideous unearthly monsters that lay eggs — but this was just a really great moment, of a feminist lady on a TV show expressing, in a genuine and believable way, how much she likes and values and enjoys spending time with other ladies. And the greatest thing? That moment was not shown as inherently ridiculous, or stupid, or alienating, or wrong.

I mean, it’s a little ridiculous, of course. That’s why it’s funny. “Ladies celebratin’ ladies,” you say into the camera, with that big goofy wide-open smile on your face, like in such terrible earnest you are conveying the idea of lady-celebrating and it makes you so super-happy. It’s always funny to see people believe in things whole-heartedly without trying to be cool about it; it makes them vulnerable and goofy, like children. And, like, the name of the celebration is “Galentine’s Day,” which is the dorkiest. You are the dorkiest, Leslie: Sunny and awkward and naive and oh so very Midwestern. “It’s like Lilith Fair. Without all the angst,” is your follow-up line. Like Lilith Fair is the most XTreme Rock XPerience you could ever have. It’s so great.

You invited your Mom, Leslie. You. Invited. Your Mom. To the Galentine’s Day party. You do it every year! And it is just the sweetest thing. Ladies celebratin’ ladies. Why don’t more people do this? I think they should.

[ . . . ]

So do I! We should all celebrate ladies, especially other ladies. That's what Women's History Month is supposed to be about.

How are you readers celebrating women in a positive way?


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