Amy Poehler and The Smart Girl Effect
Let's take a minute to talk about Amy Poehler. Amy is awesome not just because she had a successful run on Saturday Night Live, is keeping NBC alive with Parks and Rec and is half of the Amy and Tina comedy hour (just a dream of mine that I hope comes true).
She's awesome because she's a big ol' feminist which is not interchangeable or synonymous with the terms manhater or lesbian in case you were confused about that. Now that THAT'S out of the way...
I think the definition depends on who you talk to and how each feminist defines herself (or himself!) but in general feminists believe in equal rights for women. What's wrong with that right? Well, ask the average woman today if she identifies as a feminist and if no, why not, she'll probably tell you that she doesn't hate men. Feminist isn't a word that women should be afraid to identify with because feminism isn't about manhating, it's about equality and empowerment.
(via NBC/Feminist Film Tumblr)
Amy has a really cool collaborative called Smart Girls that is a feminist concept at its core; its purpose is to empower girls (and women!) to "Change the world by being yourself." I know, it just blew your mind. Smart Girls inspires, uplifts and acknowledges women who support other women and are doing great things in their communities, countries and the world instead of giving unwarranted advice to ladies about what we should be doing with our lives.
It's a pro-dialogue platform, encouraging followers to engage in meaningful conversation online and offline with friends and family. It's a showcase of role models in a time when it feels like there are so few to look to. If you like thought provoking articles, stories about women doing awesome things, pictures of puppies (my favorite!) or just want some advice from Amy, you should follow Smart Girls on Facebook or Pinterest or check out the website.
What sparked this post was an episode of a new show Amy produced called Broad City, about these two bumbling millennials, Abbi and Ilana, who may or may not resemble my past and/or current life. It's like Workaholics, but for ladies.
After watching these two prioritize their lives in the way that millennials tend to do, I was interested in hearing about how true this show is to their own experiences because honestly it was hard to watch. And it was hard to watch -- not because the writing was bad, but because six years ago I was Abbi. I had a crappy job, was pretty directionless, and my choices in friends were....questionable. I came across a Huffington Post interview that the creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer did, in which they talked about getting Amy to back the show. In guiding them, she gave them a really fantastic piece of advice.
She told them that "they are the 'police of [their] brand,' and that the successes and failures of 'Broad City' would ultimately would be their responsibility."
This advice applies to anything, and it's the type of advice that not enough women are getting. What I took away from it is this: Whatever your brand is, whether it's your blog, your career, or your lifestyle, own it and make it yours. You are responsible for your successes and failures, so when you nail something, own it and BE PROUD of it! And when you don't well, that's OK, own that too; learn from it. There are too many women doing great things and not celebrating them and instead apologizing for the things they didn't accomplish.
Amy Poehler is so much more than the best Hillary Clinton impersonator that we'll probably ever know. She's a collaborative leader, positive role model for women, and a dreamer who takes action. But above all of these things she's a feminist. And I hope after reading this, you can agree that it isn't a bad thing.