Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dear Parks and Recreation

Dear "Parks and Recreation,"

Something pretty terrific happened in the TV world this week.

Leslie Knope refused to call someone a bitch.
"I need to protect a sweet couple from a sex-crazed librarian who makes me question my stance on using the b-word. I dunno, maybe just this once. No, Leslie, fight it. FIGHT IT."
Part of being a feminist means checking your language.  Our culture inundates us with negative stereotypes and negative terms for women.  Being a feminist means policing our language to scrub it of those themes and terms.

Once you've advanced your feminism game, it's easier.  Once you've eschewed those words, you don't find them on the tip of your tongue anymore.  And some of us never used them to begin with.

But for most of us, we go through a phase (sometimes a long phase) where we find it hard not to slip from time to time.  That word is just so fitting and it's just so cutting and you're really pissed off and you know it's wrong but in this one case it seems so, so right.

For some people, the word is "bitch."  For others, it's something else.  You know that you shouldn't say it, but it pops out from time to time.  It's hard to give up; nothing else says what you mean in quite the same way.

But it's important for us to stand firm.  It's important for us not to fall into the easy insults the patriarchy so eagerly recommends.

That's why I love this moment so much.  For one, it rings so true.  That's a real moment, a recognizable moment I know so many of us have echoed.  For another, Leslie doesn't give in to temptation.  She fights it.  She stays true to her principles.

It's easy to have those moments of weakness.  I'm proud of Leslie for standing strong, and I'm proud of "Parks and Rec" for giving us this win.

With love,
Frank Lee

1 comment:

  1. Very timely for me. I recently called a woman I was furious with a bitch and immediately regretted it. Not because I wasn't jutifibly livid but because there are a whole host of gender neutral insults I could have used instead...

    Work in progress I suppose but I'll be trying harder in future.