Jamie Harsip Staff Writer
Taylor Swift, we have a problem. It’s not that you’ve been rude (which you have been) or a hypocrite (which you have also been), but the fact hat you are being dangerously self-centered about this whole Tina/Amy thing. Oh yes, I did mean dangerous.
What do I mean? Well, let’s take a look at these two women you’ve condemned to Hell, shall we?
First, there’s Tina Fey. I, myself, am not a huge fan, but what she’s done for women in the entertainment business is undeniable. Let’s start simple, shall we? There’s 30 Rock, a show that Tina Fey created, wrote, produced, and starred in. Not a big deal? Quite the contrary. According to a report on the employment of women in the top 250 films of 2012, women were employed in 18% of key behind-the-scenes roles. This includes directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers. Do you see where I’m going with this? Tina Fey represents the pinnacle of female achievement in Hollywood, and that means something to more than just her.
There is also Mean Girls, which Tina Fey wrote. You might not think this is the most powerful display of feminism, but look again. In and of itself, this is a film about women. This is a successful, classic movie that is by, about, and for women. Why does that matter? Because try to think of any other classic comedy films that are about women. Go on, I’ll give you a few minutes…. Okay you probably thought of Clueless, or maybe Baby Mama (oh, look, another Tina Fey movie), but that’s probably it. Your standard classic comedy is created by, about, and for men (think Judd Apatow). Mean Girls was groundbreaking in that sense. Truly, Tina is an inspiration to younger women and girls, and the projects with which she associates herself are markedly concerned with feminism. When you condemn her to hell as a woman who doesn’t help other women, you’re tainting everything Tina Fey has done in the eyes of these young women and girls. You can take issue with Tina’s apparent lack of interest in minorities, you can take issue with her sense of humor, but you cannot question her position as a feminist and a woman concerned with helping women.
And what about Amy Poehler? Well, this woman is objectively the personification of feminism. I’ll start by telling you about Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. This is the official “about us” on the Smart Girls website:
“Smart Girls at the Party is a rapidly expanding online network that aims to help the process of cultivating the authentic selves of young women and the young at heart. In each episode of their anchor show, Smart Girls at the Party, host Amy Poehler, producer Meredith Walker and decorated singer-songwriter Amy Miles, interview girls with interests that run a wide gamut. Each show concludes with important questions and the legendary dance party (watch for fun cameos). Smart Girls also offers music, advice, glimpses into other cultures, nice things to put into the world, and even a minute or 2 with some boys. Smart Girls recognizes that young women—and their interests—are multi-faceted. We change the world by being ourselves, and being ourselves is a life long quest. Smart Girls hopes to provide some fun reference materials along the way.”
The woman who founded this organization could clearly stand to be more respectful of women, right? Yeah. Not to mention that, like Tina, Amy has created, written for, directed, starred in, and produced her own TV show. And in this TV show, Amy showcases her feminist ideals pride in being a woman sublimely. The show is Parks and Recreation, and the character is Leslie Knope. Leslie, the led character on the show, is a local politician who decorates her office with framed pictures of powerful women, supports girls and women wherever she finds the opportunity, and whose boyfriend left his job in order to continue being with her (not the other way around!). It’s not difficult to see that Amy Poehler put a lot of herself into this role. Amy Poehler has created a show with a lead character that is A) a woman, and B) an outspoken feminist that has lasted for five seasons is really significant. This is not a woman who puts down or doesn’t help other women, and by implying that she is you are not helping anyone but yourself, and under the circumstances that’s pretty damn selfish, don’t you think?
You see, Taylor, when you condemn the people making a difference for women to Hell for making a lighthearted joke about you (not women, you), you’re being selfish in such a way that you’re not helping the cause, you’re hurting it. You’re clouding over the progress women like Tina and Amy have made with your petty complaints. And finally, Taylor, sweetheart, did it ever occur to you that Diane Sawyer may have been giving you shade when she said “there’s a special place in Hell for women who don’t help other women”?