It’s also impossible not to grasp Fey’s take on feminism, which boils down to: “I don’t care if you like it.” That line comes from an essay about Fey’s days at SNL when the
women in the cast began taking over the show.
Amy Poehler was new to SNL and we were all crowded into the seventeenth-floor writers’ room, waiting for the Wednesday read-through to start. There were always a lot of noisy “comedy bits” going on in that room. Amy was in the middle of some such nonsense with Seth Meyers across the table, and she did something vulgar as a joke. I can’t remember what it was exactly, except it was dirty and loud and “unladylike.”
Jimmy Fallon, who was arguably the star of the show at the time, turned to her and in a faux-squeamish voice said, “Stop that! It’s not cute! I don’t like it.” Amy dropped what she was doing, went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him. ”I don’t fucking care if you like it.” Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit.
…With that exchange, a cosmic shift took place. Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.
This is the attitude that defines Fey’s thoughts on feminism, and being a woman in the workplace. We don’t fucking care if you like it. So much of her advice for how to succeed in the workplace boils down to: If you don’t absolutely have to deal with whoever is giving you a hard time, ignore that person and keep on keeping on. If you do have to deal with that person, find an ally equal to or greater than the pain-in-your-ass and work around him.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are pretty fucking rad.
I listened to Fey’s audiobook of “Bossy Pants” last summer on my way back from visiting my brother in Georgia.
I really enjoyed it, and she has a lot of feministy ideas in there. But there were also a few things that were distinctly un-feminist and made me squirm. But I can’t remember specifics now, so they must not have been THAT bad. I remember deciding that, despite those short-comings (whatever they were) I would still recommend the book to anyone who was unsure of what feminism is or means in a contemporary, real world context.
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