Be the Knope you want to see in the world

Have you read this terrific article about Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope, and the significance of their characters in the realm of TV and in the world in general? If you haven’t, go read it now.

I identify a lot with Leslie Knope, especially as I look at the earlier days of my professional career. I also identify with Liz Lemon in some respects, though Leslie’s loves-the-smaller-town, public-service-oriented, hyper-organized enthusiasm is definitely more like my own outlook on life.

One of the points that stood out to me in this article was this:

To be likeable as a woman, it seems, you have to ensure that you’re also non-threatening and slightly useless. You have to point loudly to your “flaws,” but not your, you know, actual flaws.

I have run into this over and over and over! In the past few years I’ve been striving to get better at accepting a compliment sincerely and at recognizing my own talents (FYI: just because you were too lazy to do actual work in math class in high school does not mean that you are not good at math. You might discover that you are actually really good at it when you look around and notice that a ton of the work you do every day requires significant math skills.) but I still find myself making dumb self-deprecating remarks on occasion.

So, ladies, I’m asking you: What are you awesome at? How do you inspire yourself? How do you do feminism?


2 thoughts on “Be the Knope you want to see in the world

  1. Anne I love this post! I am awesome at public speaking and I inspire myself with my consistently optimistic attitude.

    I feel like I start everyday as Leslie Knope and end up collapsing into a Liz Lemon night cheese moment. To me what’s great and relatable about Liz Lemon is the idea that you can be a successful, passionate woman, but parts of your life are still going to be a bit messy. It takes the pressure off trying to be perfect all the time. That being said, I have definitely observed the phenomenon discussed in the article and love that it’s being brought to life.

    • Sam, your description of starting off feeling like Leslie Knope and ending up feeling like Liz Lemon rings so true! And I love your optimistic attitude – as exemplified by your point that Liz Lemon takes the pressure off a bit. It totally does!

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