Parks and Recreation

‘Parks and Recreation’: Leslie Knope’s Problem with Women

Parks and Rec

For Leslie, feminism means, rather simplistically, that she admires women who are in power, believing that gender should be no barrier for achievement. Unfortunately, despite Leslie’s determination to highlight her dedication to furthering the feminist cause, her understanding is not only crude and rather rudimentary, but can, frequently, be damaging. Her identification as a feminist is, much like Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon on ’30 Rock,’ hugely lacking in intersectionality. This is even more frustrating considering that three of the four female cast members are women of color.

Top 10 Posts of 2015

2015 New Years Eve fireworks image via pixabay (no attribution required:

Counting down from 10 to 1, here are the 10 most-read posts in 2015 that were written in 2015.

Fatphobia and Fat Positivity: The Roundup


Fat, Black, and Desirable: Fat Positivity and Black Women by Chantell Monique If these women aren’t seeing any positive images of themselves on screen, how are they able to construct an identity of truth? Even though they can rely on their community for positivity, if it’s not reinforced through media representation then it renders that […]

‘Parks and Recreation’: How Fatphobia Is Invisible


I don’t think it would be quite the same barrel of laughs if the motto of Pawnee were “First in Friendship, Fourth in Poverty.” Fat shaming and fat jokes like the People of Walmart photos are often a socially acceptable stand-in for the classist shaming of poor people. Poor people are more likely to be fat, after all. We get paid less and we’re more likely to be fired. Oh, the comedy!

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks


Check out what we’ve been reading this week–and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

What ‘Baby Daddy’ Can Learn from ‘Parks and Recreation’

Baby Daddy and Parks and Recreation

Being friends with people of the opposite gender is important because ideally it can bridge empathy gaps. Leslie and Ron have a mutual respect for each other even when they don’t see eye to eye. Despite Ron being a super macho guy that you would assume to be sexist, he’s actually very supportive of Leslie. Whenever they have disagreements, it’s more to do with her enthusiasm for government than with her gender.

The Joyful Feminist Killjoy

Feminist Killjoy to Joy

I get tired of constantly pointing out that something is Problematic From a Feminist Perspective™; I want to enjoy, not eviscerate. I want to laugh.

Are You There, Hollywood? It’s Me, the Average Girl


The expectations for girls in film and television are incredibly mixed. It is naïve to say that girls nowadays are just expected to be a sexy sidekick or afterthought. With more strong female roles popping up in bigger budget films such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, there is the expectation that girls should also be intelligent and incredibly clever (while also being visually pleasing). I love Harry Potter and The Hunger Games for giving women these intense and interesting character traits. However, I remember thinking after I saw/read the series, “Wow, I’m not nearly as clever as Hermione and could never be as brave as Katniss.” There isn’t really a place for the all-around average girl. The first two examples of strong female protagonists that I could think of are in fantasy franchises. Are real female characters really that difficult to come up with? Real female characters are often created with good intentions but tend not to work on a larger scale.

Women of Color in Film and TV: Shirley, Donna, and Lana: African-American Women in Thursday Night Sitcoms

Written by Max Thornton. Thursday night is the best TV night for comedy fans. Even now that 30 Rock has departed this mortal coil (goodnight, sweet show; may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest), there is still a lot to enjoy about Thursday nights. For me, it’s the trifecta of Community, Parks and […]

Happy Galentine’s Day! Why It’s So Important to See Ladies Celebrating Ladies

Written by Megan Kearns. Hey, ladies! It’s that time of year…Happy Galentine’s Day!!  If you’re a fan of Parks and Rec (and if you’re not watching, you should really ask yourself why — I mean it’s only the best, most feminist show on TV), then you know all about the holiday commemorating female camaraderie…and waffles!  […]

2013 Golden Globes Week: Big Bang Bust

This is a guest post by Melissa McEwan and is cross-posted with permission from her blog Shakesville.  I have never been a great lover of sitcoms. Despite their ubiquity in American primetime television, especially when I was growing up, there just weren’t a lot of them for me to love. So much of the com […]

Women in Politics Week: The Roundup

A Lady Lonely at the Top: High School Politics Take an Ugly Turn in ‘Election’ by Carleen Tibbets Election, the 1999 film directed by Alexander Payne and based on the novel by Tom Perotta, chronicles type A personality Tracy Flick’s (Reese Witherspoon) quest to become student body president and the unraveling of her social sciences […]