It’s hard to remember a time when Leslie Knope wasn’t the standard bearer of feminist sensibility, but back when Amy Poehler rolled out her web series Smart Girls at the Party, she was still the cool mom from Mean Girls and the queen of SNL‘s “Weekend Update.” Fast forward four years, and Poehler’s Leslie Knope has given us such gems as: “Winning is every girl’s dream, but it’s my destiny — and my dream.” And: “I broke one rule and I will accept a slap on the wrist. But when you sit back and let your relationship be destroyed, you go down as history as a frozen whore. I’m fighting!”
Seriously, though, Amy Poehler has been a voice of female empowerment from the moment she set foot on the SNL stage, something Tina Fey made very clear in this anecdote from Bossypants:
[In one of her early days on set, Amy was goofing off with the cast during rehearsal.] I don’t remember what [she was doing] exactly, except it was dirty and loud and “unladylike.” Jimmy Fallon, who was 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 f–king care if you like it.” Jimmy was visibly startled. Amy went right back to enjoying her ridiculous bit. (I should make it clear that Jimmy and Amy are very good friends and there was never any real beef between them. Insert penis joke here.)
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 f–king care if you like it.
Which, of course, makes her the perfect host for Smart Girls at the Party, her web series dedicated to interviewing teenage girls who are “making the world more awesome by being themselves.” It’s been a long time since we got a new episode, but yesterday, Poehler & Co. rolled out a new one with 14-year-old boxer Precela. Check it out below.
Oh, Amy, could you be any perfect-er?
What’s your favorite episode of Smart Girls? Also, what animal would you hug if you wouldn’t get attacked for sure?