Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bossypants by Tina Fey

"Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true."

And thus we have Bossypants, a book which doesn't quite know if it's a feminist manifesto, a straight biography, or a collection of humorous essays. Doesn't matter, all of the facets are awesome. Fey talks about her early life, her first moment of identifying as a woman (sadly enough, I have to agree with her: way too many of those moments revolve around some jackhole yelling crap at you from a speeding car), and her efforts to turn Saturday Night Live into a place where Chris Kattan in a dress didn't get picked to play a female role over, you know, one of the actresses. She also includes an anecdote of Amy Poehler wheeling on Jimmy Fallon having a moment of mild male privilege and snarling, "I don't fucking care if you like it."

And now I can't wait for Amy Poehler to also write a book.

Women are constantly under pressure to go along to get along, and that pressure is only intensified when you're also trying to get a writing career off of the ground. Livelihoods rest on reputations nearly as much as they do the books themselves; "interrogating the text from the wrong perspective" is as big a meme as "I can haz cheezburger?" I second-guess myself constantly, and big chunks of the internet would have no problem whatsoever telling you what a bitch I am. (Don't worry. I mostly don't mind.) Believe it or not, I went through a two-year period in my early twenties of being so profoundly depressed that I barely even dared to raise my voice in public. It took burying two family members, hiring my first big-girl lawyer, and getting thrown out of a police station all in the span of two weeks to, as Audrey put it, "un-break [my] bitch." To compromise or not to compromise is one of the many back-and-forths I have with myself when it comes to keeping this blog stocked with content, but Ms. Poehler has a good point.

I'm a feminist. I like powerful women, so I write about them. And I don't care if you fucking like it.


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