In just five and a half hours, improv queen and master of late night entertainment Tina Fey defended feminism with more grace and effectiveness than most humans could do in an entire lifetime of outrage. No tweets were involved. No topless activism. What’s the secret?
The book starts with a couple questions directed at her all too often: “Is it hard for you being the boss? Is it uncomfortable for you to be the person in charge?”
It would be easy to jump on the anger train over this constant interrogation, with social media as your horse that runs alongside the tracks so you can swiftly glide inside the cargo.
But here’s the catch: that train is going nowhere. It’s headed into an endless pit of fiery rage that gets hotter and hotter as the engine is fueled by fingers typing furious tweets at handles like @MLady69, @MRA4LIFE, and @limbaugh. We should seriously consider angry bloggers as a source of abundant, sustainable energy. Nobody in Africa would have to burn their poop again.
We get it. You’re mad. Most of us are! But what does that accomplish, anyway?
The answer is obviously: nothing. Not today, when our country is polarized like never before and the art of persuasion has been abandoned. It hasn’t, however, been abandoned by Tina Fey.
Her secret is comedy. Bossypants adds the humor to feminism that is necessary and refreshing, which is essential more now than ever before. We. Need. It.
Feminism has become a left vs. right issue. This is a destructive trend, especially when it comes to things like global terror, civil liberties, and the directionally challenged. Why is this problem happening? Anger.
The greatest arguments are often wrapped in a joke. Example: Fey figures out how to make a point about healthcare in America through the character of a legally blind bus driver. Amazing. Remember, you don’t have to agree with something to recognize the tactics of persuasion.
This doesn’t mean we all have to hold hands and sing Joni Mitchell around the fire. (I’ve decided this can’t happen anyway. There are 0 RSVPs on my Facebook event for next weekend.) But we can refrain from attacks that do not further our agenda and create even more conflict and hatred. PvP stands for Player vs. Player in (the greatest game of all time) World of Warcraft, but in politics it is Persuasion vs. Polarization. Your argument will either fall under one or the other. Choose wisely!
Tina Fey is famous for her Sarah Palin impression, which surely enraged much of the right in fury over her ruining the entire election for their war hero John McCain! Bossypants told another story.
It was impressive to hear of Fey’s relationship with Palin being a positive one. She even went to great lengths to protect the vice presidential candidate’s reputation and dignity when appearing on SNL, after the supposedly rough impression became a hit. Not only did she stand up for Hillary Clinton as a victim of sexist remarks, but Palin as well. Sexism is not okay just because it is happening to women on the right. Statism is also not okay for any gender. It’s just as bad a sexism, but totally fine to pick on people for. You could be a transgender pan-sexual squirrel and get my vote if you weren’t going to spy on me or bomb other countries illegally.
As a show business veteran, Fey is a strong believer in judging by what is funniest, and not by gender. This is perfectly applied to any election as it pertains to political party, personal opinions and character. Who cares that Hillary Clinton is a woman? Do you agree with her platform? Do you understand her platform? Hopefully. If not, that’s sexist. (And pretty statist!)
Perhaps the finest point this incredible book makes is on the heated topic of water supply in the Middle East.
Just kidding– it’s actually Photoshop.
She walks you through the tedious process of a photo shoot from the luxurious perspective of the subject, from preparation to print. Of course, retouching is involved. While she picks on the obsessive work done by the shoppers who blend, shape and refine her body to “perfection”, the entire process is not demonized.
Feminists often do exactly this when it comes to editing the female body to create “unrealistic standards” for girls and women across the world. But Fey makes an excellent point to combat them– if everyone knows it’s a load of crap, is it doing any harm?
This is the pretty hilarious reality of a problem that has been blown out of proportion, ironically by doing exactly the opposite to body parts on magazine covers everywhere. Looking your best isn’t a crime. It is okay to be pleasing to the eye without looking like something out of a Disney movie. Photoshop will not ruin the world.
Bossypants is a beacon of light in a dark world of hatred debate. It is an example of how to correctly persuade an audience without antagonizing them. It uses the one thing that crosses any ideological barrier and the last strand of hope for humanity to survive and learn to deal with each other: a good joke.
Plus, you get to hear a spectacular honeymoon story. I won’t spoil that one for you.