There are times, often when slammed with the hilarity of the modern politics, that I truly and deeply miss Parks and Recreation queen Leslie Knope. A part of my soul dies whenever I remember that Parks and Recreation is dead and gone, leaving me without the guidance and enthusiasm of Pawnee's most amazing politician. Whereas April Ludgate's token lack of enthusiasm is my present, Leslie's ceaseless light is what guides us all in the future. And that's because Leslie Knope is without any doubt a feminist hero.
Over the course of the show, Leslie mutated from a wacky, clueless boss in the vein of The Office's Michael Scott to a symbol of both strength and support. Her crazed resilience is something all women should strive for, and her friendship is something all people (regardless of gender) should crave. And really, aside from her somewhat problematic treatment of porn star Brandi Maxxxx, Leslie is just imbibed with all the right values the person we should all look up to as a leader.
Did she ever leverage herself to become President? We'll never completely know for sure. All I know is that Leslie is the President of Feminism in my heart, and it's for these eight reasons:
When She Fought (And, Sadly, Lost) For A Unconventional Pick For Miss Pawnee
Leslie joins as a judge to help balance out the unfair slant towards gorgeous but (if I'm being completely honest here) vapid girls. She tries to place value on talent and intelligence, but in the end, the bikini-loving glamazon Trish wins the pageant — because, well, it's Pawnee.
When She Created Galentines Day, The Best Holiday Of The Year
Ladies celebrating ladies! Valentine's Day is such a uniquely soul crushing holiday (at least for me) but Galentine's Day is actually something I celebrate whole heartedly. I'm not saying I've penned personalized 5000-word essays about why my friends are so awesome, because that's crazy. I kept them at a succinct 500 words.
When She Fronted The Pawnee Goddesses
Leslie's no fan of boys' clubs, so the Pawnee Ranger Council — a boy scouts-like troop — rejected a little girl, Leslie created the Pawnee Goddesses in retaliation. Their pledge? "I am a goddess, a glorious female warrior. Queen of all that I survey. Enemies of fairness and equality, hear my womanly roar. Yeah!"
Props to when they choose to be inclusive and induct men and make them repeat the pledge.
When She Constantly Let Her Friends (Again, Female And Otherwise) Know How Much She Loved Them
If you want to see a perfect, if not slightly obsessive friendship, look at any of the dazzling compliments Leslie gives Ann.
And When She Knew How To Put Aside Her Desires For Her Friends
It was tough for Leslie to learn that April wanted to leave the Parks and Recreation department, especially considering she had mapped out April's governmental career using color-coded markers. But, at the end of the day, Leslie was able to set aside her stubbornness and introduce April to an organization that fit her perfectly. And, let's never forget that April would've never taken a step towards ANY career path if it wasn't for Leslie's influence.
When She Stayed True To Her Beliefs During The Pie-Mary
Leslie Knope will not be threatened, and Ben Wyatt, ever the supportive/perfect husband, gives her the stage to give a brief statement to any of the nay-sayers who thought she should or shouldn't be baking in this condescending pie contest. Props for giving permanent answers to all the inane interview questions women face all the time, but double props for shutting down MRAs in one full swoop. But ultimately, you have to love her for this closer:
If you want to bake a pie, that’s great, if you want to have a career, that’s great too. Do both or neither, doesn’t matter, just don’t judge what someone else has decided to do. We’re all just trying to find the right path for us as individuals on this earth.
Oh, And Whenever She Maintained A Long List Of Strong And Powerful Lady Influencers
Her mom is a big guiding force in her life, and she agrees with Michelle Obama "on all things throughout history until the end of times forever." However, it's clear that Leslie's biggest powerful lady inspiration is herself, and it's that insane self-confidence that fuels her. Which brings me to my last point...
When She Pursued Victory Even When Obstacles And Logic Told Her She'd Fail
And even WHEN she failed, and didn't let it stop her. Never forget that Leslie spent a whole season trying to become a councilwoman only to get kicked out several episodes later. She doesn't always win the battle, but, knowing her, we should all be confident that she'll win the war.
Thank you, Leslie Knope. While some Pawneeians may have found you annoying, you were always inspiring and heroic to us.
Images: Giphy (8)