E and I joke that in our relationship she contributes most of the food discovery, while I chip in most of the media. She finds fresh foods, new snacks, and recipes, while I unearth new bands, programs, and news.
Lately we have slightly flipped the script, with me signing up for a CSA and E getting more connected with the women in tech movement. Which is how I walked downstairs the other day to find her watching this:
(If you can’t see the embed, you can watch the episode elsewhere.)
I sat down. I laughed and cried. I was delighted.
That’s an episode of Smart Girls at the Party, an unusual and awesome internet talk-show hosted by Amy Poehler of SNL and Parks and Rec. The show’s mission statement is “Extraordinary individuals changing the world by being themselves.”
What that boils down to is Amy Poehler interviewing young women who are trying and succeeding at anything and everything they want to do.
“We wanted to represent real female friends and celebrate that stage of life where you write down what you want to be when you get older, before too many people tell you no,” Poehler said. “And we poke fun at the talk-show format a little bit, taking very silly things very seriously. This is like ‘Charlie Rose’ for a younger audience.”
…”We wanted something to feel bite-sized and positive and I do think that there’s some lack of celebration of the unique, original girl,” Poehler told the Daily News. “So in some ways, it was a response to that. But, honestly, we really wanted to do a talk show that had a dance party at the end.”
I am not a fanatic about Poehler, but here her typical deadpan delivery makes for hilariously honest interactions with the wide age-group of her guests. She never condescends or jokes at their expense. Actually, she builds them up as characters and experts by interviewing them from a place of delighted naivete.
Despite being a major feminist, I’m always unsure when it comes to girl-centric programming – whether that’s curricular or in media. On one hand, I know girls need to get away from the shadow and influence of boys in educational and social settings so they can grow up with equal footing. On the other, girls-only can be a ghetto, and it can serve not only to over-shelter girls but also exclude the inquisitive, equality-minded boys that form the other half of a equal-opportunity world.
It’s a tough line to tread, and I feel like Smart Girls at the Party really gets it right. It’s a show I would share with girls or boys, and I’m sure they would both find it equally delightful – it just happens to feature the empowered young women who will change the world tomorrow by being themselves today.
Best of all, it’s a reminder that smart girls at the party are often the coolest ones in the room.