Last night’s Parks and Recreation tackled a phenomenon that is simultaneously completely meaningless and also spreading across the internet (and actual world, unfortunately) like the stupidity transmitted disease that it is. It’s an issue that was born out of pure nothingness, but is still made entirely of hateful poison, and is even potentially life-threatening. This episode gave us Leslie Knope vs. The Men’s Rights Movement.
If you’re not caught up on the show, Ben is now running for Congress, which means Leslie is expected to play the role of Congressman’s Wife. This includes events like the “Pie Mary,” a baking competition in which all the candidate’s wives bake pies, and one woman wins, while, according to Leslie, “all women” lose. Leslie wasn’t going to enter, which seemed like a non-issue, until it began to draw accusations of snobbery and man/other women/child-hating. So Ben came up with a idea: HE would enter the competition. And not just with any pie! Because what is a pie but a SWEET CALZONE? So Ben baked his “dessert calzone” to enter in the contest, turning the whole tradition on its head. It was a great plan! Until the
Mailmen Male Men showed up.
The Male Men are a Pawnee’s laughable MRA group, who came to stand up to masculine justice. Because “behind every successful woman is a man she has oppressed.” No matter that this was Ben’s idea in the first place. These guys have got a full arsenal of false equivalencies at their disposal.
Their mission is simple.
We are sick and tired of this feminized society. Men have had a very rough go of it for… just recently. And it ends now.
But even that discussion wasn’t enough to appease the Male Men. I mean, this is feminism we’re talking about here. Which, ultimately, is about how women’s behavior affects men. So what are all these women doing here, right?
So what’s a feminist couple in politics to do? This is a ridiculous, manufactured, nothing of an issue, but it’s still insulting. Plus, it’s drawing attention away from Ben’s campaign. Jen Barkley says they should just apologize. For what? Doesn’t matter! Just say you’re sorry!
So that’s what they plan to do. Until Ben gets all queasy.
So she doesn’t apologize. I mean she does, but only for everyone else’s stupidity. Here are some highlights from her incredible rant:
-She’s “sorry” that the attention is on her and pies or whatever, instead of on her awesome husband.
-Second, a message for those Male Men:
-Then there was this beautiful shiny gem of perfect advice:
Third, I’m now going to give you permanent answers to all the silly questions that you’re gonna end up asking me and every other woman in this election over the next few months. ‘Why did I change my hairstyle?’ Oh, I don’t know, I just thought it would look better. Or my kids got gum in it. ‘Are you trying to have it all?’ That question makes no sense! It’s a stupid question. Stop asking it.Don’t ask it. ‘Do you miss your kids while you’re at work?’ Yes, of course I do. Everybody does. And then, you know, sometimes I don’t.Ben, of course, points out “No one’s ever asked me that question. No one asks me ‘Where are your kids?’
-Ben also points out that if Leslie doesn’t fit everyone’s idea of what a candidate’s wife “should be,” THAT’S A GOOD THING. Not everything has to be one thing. And then Leslie puts the whole thing perfectly.
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.