Amy Poehler denounces the fact that women are asked to answer for abusive men

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Amy Poehler’s directorial debut, Wine Country, comes to Netflix May 10th. I love the cast, but I think I am most excited about Paula Pell, who I have fallen in love with on AP Bio. To promote Wine Country and some of her other many upcoming projects, Amy got a big write up in The Hollywood Reporter. It’s a really good article, I recommend reading the whole thing. For years Amy has done a lot to hold up fellow women in her the industry. She produces female led and female heavy shows and hires female driven crews and writer rooms (I apologize, I don’t know Amy’s record on diversity. I hope it’s better than some of her friends). As it turns out, Amy’s commitment to women comes from reexamining her own feminism. Going forward, she only wants to answer for her own actions, and that particularly goes for having to answer for the crap men pull.

“I’ve been trying to unpack my own deep institutionalized misogyny,” says Amy Poehler. “Our generation of women, Gen Xer women, we desexualized ourselves. And that stuff gets really ingrained. I grew up in a time where trying to sympathize or empathize with the male experience was how I was able to be included in the experience.”

Like so many women of her generation, Poehler is grappling with her own pre-#MeToo assumptions about sexual politics amid the existential dread of the Trump era. But one thing is certain: She has definitely had it with condescension from the patriarchy. “Women are constantly criticized for being too emotional,” she tells me. “Can we be allowed to be as messy, as all over the place, as inconsistent and as mediocre as men? Do we have to always be patient, special, nurturing, adaptable?”

Also, please don’t ask her to explain the bad behavior of men, namely Louis C.K., even if they were friends and share a manager (Dave Becky). “Women seem to be, unfortunately, the ones that have to have the answers,” she says. “Whether or not we want to be the ones with the answers.”

[The Hollywood Reporter]

We’ve talked about this before, why is it that only women are asked about it when a man does something wrong? I honestly don’t have an answer, but I’ve done it my whole life. I need to follow Amy’s lead and just stop answering. If he did it, ask him. I, too, am a Gen Xer and I understand what she’s talking about with internalized misogyny. It was easy to deny it because I am, in fact, a woman so how could I be a misogynist? But Amy’s dead right. I’ve spent far too much dismissing women who didn’t act like men, including myself.

I like Amy. I like that she refuses to share too much of herself with the world, which is why she stays off social media. She’s very politically active and most of us know what she stands for and what she stands against and yet, she doesn’t have Twitter, IG or any of those platforms. She manages her press well. One of the most telling things about Amy is the majority of quotes in the article are from other people talking about Amy. She’s in there, but even when she’s talking about herself, she plays her cards close to the vest. She’s smart, funny, savvy and, according to the people in this article, kind to everyone with whom she works, from assistant key-grips to guest stars. I really dig her.

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Photo credit: WENN Photos

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30 Responses to “Amy Poehler denounces the fact that women are asked to answer for abusive men”

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  1. Snowslow says:

    I love Amy Poehler, especially because she is not perfect and does not pretend to be. She is always portrayed as the best “boss” ever by everyone on Parks & Rec.
    Also, Leslie Knope is probably one of the most inspiring characters ever.

  2. Rhys says:

    I often think about it. women, shouldn’t be asked to answer for what men do and say. That includes all women, regardless of how we feel about them. Melania Trump is one such example. She is often being asked to answer for her husband’s words and deeds, assumed to somehow have a hold over him, influence and change him. I dislike her as a person she shows he leaked to be in public, but it irritates me to no end that she is being held responsible for that man.

    • Gigi La Moore says:

      I understand what you’re saying, but this is where I disagree. When it’s your intimate partner, I feel like there is a sense of responsibility. No, she’s not responsible for his behavior but you have to question a woman who can stand to be around that behavior.

      • MMRB says:

        Why do we have to question her? This is reverse discrimination, and really a variation on “slut shaming” without the sexual connotation.
        She needs education on many a front for certain, but she only knows what she knows because she doesnt know better. I’m not defending her, I’m defending the issue of finger pointing and attempting to hold people accountable. My partner is european and sometimes, i cringe, but is he a bad person? nope, and am i accountable for him? nope, i can only lead by example and try to give him options for perhaps more progressive mental habits.

    • Rhys says:

      Sure, you can question and dislike her behavior, what she says, clothes, etc., but hers alone. That’s the difference. When people ask “well, why is the wife not doing anything? why isn’t she making her husband to do this or that instead?” Do we hear anyone say the same in relation to men? This culture of woman being held responsible for her partner’s behavior is wrong and exhausting.

      • Gigi La Moore says:

        For me, again, I disagree. I am a black woman with a lot of white friends. Are my white friends responsible for the behavior of some racist white people? No. However, if I find out one of my white friends is friends with the Grand Wizard of the KKK, that changes things. I’m going to have some questions surrounding that and yes, I would hold that friend’s feet to the fire on how that can be. Melanie gets no pass from me.

      • MMRB says:

        A-freaking-(wo)men! @Rhys

      • Rhys says:

        @Gigi La Moore, the thing is, friendship and marriage are different in this context. How often do we hold guys responsible for their buddies’ deeds? Never. Same with women’s friendship: we do not assume one woman’s responsibility over the other’s views and actions. But when it comes to married couples whatever the man does is suddenly the woman’s responsibility, but NEVER vice versa. Women end up having to bare the blame for what men do. The wife might be as rotten as her husband, but let’s not take away the weight of his action off of his back by placing it on hers just because she is a woman.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      I’d agree if it weren’t for the fact that Melania has chosen to make statements to defend Trump’s behavior.

  3. SM says:

    I love her. And she is absolutely rocking that suite in the second photo

  4. Renee2 says:

    While she does support a lot of white women but her record on racial diversity is not great.

    • Wow says:

      How is her record not good? I’m asking this as a black woman. Is she racist? Is she not hiring POC for her project’s?

      Or is she staying in her lane and you are misinterpreting that?

      • Renee2 says:

        I mean it’s not great. She could do more in terms of opening doors for racially diverse women, and me for that matter.

    • lucy2 says:

      The last network show her company did was I Feel Bad, which stars an Indian-American woman, Sarayu Blue.

      Her company has a lot of stuff starting up, so I hope to see diversity throughout the casting, and behind the scenes.

  5. Laurita says:

    One of my best pals works with her on her show with Nick Offerman “Making It” and he says she is just absolutely lovely and kind. So yes, the rumours are true.
    I love her too, always have. All her projects are incredible and I hope she never goes away.

    • elimaeby says:

      This makes me so happy to hear. She is on my short list of celebrities that would break my heart if I ever found out they were secretly dicks. I started doing comedy in part because I was inspired by her. I love her so much.

    • Thank you for saying this and I’m SOOO happy to hear it!!!! I LOVED “making it” and highly recommend it if you need or want a feel good show about people being creative. It’s so charming and she and Nick Offerman are just adorable.

  6. Div says:

    This is something I’ve said for a while, too. Women should not be asked to discuss an abusive man unless they have a very strong/direct connection (e.g. business partner/husband). And while I believe people make the wrong choice in working with predators, I’m astounded at how the media conversation turns the focus from Polanski and Allen onto the women, and only the women. I’m not saying these people are above criticism and shouldn’t be asked, but there is a serious problem when there are sometimes more articles dragging Kate Winslet for working with Polanski/Allen with more comments then actual articles on Polanski/Allen themselves (and most ignore the true culprits which allow these a-holes to continue to work, which are the studios…especially Amazon and Woody Allen). The focus is way off.

    • otaku fairy... says:

      I kind of agree. It’s not that the topic should be off limits or beyond questioning for either sex as long as they’re adults. But people sometimes oversimplify this issue online, are often hypocritical about it. Plus in people’s eagerness to coerce liberals and feminists to ‘cancel’ other liberal women in the way THEY want them to (like she said here, does any woman ever get to be messy or inconsistent? Imperfect victims? imperfect allies? Have moments of oversensitivity or bad judgment?), going after women young and old for the actions of men around them is often low-hanging fruit. Also, sometimes people clearly have other misogynistic (and otherwise problematic and bigoted) gripes with specific women to begin with, to the point where it can easily be proven, but use her connections to shitty men as a shield after the fact. That way they can either make every ‘politically incorrect’ way they’ve expressed their dislike look more woke than it is, or accuse any critic of condoning the actions of the shitty men.

  7. T says:

    Except here Im not asking her to denounce Louis C.K, but continuing to have Becky as her manager and allow him to profit off her (and he is also often a credited producer on shows) is actually a huge problem for me. He actively tried to destroy the careers of the women that C.K assaulted. So yeah, you can go sit with Sarah Silverman and her bs.

    • Fanny says:

      John Mulaney fired Dave Becky in November 2017, as soon as it came to light that Becky had helped Louis cover up his assaults – and Becky was every bit as important in Mulaney’s career/life as he is in Poehler’s. Why shouldn’t Amy be expected to do the same? Mulaney got dragged for over a year by people who weren’t aware that he’d fired Becky, so it is not selective outrage if people take Amy to task over this issue.

      Mike Schur admitted and apologized for continuing to invite Louis CK to appear on Parks & Recs after he’d heard the rumors about him. Amy was a producer on that show too and should be making the same admission and apology. Everybody knew that the main reason Louis ever guest starred on the show in the first place was because he was such a good friend of hers.

      • lucy2 says:

        I do wish she’d cut ties with him. I don’t expect her to answer for Louis CK’s actions just because they were friends, but I do think she’s responsible for continuing to work with DB. He seems to be a producer on most of her projects, so possibly there’s some legal issues there, but as her personal manager, she should fire him.
        Pamela Adlon from Better Things (which I love) also dropped him, and her show was much more tied to LCK than anything Amy has done.

  8. Penguen says:

    Love her.

  9. Emily says:

    I also love love AP bio and Paula Pell.

  10. Marty says:

    This is a cop out coming from her. While yes, women shouldn’t have to answer for men’s shitty behavior, if you’re fostering that behavior, expect to get asked about. There were rumors about Louis CK for YEARS, the comedy circle is small, she knew and still hired/supported him. That elevated his power even more, because he could use her as an example of why he was a “good guy”. Hey, Amy likes me, Amy has me on her show.

    So hell no, she doesn’t get a pass from me.

    • Fanny says:

      I agree. She shouldn’t need to apologize for his behavior because she is/was his friend. However she should be held accountable in her professional capacity for giving employment and support to him and to his enabler/co-conspirator, Dave Becky (and continuing to do so in the latter case).

  11. otaku fairy... says:

    It’s good that she acknowledges that being a woman doesn’t make her immune to being misogynistic. None of us are immune- even a lesbian can be a misogynist.
    She also brings up a good point about being socialized to always view things from or sympathize/empathize with the male experience. It’s girls and women who end up paying for that from both sexes, especially when they’re reluctant or unwilling to fight patriarchy with respectability politics or being more ‘like men’.

  12. bears says:

    A big part of that institutionalized misogyny that she’s unpacking is the tendency to laugh off things like, for instance, a rumor going around that your buddy jerked off in front of a couple women. It’s that feeling of needing to be “one of the guys” that is particularly pervasive in comedy. I had a large group of guy friends when I was in my twenties and I can see myself having laughed off something like that with an eyeroll and a “silly boys” head shake. I’d want to slap myself for it now but, we don’t do better until we’ve learned better. I’ve learned better and I don’t understand why female comics my age like Amy and Sarah Silverman can’t seem to.

  13. dumbledork says:

    I admit it’s hard to compartmentalize. The accusations against Bill Clinton are far more serious and disturbing than Louis Ck. Do I blame Hilary for them? For sticking with him? She’s had to answer for him. So many women have had to do the same in this MeToo era. I don’t think it’s fair. We should be asking the men the tough questions, not the women.

  14. Lilly (with the double-L) says:

    I love Amy and want to spend every Galentine’s Day with her and eat waffles. You can’t always be right and you can either take the ego hurt from being wrong to claiming to be right all the time and never changing, or you can try and change and take a hard look inside. I can admit I’ve dug in at times, but now I do try and look inside and go with the flow of working through the hurt ego muscles. Not always successful, unfortunately. It’s great to read how she reflects and improve.

    Also, it’s so true about being expected to be the voice of all of a segment of the population. I have gone through that, and my kids at school being expected to answer everything about Native history, feelings, or excuse the grown-ups (teachers) for saying offensive things. How about do some research and professional development on privilege and disparities?