Feminist Icon: Leslie Knope

In this episode, Leslie has to prove that she did not have an affair with a councilman and the office misses her when she has to lay low for the media frenzy.

When the first season aired, the writers were really harsh on Leslie. No one liked her and everything she touched turned to crap. It was irritating to watch.

This season though, they give Amy Poehler’s character more room to breathe, while focusing more on the antics of local government instead of romantic trysts. Plus, the dudes on the show are given a chance to redeem themselves. Her assistant Tom is less of an asshole, and Ron Swanson, her anti-government boss, actually turns out to be not so bad a guy.

While at a strip club, Ron says this:
“Strippers do nothing for me. I like a strong, salt of the Earth, self-possessed woman at the top of her field. Your Steffi Grafs, your Sheryl Swoopeses, but I will take a free breakfast buffet anytime, anyplace.”

This episode is most telling of the kind of hardships women go through in politics. Leslie has to drop trou to prove that she did not sleep with a sex-crazed councilman. It’s demoralizing that the councilman wasn’t put up to as much scrutiny as Leslie and basically given a pass for all his womanizing. Why does it have to be Leslie to prove she didn’t have an affair?

The most heartwarming bit of this episode is at the end when Leslie returns to the office. Everyone in the office had been teaming up to handle all of her duties and responsibilities. When she returns, you can see that they really appreciate what she does for the department, but most of all – they really do miss her.

Leslie Knope is my Television Feminist Hero.

Posted via web from Je t’ecoute


Future of journalism lies in mentorship, not self-aggrandizing

Because we all know a few asshole editors.

Seriously, I find that many newsrooms foster an unhealthy competitive environment where journalists would rather slit each others' throats than collaborate on a story. A former Mizzou student in journalism told me tales of sabotage. This in the esteemed Reynolds School of Journalism.

It's really time to change that attitude from competition to collaboration, especially within the same news organization. So those self-aggrandizing editors-in-chiefs need to take a lesson from the sharing-is-caring generation – that's right, the Millennials.

My own experience with that kind of personality is from someone industry professionals constantly praise for being progressive and forward thinking. Really, all they do is make pretty visual media packages and the news organization they work for hasn't written a decent article since their "reign." This person will say they are all about getting different voices, point of views, and collaboration, but really they are all about appearances. After meeting some their new hires I came to realize that the news organization was much more interested in hiring beautiful assholes than community members with a penchant for investigation.

But I digress. Sort of. You see, ladies and jelly-spoons, my generation is all about the sharing and collaboration and not about the ego. We require mentors to guide the way, not editors who would throw a two year-old in the pool to teach it to swim. This is the kind of attitude fearless journalists like Charlotte-Anne Lucas has. She was an amazing journalist and equally great mentor.

I learned during one of my hardest journalism courses that journalists are really jealous of their position. That is, they won't allow just anyone to say they are a journalist without having jumped through fiery hoops. This is why citizen journalism was such an affront to the supposedly impervious constitutions of industry giants. They can't even collaborate with their own staff, what more Joe the Reporter off the street?

So the new thing is collaborative journalism, where I am totally on board. Send your collaborative ideas my way. 

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A fresh way to start

Bonjour! Hola! Hello!

This is a personal blog about some issues I'm passionate about: journalism, the arts, feminism, and francophilia. I want to make this an intelligent blog that is not just filled with my own inane thoughts but also a place to converse, collaborate, and inspire. That is part of the reason why I chose the blog title "Je t'ecoute." Because I know, despite many years of grooming as a soprano, that it's not all about me.

Je t'ecoute also comes from a song, "Aicha" by Cheb Khaled. Whenever I go to France or even meet an francophone, they will sing, "Aicha, Aicha, ecoutez-moi!" So yes! Je t'ecoute!

What shall we discuss tomorrow? I guess I'll have to raid my Google Reader for some story ideas.

Onward and upward!

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