What Would Amy Poehler Do?

06/30/2015 11:27 am ET | Updated Jun 30, 2016

Double standards are so pervasive in society today. A guy who romances multiple ladies is a straight-up boss, but a girl who dates around is a "slut" (while we're on the topic, let's erase the phrase "slut-shaming" entirely. There is no such thing as a "slut" in the first place. You are shaming a human being). In short, "double standards" in the feminist's dictionary means a guy can do one thing, and a girl who does the same thing is something different, something terrible. We hear a lot about gender stereotypes through our site, and we cant help but speak out against the big ones. There are, unfortunately, too many examples of these to count, but perhaps the most popular is the standard around leadership. A man who takes charge of a company, demanding its excellence and success is a great leader, but a woman who does the same is "bossy" or "a bitch". Women are socialized from birth to not know (and to not care to know) anything about business or technology or "guy stuff", but later on in life, they will be criticized for their lack of knowledge in these subjects (though I'd like to interject that women are brilliant, anyway). If this isn't already confusing, when a woman does know these things, she is quickly doubted, denied, and promptly labeled something negative to deter her. But we can't have a properly functioning society with these ideas so rampant.

What would Amy Poehler do? When she's not busy producing, writing, acting, and being a kick-ass mom to two cool kids, she spends her time advocating for women's rights, being the self-proclaimed feminist she is. In Tina Fey's book Bossypants, Fey tells a story of a time when Amy was goofing around during a read-through for Saturday Night Live and made an "unladylike" joke to Seth Meyers. When Jimmy Fallon interrupted to say that he didn't like the joke and thought it wasn't very cute of her, she made it very clear that she didn't care if he liked it or not, and that she wasn't there to be "cute". She was there to do what she wanted to do, and how she wanted to do it. You see, there's really no magic solution to make double standards go away, but you can change how you let them affect you. Some people might call taking that initiative "bossy", but even that wouldn't discourage Amy Poehler. After all, she did say herself, "I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody's passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn't mind leading."