Posted by: emilysenesac | January 15, 2019

Women and Leadership In Television

Lately, I’ve been rewatching a favorite TV show of mine: Parks and Recreation. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should. But I was thinking a lot about the representation of the protagonist, Leslie Knope, as a leader within the Parks Department of her local government. Despite the fact that she is a woman, her ambition and drive is, on the whole, met with nothing but support from the rest of her department and her friends. However, as she begins to move up in the government and seek higher positions of power, she starts to receive blowback for making some unpopular, although definitely correct, decisions. Additionally, at the time that this disapproval is going on, she is the only woman on her town’s City Council. I guess what I’ve been thinking about is: are her decisions unpopular because the town just doesn’t agree with them? Or are they unpopular because she is a woman?

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Responses

  1. Emily, you bring up a very good point here with your commentary! Though I am not entirely familiar with the show, I would be interested to see if this distinction is addressed within the show. I have watched many episodes of The Office, and am very familiar with the actions of the branch manager, Michael Scott. Interestingly, I am almost sure that his actions would not be received as well, whether by the other characters or TV viewers, if the character was a female. I find the concept of Women and TV a very interesting dynamic and am excited to learn more about it throughout the semester.


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