Thomas Haag 10/2/13
English 101 Assignment 2 Draft #1
Right in the heart of the fictional Indiana town Pawnee, there lives Leslie Knope. Leslie is a progressive, career orientated woman who defies the stereotypical role of a woman in politics. Although she may appear to have the traditional blonde hair and blue eyes of many actresses before her, she has something which they do not. A television program that focuses on the career orientated woman, who has the drive and determination to get what she wants out of life. Leslie Knope in the show Parks and Recreation, is the deputy director of the Pawnee Department of Parks and Recreation. She serves as the main character of the program. Knope who is played by Amy Pohler, has all the makings of the stereotypical female actress. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and from first glance can appear as a regular, run of the mill female actress. However, after watching just a few brief minutes of the show it can be seen that her character offers much more. She combines a sharp sense of humor with the professionalism that is needed to be a career politician. Knope, throughout the program constantly strives to better herself. She claims that it is her career goal to become the first woman president of the United States. (Insert data/ comparisons to female politicians here ie, Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin etc.) She serves as the counterpunch to the stereotypical female politicians that often come across as clueless and overemotional. The series also provides Knope with a stellar backing cast which serve to emphasize her role as a successful female candidate.(insert data about Ron Swanson here) . The characters help her run her campaign and navigate through the struggles
that are associated with being a woman in politics. Knope’s closest friend is also portrayed as a strong female character, Ann Perkins. Ann serves as Leslie’s personal advisor as well as the person she goes to in her times of need. Through these characters the conventional stereotypes of women in politics are defied. (Insert data about stereotypes of women politicians then compare/contrast with Leslie Knope). The show “Parks and Rec” serves as a comedic defiance to the stereotypes of women in politics. Leslie Knope defies the sociocultural expectations. She is portrayed as funny, smart as well as having the classic actress stereotypical blonde hair and blue eyes. The backing cast of the program is also made up of strong women as well as people who support Knope throughout her career. The program is therefore progressive in is approach to the role of women in politics.