Goddess Glorious Female Warrior

Have you heard of the show called Parks and Recreations? I was watching it today and this episode was about a camp like girl scouts and boy scouts. One of the boys in the boy scouts wanted to joined the girl scouts camp. Soon all the boys wanted too because they were tired of the dirt/out doors and they wanted to play with puppies like al the girl scouts were doing. This was breaking the gender norms. When the boys were initiated in the camp they had to call themselves goddesses and they looked proud to do so.

5 thoughts on “Goddess Glorious Female Warrior

  1. You’ve got to love Parks and Rec! I remember this episode and Ron Swanson’s character is the typical male stereotype on all levels throughout the show. This episode epitomises exactly how children are taught as they grow up about what they should do or how they should act so it’s cool of the writers to play off of the stereotypes in a humorous way. I’m with Katherine on this too, I had never really taken in to account that this episode like a variety of other Parks and Rec episodes do challenge what can be considered as gendered norms. Hats off to the writers for executing this so perfectly because they are subtly tackling the issue and showing that doing whatever makes you happy is more important than what is right or wrong in terms of your gender.

  2. Jessica,
    This show cracks me up on a day to day basis, I do discover some of these gender trends as well. Breaking out of that gender box, as Paul Kivel states, is one task many of us struggle with. At that age though I don’t think it was even in my mind of the differences between girls and boys, I was more concerned with the fact of getting everything done and having fun. This show is constantly challenging gender norms because the main character, Leslie or Amy Poehler, is always trying to do as much as she can to succeed and challenge the main, she always wants to be “one of the dudes”. There has been an episode where she actually worked her way into a mans club to drink at work after hours. It was extremely funny but I enjoy watching her test the gender boundaries.

  3. Parks and Rec is the show that I’m currently binge-watching on netflix, and I absolutely love it! This episode is definitely a great representation about how children are in a “box” to either be feminine or masculine. It’s been a while since I’ve watched this episode, but even though it showed the classic boys learn how to survive while girls stay inside and play with makeup, it challenged it. What was known as “Goddess” club, where only girls could join, boys ended up participating in it as well. Near the end of the episode, what was known as the “only boys club” turned into the “outdoors club,” in which each gender was able to participate. The outdoors club eventually ended up being mainly girls, which definitely challenged what the female “box” is known for. I think that this was a great subject, didn’t even think of how this was challenging the norms when I watched it!

  4. I have never seen an episode of Parks and Recreation. All I know is that it is a comedy and it is starring Amy Poehler who used to be an actress on Saturday Night Live. Since the show is a comedy, it is my opinion that the boys as “goddesses” was meant to be a form of comedy in which the audience is laughing at the idea of the boys as goddesses. While that aspect is rather funny, I will admit, I am troubled that the show decided to make this a comedic aspect of the episode. So what, if little boys want to be called “goddesses” and would rather play with puppies instead of being in the dirt outdoors around the campfire? That does not make them any less boys. From the clip, it seemed like the boys and the girls had very different ideas of camping, which can be a huge indication of how society views gendered norms and stereotypes in that, girls are “prissy” therefore camping was in cabins with comfortable beds. As for the boys, they are supposed to be more sporty and capable of “roughing it” in the outdoors around the campfire. I think the way the media portrays gendered norms is something to worry about and may be the reason that many young boys are nervous or concerned about doing activities that are outside of society’s gendered norms.

  5. I love this show! There are many times when gender norms are challenged throughout the seasons, but this one was definitely more obvious. I really think people want to do things more when they are told they can’t or when they think everyone else is doing something better. In this case, Ron Swanson led the Pawnee Rangers “boys only”, which is why Leslie started the “girls-only” Pawnee Goddesses. She was determined to prove that the girls could do it better because of the past rejection. It is funny to watch the girls and boys take on camping very differently. The boys are taught to build shelter and eat the bear minimum to “survive like a real man”, but the girls are having fun playing with puppies, having pillow fights, and enjoying candy. It is interesting, because the boys “should” fit into norms wanting to be outside and be tough, but in reality they wanted to do what the girls were doing. Not a single boy felt like less of a man because they were now part of the “Goddesses”, not even the scout leader assistant Andy. I wonder if viewers had issues with this episode because of the norms it broke; though the boys didn’t wear girl’s clothing or makeup, they did wear sashes that said Goddesses. Boy scouts and girl scouts is a fairly common thing throughout the country and I am interested if girls or boys have ever wanted to be part of the opposite troop and how that would be handled.

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