Book Review: Bossypants

BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Tina Fey's Bossypants is one of my favorite memoirs to date. It started slow and I didn't particularly enjoy the first few chapters, but once she started talking about her career, I couldn't put the book down. This book amazed me by how absolutely funny it was while covering pretty serious issues. How do you do that, Tina Fey? There are a lot of jokes, but I truly enjoy her perspective as a working woman and mom. She is quick to make fun of herself and it comes off quite genuine. She's also a good storyteller.

Fey definitely is my kind of feminist, pointing out some pretty plain hypocrisies that I never really noticed until she pointed them out. The best example of this was when she was crucified for playing Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live. What can I say - I thought Fey was brilliant as Palin and the resemblance was simply uncanny. And before Fey, plenty of male SNL cast members made fun of plenty of politicians. Some were much, much more harsher than Fey's Palin impression and jokes. Yet, that campaign got pretty ugly and Fey described herself as becoming a lightening bolt. She caught some nasty stuff and she simply pointed out that it the same kind of comedy bit was was reacted to very differently when a male did it than when a female did it (think Chevy Chase playing a clumsy Gerald Ford, Will Ferrell playing a perfectly wonderful George W. Bush or Darryl Hammond nailing the smooth-talking Bill Clinton).

This book really spoke to my inner feminist in a way that I can relate to, though luckily I haven't experienced nearly the kind of crazy stuff she shared about showbiz. What I could relate to was the fact that many people have a very hard time why a woman makes work a top priority. People can't understand why woman wouldn't want to be a mommy, preferably a mommy of two or more. I realize there has to be a balance, but as Fey points out, when you love your job, you want to do it all the time. I consider myself very fortunate to working in the professions that I love. Fey made me feel okay about not wanting kids and focusing on my career. Yet I still loved hearing about the joy parenthood brought her. Fey is definitely a cool mom and not one of those obnoxities that demand all parents follow the same playbook or their kids will grow up inferior.

Pretty great book. I started reading it on September 11, a day I always reflect on and feel gloomy during. This was good to get my spirit up and it was great to finish with her message. Goodreads is a good tool and it's helped me get back into taking some notes. Even so, sometimes there's no time for notes. Sometimes you just gotta' read read read. Here's what I managed:
page 24 "Droopy brown eyes designed to confuse predators into thinking I'm just on the verge of sleep and they should come back tomorrow and eat me."

page 144 "We don't fucking care if you like it."

page 207 "(By the way, when Oprah Winfrey is suggesting you may have overextended yourself, you need to examine your f*cking life.)"

page 234 "I am not mean and Mrs. Palin is not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to us both."

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1 comment:

pandamans said...

Pretty sure I read this in one sitting - I really liked it as well.