A Letter To Leslie Knope



Dear Leslie,

I’m sure that you’re busy helping your friends find meaningful careers or being the Governor of Indiana or just generally excelling at life. (Full disclosure- I cry every time I watch the finale… so my understanding of your life's timeline might be a little bit off. But, whatever you’re doing, I know you’re doing it well!) I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve been thinking about you a lot recently.

You see, in my opinion, you are one of the most well-rounded feminists to ever appear on our TV screens/ tablets/ Gryzzl devices, and I think that everyone should celebrate you as a fantastic role model!

For all the doubters from the sewage department who might be reading this, I thought I would explain exactly why I think that you are a top-notch role model and human being.

  • You are not a perfect person. You make mistakes, fall in pits, have crushes on Brendanawiczes, have moments of insecurity, and get into fights with friends. You sometimes come on far too strong, but you have a team that loves and respects you and that can pull you back from the edge when your passion runs away with you. I love that you spend time fixing the mistakes that you’ve made and growing as a person. I love that you are always excited to learn and experience new things and that you don’t let your fear of failure keep you from trying.

  • You show everyone that feminists are deeply committed to the empowerment of all people because we know that inequality is a poison that hurts everyone. You make us aware of how often feminists on TV are made to seem one-dimensional because you are simultaneously a feminist, a devoted partner to Ben, a loyal friend to the thousands of people that you love, a fan of passionately but respectfully debating people with whom you disagree, and the best darn binder-maker that the world has ever seen. You’re both the originator of “Cheesecake Day” (a day which commemorates the first time you and Anne ate a cheesecake together) and a goddess (a glorious female warrior, queen of all you survey).

  • You are a passionate, loud, opinionated woman and are not afraid to be all of these things even when you are in the (sometimes extreme) minority. You don’t apologize for having opinions even though you’re willing to change your mind when you learn something new. You’ve got a (loud) voice and are never shy about standing up for others.

  • Even though you and Ben seem to have been made for one another, we know that your relationship is the result of a series of choices that each of you made to prioritize the other person and your shared connection. Your relationship is one of the most equal that we’ve ever seen on TV. You guys are great together.

  • You value friendship. You are loyal and protective, fun and considerate, and just all around the best friend anyone could ask for. You show us how powerful friendships can be when they are built with mutual respect and love.

Leslie, the list could go on and on, but I know that you probably need to get back to saving the world.

I’ll finish up by just saying thank you. Thank you for letting us spend time with you, a funny, amazing, powerful, tremendously fantastic woman.

You’re the best, and you deserve all the waffles in the world.

Love, Rachel


© 2019 by Rabbi Rachel Bearman.