Watch Amy Poehler Call Out Male Privilege In The Most Charming Way Possible

Amy Poehler on The Approval Matrix with Neal Brennan August 2014Guys, is it too late for me to be Amy Poehler when I grow up? I won’t be twenty-seven until next week, so I feel like there’s still time for me to become her completely before I reach adulthood, right?

I’m hoping so, because Amy has this incredible ability to say speak openly about exactly what and how she feels…without ever sounding mean. She’s just an endless font of kindness and sunshine and good advice, so even when she verges on snarky, it just comes off as honest. Like in this new clip with Neal Brennan, for example, which is a preview from next Monday’s episode of The Approval Matrix (at 11:00pm ET on Sundance TV!), where she essentially calls him out on his white male privilege, but never actually says anything mean or hurtful. HOW DOES SHE DO IT I WANT IT.

Anytime I decide to say something truthful to someone that they maybe don’t want to hear, I have to gird my loins for hours about it, so by the time I get around to saying anything, I’m red-faced and my voice is strained and I can only make eye contact with the tips of my shoes. In contrast, how is Amy just sitting there like a normal person, confident that her opinions are right, and that even if the other person doesn’t agree, she’s presented herself successfully? Does not compute.

Anyway, Neal is basically saying he doesn’t get what women want anymore, because all of a sudden it isn’t enough to be just a nerd or be yourself, you have to be strong and adorkable and all this other conflicting stuff too. He has no idea how that’s supposed to work, and instead of being like ‘UM YEAH DUDE I KNOW WELCOME TO MY WORLD’, Amy calmly and rationally puts it perfectly into perspective. I’m not even gonna quote her because I want you to watch it for yourself.

She’s…a magician. A wonderful feminist magician and I love her. Honestly though, she never ceases to amaze me. Gotta get offline now and practice making points without involving eye rolling and flecks of spittle. The struggle is real.

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    • Sara Steinfeld

      Someone should’ve just stood behind Amy and when she was done held up a sign that said “BOOM.”

      • Katja Yount

        Better if someone passed her a prop mic for the purpose of dropping.

      • Sara Steinfeld

        omg yes

    • aCongaLine

      I’m so freaking proud that she’s from my state (er, my mother’s hometown… and she went to HS with my uncles and aunts).

      ROCK IT, AMY.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        KILLING IT.

    • Kate

      “I’m sensing a tone” – right there is where I would have rained down lady hellfire and smacked him with the new female Thor’s hammer. Bless you Amy Poehler

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Haha, instead it’s just “Oh do you?” I love her.

    • Samantha Escobar
    • Music Mamma

      I have the biggest girl crush on her.

    • Alexandra Mitchell

      See, I just come off as angry, man-hating feminazi. HOW DOES SHE DO IT?!

    • Elizabeth Aspen

      Okay, I don’t know who this guy is, but he lost me when he opened his mouth and said, ‘Girls want . . .’ No, we’re WOMEN, not GIRLS. My biggest pet peeve is a grown man condescendingly referring to grown women as “girls” when we stopped being “girls” at 17/18. If we would ever call a grown man a “boy”, we’d never hear the end of it.

      • Lackadaisical

        I agree completely. Calling females “girls” and males “men” shows an attitude of women as less important and less capable of rational thought. It implies man in charge, looking after and making decisions for the woman because he is the grown up of the relationship and she is the child.

        Even had it been what “women want” I would still object as there are loads of different women out there wanting different kinds of men, just as not all men want the same kind of women. Yes, of course the requirements are conflicting, that’s because we all get to choose what we want rather than trained to expect and accept the same qualities and relationship dynamic.

      • the_ether

        I refer to myself as a girl and my husband as a boy, but that’s about specific people, not entire demographics. I don’t think I refer to women as a group as girls except maybe in a satirical concept or when discussing Beyoncé songs. (I also call my cat a boy, so perhaps I have deeper issues)

      • Mystik Spiral

        Yeah my boyfriend and I do that too. It used to rub me the wrong way when people referred to me as a girl, but somehow when he calls himself a boy it makes it OK.

      • Smash Ford

        The context is what counts I think… On an individuals level, if males are also boys and it’s like an endearing recall of more innocent times, fine by me!

        But if it’s suggesting inferiority or a position of less power (similar to when racists call black men ‘boy’ etc) then it’s a display of “putting someone in their place” to call them boy/girl ….them’s fightin’ words!!!

    • .

      Notice how he was asking about what women wanted, and then she just talks about what she wants? I notice that all the time. Men act as if all women want the same thing, when no woman can speak for every women. I hate when people ask “what do women want?” or “what do guys want?” There is no one answer! All (not men, not women..) PEOPLE want and look for different things! Maybe it’s a weird thing to get hung up on, but it really bothers me.

    • Lisa Nunez

      so, the article on how hard it is to be a feminist begins, “GUYS,……” Perhaps this is why you have difficulty with a simple argument. Feminist is: Equal pay for equal work – this doesn’t need an explanation does it? OK – we get, 16 cents LESS per hour than men. Feminism = equal protection under the law, i.e. if a man beats you he goes to jail just like if he beats a man in a bar fight. Please, you are a writer, use your computer to look up basic labor statistics and quote them to people. PS, reporter, check your source, the Wall Street Journal is a good one, online opinion pieces tend to be slanted or paid ads, or just bad.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Hi hello welcome — what are you talking about.

    • Jordan

      It seems to me like she just assumed Neal had never felt conflicting societal pressures up until this point in his life. Based on the situation, it also seems like she assumed that because he’s a guy.
      Is it not sexist to make assumptions about a person based on their sex?

      Not only that, but she doesn’t even attempt to address the underlying problem: lumping all women into ‘women’. Not all girls are the same, not all guys are the same. Assuming they are invariably leads to sexism (see above).