Leslie Knope’s 7 Greatest Feminist Achievements

Last night, fans of Parks and Recreation bid a fond and tearful farewell to their favorite city employee, Leslie Knope, as the series aired its final episode. Here at Ms., we were especially sad to say goodbye to Amy Poehler’s endlessly upbeat, hyper-motivated and earnest Knope—a public servant in Pawnee, Indiana—because she offered up a consistently wonderful portrayal of feminism on the small screen.

Not only was our favorite yellow-haired female a lover of powerful women (her Wall of Inspirational Women is a thing of true beauty) but she showed the world what everyday feminism looks like—standing up for what’s right, being kind and contributing positively to your community. Below, look back on seven of Leslie Knope’s greatest feminist achievements.

1. She created the Pawnee Goddesses.


Her colleague and friend Ron Swanson had his own boys-only wilderness troupe, the Pawnee Rangers. But when Leslie saw that girls were being denied a good outdoor education she started her own Girl Scouts/Campfire Girls-inspired group, the Pawnee Goddesses.

2. She stood up to the tyranny of beauty pageants.


Leslie got tapped to judge the Miss Pawnee beauty pageant but quickly discovered the unfortunate truth about the sexist contest. She fought hard for a smart, unconventional-looking girl to win, despite strong opposition from her co-judges who preferred the pretty-yet-vapid Trish.

3. She won her City Council seat despite massive sexism.

The Pawnee City Council was notorious for its lack of women—until Leslie Knope came around. Leslie was always adamant about becoming president some day (we’re behind you, Leslie/Amy!), and becoming a councilwoman was a stepping stone on that path. When she achieved her goal, it was a victory for women everywhere.

4. She invented Galentine’s Day.


Who needs Valentine’s Day when you’ve got breakfast food, girlfriends and a woman like Leslie Knope in your life? Happy February 13th!

5. She collected trash to fight workplace gender discrimination.


When Leslie discovered that there was not one single woman garbage collector in Pawnee—a good-paying job—she demanded to know why. Department of Sanitation workers claimed the job was too physically demanding for a woman, so Leslie spent a day collecting trash to prove them wrong.

6. She led sex-ed classes for seniors.

Pawnee’s senior citizens are wise about many things, but safe sex isn’t one of them. To stem an STI outbreak, Leslie went against town rules and offered sex-ed classes for citizens in their golden years.

7. She declared that “men’s rights is nothing.”

Take that, MRAs.

We’ll miss you every day, Leslie Knope.

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Stephanie hails from Toronto, Canada. She is a Ms. writer, a master of journalism candidate and a hip hop dancer/instructor/choreographer. She got her start in feminist journalism at the age of 16 when she was a member of the first editorial collective at Shameless magazine—and she has never looked back.