Bridesmaids

Earlier this week, New York Magazine published a staggeringly detailed examination of American culture during the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The “time capsule” offers a mix of historical details (unemployment rate, major events, etc.) as well as longer essays contributed 60 different people. And while we could have highlighted, say, Neil Barofsky’s examination of the Wall Street bailout, Susan Rice’s reflection on the Ebola crisis, or any one of the many topics explored by Obama himself, naturally we’re going to single out the essay about poop.

New Girl showrunner Liz Meriwether was the only one brave enough to celebrate excrement within the context of a piece on Obama’s America. And she does so in the provocatively titled essay “Poop Feminism.” Like many people, Meriwether sees 2011’s Bridesmaids as a turning point for women in film. And for her it all comes down to the scene in which the bridesmaids get food poisoning and Melissa McCarthy ends up pooping in a sink (a move that earned her an Oscar nomination, never forget). That scene shattered Meriwether’s expectations about what could be shown in a “women’s picture.” As she writes:

This is the moment. Change for women in this country has come in many forms. Some change is big and loud and hard-won and can be put in writing. Some change is as small and simple as a handshake. And some change comes without warning while you are sitting in a dark theater in the spring of 2011, and you are laughing so hard that you don’t realize you are actually screaming.

“A woman has just pooped in a sink,” Meriwether later adds. “The revolution has begun.” You can head over to New York Magazine to read Meriwether’s full piece, as well as other pop culture essays about Glee, Amy Schumer, Beyoncé, Black-ish, and more.

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