Mindy Kaling talks with Lena Dunham in Tavi Gevinson’s second Rookie Yearbook about how other women inspire her. As usual for Kaling, her response runs the full spectrum from poignant (“I love when women are courageous in the face of unthinkable circumstances”), to shrewdly observant (“I love women who don’t ask ‘Is that OK?’ after everything they say”), to funny (“I love women who know how to wear menswear”). Full quote below.
Rookie Mag, edited by 17-year-old wonder girl Gevinson, is a website for teen girls with monthly themed content, updated three times a week. You may recognize Gevinson from Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said” — she played Chloe, the friend of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s daughter.
Lena Dunham: Can you tell the readers of Rookie what inspires you about other women?
Mindy Kaling: I love seeing women stand up for things they believe in,
teach their daughters how to do the same, prepare meals out of whatever they
have in their fridges, wear helmets when they ride their bikes, call BS when
they see it, and accept that feminism comes in a lotta different forms.
I love women who are bosses and who don’t constantly worry
about what their employees think of them. I love women who don’t ask, “Is
that OK?” after everything they say. I love when women are courageous in
the face of unthinkable circumstances, like my mother when she was diagnosed
with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Or like Gabrielle Giffords writing editorials
for the New York Times about the cowardice of Congress regarding gun laws and
using phrases like “mark my words” like she is Clint Eastwood. How
many women say stuff like that? I love mothers who teach their children that
listening is often better than talking. I love obedient daughters who absorb
everything—being perceptive can be more important than being expressive. I love
women who love sex and realize that sexual experience doesn’t have to be the
source of their art. I love women who love sex and can write about it in
thoughtful, creative ways that don’t exploit them, as many other people will
use sex to exploit them. I love women who know how to wear menswear.