A Good New Project From Tina Fey

I feel like I’ve been kind of hard on Tina Fey when I’ve written about her recently, mostly motivated by the fact that I don’t think 30 Rock is particularly funny any more. I haven’t missed it at all this fall, and I think I might be done with Liz Lemon’s stale eccentricities and lack of growth. I do think it’s important for women to be able to have a diversity of interests, and to diverge from socially acceptable norms of femininity if they want, and to tell a wide array of women’s stories, though, so I was happy to see that Fey hosted a couple of NPR specials called “The Hidden World of Girls.” The project started by letting people call in and spend four minutes telling stories about the things about them that no one knows, about their rituals, about their daughter who became a radical mechanic in Vermont, and then they picked some folks for longer interviews. I particularly liked the segment on Irish Travelers in the first episode — I know I’ve heard of Irish Travelers before, but I knew precisely nothing about them, and coming of age rituals were a particularly interesting way to approach the culture as a whole:

Anyway, it’s a nice reminder that there are different kinds of stories to about women (and about men, and everyone else) than the conventional scripts that get followed a lot of the time. The world is big, and strange, and fascinating, and marvelous. And this is the kind of week where that sort of reminder is particularly valuable.