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Read This: Mindy Kaling Tells Lena Dunham What Inspires Her About Other Women

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 12, 2013 at 1:31PM

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.
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Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling

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.

Gevinson and Louis-Dreyfus in "Enough Said"
Gevinson and Louis-Dreyfus in "Enough Said"

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.

This article is related to: News, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Tavi Gevinson


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.