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Amy Poehler, once ‘one of the guys’, reflects on her institutionalised misogyny

The 'Wine Country' actress-and-director believed she was part of a generation of women that had desexualised themselves.

US actress Amy Poehler arrives for the PaleyFest presentation of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" 10th Anniversary Reunion at the Dolby theatre on March 21, 2019 in Hollywood. Picture: AFP.

LONDON - Amy Poehler has been trying to unpack her deep institutionalised misogyny that saw her try to desexualise herself.

The Wine Country actress and director believed she was part of a generation of women that had desexualised themselves and felt that in order to fit in with men, she needed to sympathise or empathise with them.

She said: "I've been trying to unpack my own deep institutionalised misogyny. Our generation of women, Gen Xer women, we desexualised ourselves. And that stuff gets really ingrained. I grew up in a time where trying to sympathise or empathise with the male experience was how I was able to be included in the experience."

The 47-year-old star admitted that her instinct when producing Broad City was to try and curb the overt sexuality of the cast but soon found the younger women involved in the project were happy to use themselves as they were in control.

She told The Hollywood Reporter: "They'd be doing a scene where they would be cleaning an apartment in their underwear. And I'd be like, 'You know you guys don't have to be in your underwear.' And they'd be like, 'We wrote this.' My generation was like, 'Wear baggy clothes when you improvise, be one of the guys, don't use your sexuality.' And women younger than me are like, 'Uh, my sexuality is my own, I can use it however I want. It's one of the many things about me. And I'm in control of it.' And it's like, right, right, right, right, right."

The former Saturday Night Live star was very competitive, but she had no interest in pitting herself against other women.

She said: "I've had the incredible good fortune of being around supportive, interesting women who are not looking to take each other down. And I am a very competitive person. But it's never in response or reaction to somebody else's successes or failures. And the few times I've stepped into that world, on other projects, it's very Art of War, where I've laid down my shield very fast. It's like, 'Oh no, that's not how I operate. I don't work that way.' And usually it's very disarming because there are a lot of women who have had different experiences and rightfully don't always trust the people they're with."

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