How Mindy Kaling Battled Sexism In The Workplace

Photo: REX USA/MediaPunch Inc.
Mindy Kaling knows she doesn't play the most likable character on television. She said as much in an interview with NPR this morning. "She does and says a lot of things that you don't see in, forget female characters, any characters. Like, she says things like, 'I'm going to hell because I don't really care about the environment and I love to gossip.' She thinks Rick Santorum is handsome. Like, she has lots of all-over-the-map opinions and feelings that the writers dream up, but it makes her really original and fun," Kaling told the radio network.
Yet, for all the ways her character can be off-putting, Kaling herself remains a champion of women everywhere — a responsibility she sometimes forgets she's been assigned. "I often forget that being an Indian-American woman who isn't sort of pencil-thin — that's very new to broadcast television," she told NPR. Still, Kaling's not in the business of becoming a poster child. "I refuse to be an outsider, even though I very much look like one to a lot of people," she said.
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In the interview, Kaling also discussed encountering sexism in the workplace — a form of sexism that she describes as "a little bit gentler, but still debilitating." She talks about being a writer for The Office, and how sometimes no one took her entirely seriously. "If I make a decision, it'll still seem up for debate," she said, speaking to how she'd have to actually leave the room after she made a decision so there would be no discussion about it. "If I was a man, I would not have seen that."
That may be discouraging to many women, but not for Kaling. "Everyone wants to be mythologized in a great way," she told NPR. "I'd rather be Odysseus than someone who was handed everything." Check out the full interview below. (NPR)


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