It was infuriating and depressingly unsurprising to hear some of the sexist, inappropriate comments male members of Congress have made to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. As we learned last week, colleagues told the Senator she was pretty even when she was “fat” and urge her not to get “too porky.” But The Daily Show‘s take down of the Senate’s sexism will let you laugh and cry.
Citing the “Don’t get too porky” comment on the one hand, and the “I like my girls chubby” on the other, Jon Stewart quipped “Even when it comes to shitty sexism, the Senate is gridlocked. They can’t get anything done.” He also remarked on the irony of congressmen and senators discussing Gillibrand’s appearance when they themselves “look, on a good day, like a bowl of dried fruit.”
Stewart was especially on-point in his critique of the people criticizing Gillibrand for not naming the men who made the comments. After a clip of conservative CNN contributor Ben Ferguson saying “you’ve got the guts to write about it. Have the guts to name names,” Stewart responds, “The grown-up version of the rich kid from every ’80s movies has a point…. Why wouldn’t the woman making a larger point about the general culture of Washington not turn this into a narrow personal attack on the people she sees at work every day?”
Stewart also shows a clip of Andrea Mitchell, saying that she knows from experience that there are some politicians you don’t want to be alone with in an elevator. He then reflects, “Right. We all have our stories about which person, elected by voters in their state to a six-year term, vested with the powers to advise, consent, and declare war, you would not trust in the three to five seconds it takes to go from two to L.”
The episode also looks at the responses expressed on the Fox News show Outnumbered, which range from “boys will be boys” to the claim that women embrace catcalls as flattering.
The Daily Show certainly won’t run out of material any time soon.
Katie Halper is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker.