"The Women's Vote" Was Awesome on The Daily Show Last Night

On The Daily Show last night, Jason Jones met with Tad Devine, a political consultant, to talk about the increasing emphasis on "the women's vote" among the remaining presidential candidates. After pointing out that many of the discussions about women in Washington don't actually involve women, Jones invited Joanne Smith (Girls for Gender Equity), Julie Menin (Eleanor's Legacy), Sonia Ossorio (NOW NYC), and representatives from Emily's List and the League of Women Voters to join in.

Hilarity ensued (kind of) when Jones ignored the women's opinons and directed all of his questions to Devine. While meant to underscore the ridiculousness of asking men about women voters even in a room full of women voters, the fact that this type of sexist shit happens all of the time to women meant that the joke, well, was't really a joke. Comedy is tragedy plus time, after all, not just plain tragedy.

screen shot of the panel of women voters from last night's episode

In the best moment of clip (at around 4:25), Joanne Smith gets real with the dudes in the room: "We know what's going on. We don't have the privilege, the space, the opportunity, to make light of this, for this to be a joke. And so we need to be heard here."

Transcript available in .doc form here

A little uncomfortable? Sure. But guess what? It's uncomfortable BEING A WOMAN in the current political climate. It's awesome that Smith and the other women in this bit spoke up and refused to be the punchline of a joke that hits too close to home for millions of us to find funny.

by Kelsey Wallace
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6 Comments Have Been Posted

Wow, great clip. I think that

Wow, great clip. I think that the clip did a good job of pointing out the absurdity of excluding women in major discussions around contraception, and female voters (if you can even say what women are looking for across the board??), but in the end these women really were only brought to the table to sit there and say practically nothing... even if some of the women made excellent comments and if the clip was effective at getting its point across, I can't see how these women would feel it was worth their time, especially women in such prominent positions. I think it would have been a lot better had these women been asked to take part in this segment but then also have been invited on the show as guests so they could actually speak seriously to these issues as well as their ridiculous exclusion from major issues concerning women. I really like Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, I've watched this show for years, but I think for me this clip highlights how a greater degree of privilege and detachment from these issues makes it easier to make jokes about something very serious that hits close to home for others who are more directly and immediately implicated.

THIS is why I am going to

THIS is why I am going to make sure I can vote! But right now I'm in the middle to moving, I still cannot afford to get a license for the state I live in. But I just really want to encourage other women to freakin vote and not let men speak for us.



You should be able to vote without your license. I'm almost fifty and I've never shown it at a polling place. I just answer a couple of questions. You may also be eligible to vote an absentee ballot at your old address, depending on your circumstances.

In my state you can download a voter registration form, fill it out and mail it in. No sweat. Look it up online and you might be pleasantly surprised.

Geez, I wish these US network

Geez, I wish these US network links would work in Australia!

Not to burst your bubble, but

Not to burst your bubble, but did you ever think that maybe the woman speaking out against the male interviewers was, well, in the script? Most things are.

Daily Show: Could it be scripted?

It's kind of you folks to champion the Daily Show so often. I guess it really is groundbreaking for the United States. In Canada however, most of us have grown up watching This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Royal Canadian Air Farce, both satirical news shows that comment on recent politics as well as having mock interviews with real news makers. Initially, I too was optimistic about the Daily Show and watched it diligently. But the differences soon became apparent. While the shows I was used to used sharp humor to criticize government missteps and offer a way for the disenfranchised to see their own concerns reflected in the media, the Daily Show is primarily concerned with making sex jokes about male politicians (what does it say about a progressive country that the biggest laughs on the show are gained talking about gay sex acts?). While the Daily Show does give Democrats something to laugh about with its mockery of Republican leaders, it doesn't stray outside that bubble of white middle-class heterosexual male privilege that has brought us other supposedly funny-for-everyone shows like Family Guy and American Dad. It's time to look past your blind spot of unconditional love for this show. Other groups just aren't represented, except as joke material. So really, I think it's safe to say that the intelligent, serious feminist activists speaking out on the show were not scripted. Their presence, like many others, was simply a drawn-out gag. What surprises me is that the show, just for a moment, tried to adopt a female point of view, when it is usually so blind to the irony.

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