Last Tuesday night’s episode of The Daily Show made me want to marry Jon Stewart. Stewart devoted an extended-length segment of the show to highlight the media’s portrayal of women in politics. While emphasizing the sexism faced by female politicians, Stewart also shed light on the blatant double-standard shown in news coverage featuring male politicians. Stewart attacks these issues head-on, during a segment of The Daily Show that only naturally hosted progressive icon, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as the show’s guest.
The episode’s primary objective was seemingly to demonstrate the immense disparity between news coverage male versus female politicians. In a nutshell, most reporters, news hosts, and commentators have a proven tendency to characterize women as “emotional.” Stewart points out Chelsea Clinton’s recent announcement of her pregnancy, and subsequent uproar in the media. News reporters immediately speculated and harped on the possible impact Chelsea’s pregnancy may have on Hillary Clinton’s potential Presidential campaign in 2016. Stewart openly mocked the questions that directly implied that it would be too difficult for Hillary to run for president as a grandmother. I am so glad Stewart called out these bullshit-ridden and openly sexist remarks.
The fact is, there is a ludicrous amount of media attention surrounding Hillary Clinton status as a grandmother its affect on her ability to run for office. Whereas, no one gave a flying rat’s fuck when 2012 Republican nominee, Mitt Romney (who quite literally has LITTER of grandchildren) landed 3 more grandchildren during his Presidential campaign.
Have you ever heard a media official question Mitt Romney’s (according to Stewart, might as well have a “grandchild-petting zoo” lol!!) capability to handle a campaign as a grandfather? No. In fact, have you EVER heard that question posed to a male candidate? No. And, if you have, I implore you to comment below. Because, I kid you not, any evidence of the sort would be a fucking BLASPHEMY of epic proportions. The world of news coverage would probably implode.
Why? Sexism in politics.
Stewart then transitioned into a discussion about the backlash many female politicians received for being “overly-emotional.” I think we all recall the huge hoopla surrounding Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s report from an investigation that found “torture was far more prevalent than originally thought.” A little context: Feinstein heads the Senate Intelligence Committee and led investigations into the CIA’s interrogation program during the Bush Administration. During an interview following the release of the report, former CIA Director, Michael Hayden, stated that Feinstein had “too much emotional feeling” which impeded her ability to provide “an objective report.” So basically, Hayden judged Feinstein’s report unreliable because it was imparted under “emotional distress.”
Then, Stewart moved on and aired clips of reporters berating Hillary Clinton for momentarily letting her guard down after a major upset loss in Iowa. Reporters described her as “misty-eyed” and on the verge of an “emotional breakdown.” A female pundit stated, “We can’t have people break down and start crying during a difficult moment…”
Stewart showed clip after clip of “stronger…more stable” male politicians (Sen. Mitch McConnell, Governor Chris Christie, Rep. Darrell Issa) sobbing, yelling, barely choking-back tears, getting way too angry, and conducting themselves with a level of immaturity I have personally only witnessed in the bratty toddlers I have the displeasure of babysitting every summer. Stewart’s satire—which was ON FUCKING POINT, if I might add—rightfully showcased instances in which male elected officials appear to be completely and utterly unrestrained in their emotions.
So…why doesn’t the media and/or other political figures shit on these men for being “overly emotional”? It is simply appalling to me that certain men in the political arena are permitted to conduct themselves in such an overtly “emotional” manner yet come away unscathed, or even applauded, while certain female figures are criticized and harassed, by the media and their counterparts, at every turn.
Stewart then closed the segment by explaining that, “In politics, it’s OK to be a pussy, as long as you’ve got a dick.” All I have to say is: Thank you Jon Stewart, and will you marry me? Because I like it…and I want to put a ring on it.
Watch the segment of The Daily Show here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/625750 (you won’t regret it)