Steven Colbert Cooking with Feminists
Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem appeared on The Colbert Report recently, to promote their new radio station Greenstone Media.
The skit they performed with Cobert was brilliant, however, after reading through the comments on Youtube, it is clear that there are some folks out there who are so vertically challenged, that the bulk of the piece flew way over their heads.
Therefore, as a public service, please enjoy this scholarly analysis:
Cobert opens the skit by asking America's two leading feminists to bake an apple pie. This is hysterical. In addition, it defies the image of the angry, man hating, combat boot wearing, homicidal feminist.
For those of you who have not studied feminism, this image became part of our culture when Valerie Solanas wrote the Scum Manifesto and shot Andy Warhol.
You see, during the seventies, feminism was making great strides. Women were asserting their right to enter the workplace, and choose careers other than nurse, teacher or secretary. Women were entering college in larger numbers, demanding equal pay for equal work, and using their educations to change the stereotype of the female as inferior.
But Valerie changed all that. After she went wacco on Warhol, feminism became The F Word. Any woman who labeled herself as a feminist thinker was ridiculed and branded by society as a mixed up, hateful, angry, combat boot lesbian. (No offence to my gay readers implied.)
This stereotype was just part of the pendulum swung from the counter culture of the sixties, to the ultra conservative movement of today.
So when these two leading feminists appeared in a cooking spot, baking homemade apple pie, they made a strong statement that feminists are also traditional women, women who are part of mainstream society, women who have moral values, women, just like you and me, who are as American as apple pie.
But it does not end there. Oh no, my little johnnygolds, the girls go on to announce the launch of a radio station for women, because, as Jane points out, "Women are leaving talk radio, they're not listening to talk radio. There's an exodus taking place, because they feel talk radio has left them. It doesn't matter whether the host on the radio is a man or a woman, the polarizing, conflict ridden, argumentative, judgmental tone of most talk radio now, does not appeal to women."
What Jane and Gloria are doing with this announcement is mobilizing 50% of the American electorate, saying "hey, if you are sick and tired of the political attack ads, the shout shows, and the b*tching and blaming, from Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and all the other hate mongers who have highjacked our political system, we have an alternative.
We have a radio network that will promote feminist ideals, pop culture, and politics in a civil manner. We have a network that will allow you to be entertained and stay informed in a way that would not offend your mother when she's baking a Thanksgiving Apple Pie."
Wow. These gals changed the face of feminism and sliced open our biggest collective beef with politics with one swift slice of the paring knife. Bravo ladies.
Had enough yet? I hope not, cause the girls are just getting started. Gloria demonstrates to the world how men and women must work together and move beyond stereotypical gender roles in her lemon squeezing segment, and Jane tops it off by kissing Stephen. This shows us that women can be strong and assertive, and still remain sexy and feminine at the same time. It also shows how women can reward men for right action, which may be controversial, but hey, every adult molds children using positive reinforcement for desired behaviors, so it makes sense that women can do that with men too.
Oh, and there's MORE...
Stephen puts up an old photo of Gloria as a Playboy Bunny. Now, for those of you who don't know, Gloria was a reporter at the time. She went undercover to do an expose of the Playboy club. While she was there, she discovered how badly these women were treated, and the article she wrote launched her career as a feminist. Combine that with Fonda's background in Hollywood, (a culture that notoriously exploits women as sex objects) and you have a very powerful statement about women's rights and gender roles in our society, which is exactly what they are talking about during this part of the clip.
My hat is off to Cobert, for he led them there like Sparticus. The man is a genius.
He sums it all up at the end of the clip, serving the pie and proclaiming "I like Feminists!" as Jane gives him a kiss.
Now that's Cookin!