On Tuesday night, The Daily Show dived head first into the great catcalling debate, with spectacular results.
In the video above, Jon Stewart presents his usual masterful dismantling of the Bullshit of the Day (among other things, the utterly DUMB responses to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's revelations of being harassed by hideous fellow senators). He even tackles the nauseating display of cluelessness the women on Fox News displayed in response to all that.
But it's not until Jessica Williams, master of the campus rape denier takedown, gets her moment on camera do we really get the heartiest "fuck you" imaginable. (WARNING: SO MUCH AWESOMENESS IN THE CLIP BELOW)
"It means that the woman is trying her best to end this interaction, because if she doesn't smile, he might tell her to smile. If she tells him to leave her alone, he'll probably call her a bitch. And I know that he thinks he's different—that he's classy, he's charming—but, since going to work isn't a performance, we're not looking for applause. And what he's doing is basically just a high-minded Lincoln Center version of 'hey, sweet tits."
GODDAMNIT. I would stand up and cheer for this on every street corner right now, (just like all the people in the Daily Show audience did after this part of her bit) if I wasn't drowning in my own tears. That's the exact summation of how I feel when I see someone like Williams and the Daily Show writers so succinctly make this point on national television. I'm overwhelmed by watching a woman get a platform of this size to call out something that many of us feel is an issue which continually keeps getting brushed aside.
But while I revel in the sheer awesomeness of this smackdown, sadly, I know the reality is that it's probably not going to stop the next assclown from making a rude, vulgar or downright terrifying declaration of where he would like to put his penis/tongue/hands to whatever woman happens to be in his path. My only hope is that while a segment like this might not dissuade the average dudebro from unleashing his particular brand of sexist bullshit on unsuspecting women, it might serve to empower the next woman who is a victim of this crap. There's something powerfully liberating in knowing that not only aren't you alone in enduring this kind of abuse, but that others are speaking out—and speaking loudly—about just how wrong it is.