Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” Tuesday welcomed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) for a two-part segment during which the comedian and the lawmaker discussed her new book “Off the Sidelines” and the challenges that currently face modern day women.
Stewart particularly prompted Gillibrand to discuss the “institutional challenges” that face women in government, on college campuses and in the military. He cited President Obama “not backing [her] bill on sexual assault in the military” as evidence of the challenge facing modern women.
Referencing the recent scandal surrounding NFL player Ray Rice, Gillibrand explained that institutions — like the NFL, universities and the military — protect their “star[s]” and “favorite son[s]” and simultaneously blame female victims of sexual and nonsexual violence.
“What it’s really about in my opinion is how do we value women in society,” Gillibrand expanded, “and there’s this devaluation and it’s across every barrier, whether we’re talking about sexual assault and not believing the survivor or whether we’re talking about equal pay for equal work.”
Interestingly enough, Stewart did a lot of the talking about how men need to be held accountable for their actions, pointing directly to the issue of rape on college campuses.
“Nobody says, hey, maybe men should not drink because that might make them … it’s mind boggling,” Stewart said. “It’s all about women must dress differently, women must walk differently, women must drink differently. Why are we not able to hold men to account for this behavior?”
Of course, Stewart managed to work in the portion of Gillibrand’s book that accuses male congressmen of making inappropriate comments about her appearance and weight, which he spotlighted during an earlier episode of “The Daily Show.”
“You detail other people, elected representatives, saying things to you that are utterly reprehensible and insane about the way you look, about the weight, about these things,” Stewart said. “How do you not just turn to the C-SPAN camera and go, ‘F–k these guys’?”
“I’m at a stage in my career where I can really just ignore it,” Gillibrand responded.