Skepchick Quickies, 7.7
- Whether politicians win or lose may come down to how local athletes play the game. (From cerberus40.)
- Austin Sendek, a 20-year-old UC Davis student, is trying to get scientists to use the term ‘hella’ to denote the huge quantity of 10 to the 27th power. (From Lindsay.)
- Quackwatch sued by quacks. (From Gary.)
- The women of The Daily Show respond to Jezebel’s piece on sexism there.
I prefer “helluvalotta” myself.
Just sent a donation to QuackWatch. Thanks for the heads up.
@QuestionAuthority: Too long—it can’t be more than two syllables.
The best use of this prefix is for the solar luminosity: 0.38 hellawatts. I think my students would remember that one.
@Jen: Just FYI, the link to the Jezebel article is actually the same link as the Daily Show’s response.
Here is Jezebel’s response to the response:
Here’s one vote for “hella.” I have no idea why.
The Jezebel article reads as a bit, well, sexist considering that some people interviewed dismiss Munn’s previous on-air persona (apparently without having seen a lot of it – she is actually very funny) without having adequately assessed her skills on the Daily Show, implying heavily that she got her job just because she’s hot.
I don’t deny that AOTS had her do some crazy nonsense based on her hotness, but that doesn’t diminish her potential talent and her comedic presence/timing. It’s unfair to make assumptions about why she got a job (or “try out”, I guess) at the Daily Show. Why is it not ok for the Daily Show to be a “boys club”, but it’s ok to marginalize women based on their looks?
*Edited for clarity.
I watch the Daily Show…ummm daily.
Love the show. Love Jon. Am especially fond of John Oliver.
Yes, it does come off as a bit of a frat party.
Yes, women on-air are not prevalent.
Have I noticed that the target audience is not women like me? Yup.
The Daily Show is not perfect.
It is funny, though.
Skewed in a stereotypically masculine direction for style of humor and choice of topics, but funny.
Does that make it sexist?
I guess – going strictly from what I’ve seen on-air – I’d give The Daily Show a solid B+.
There is room to improve, but they’re on the positive side of the sexist-comedy-show scale.
The women who do work there seem relatively happy to be there.
The comments and general attitude towards women on-air are supportive.
I’ve never gotten the “Women are worthless” vibe from the show.
For a comedy news show, I think that may count.
A somewhat-related tweet from @rortybomb regarding Daily Show – “It seems that every guest on The Daily Show in 2010 specifically promoting a book was male: http://bit.ly/9TCNP6 .” The link is to wikipedia, so it’s probably just confirmation bias or coincidence. I think I’d need to see better evidence of any anti-female bias by Daily Show producers.
@Kimbo Jones: I started typing a lengthy comment to this (half agreement, half branching out into a slightly different topic), then realized I might want to just make a new post out of it. Mind if I use your comment to kick it off?
@Jen: No problemo. :)
This knock on the Daily Show started because they hired a pretty woman? How SEXIST is that!!!!??? Because she’s pretty , she can’t be smart or talented? That’s horrifically sexist! I happen to have tremendous people who work with me. They are women. They are pretty. They are SMART! I read this quickly because I am at work, near the end of my lunch pause, but if Olivia Munn is the trigger for their attack, that’s just antiquated. Unfortunately, the truth is looks with in front of camera talent do play a role, male or female and females probably more than males. But if there’s no talent, especially in comedy, then pfft she’ll disappear. I think I’ll give the Daily Show credit to hire someone actually talented in addition to whether or not she’s attractive.
I read Jezebel daily, including the comments. I think, for the most part, the writers and commenters are spot on. Though, the hate thrown Munn’s way does tend to be “she’s conventionally pretty and that’s not okay” or she’s snarky to some women, therefore she’s not a feminist or whatever. Concern trolls. Seems some of the commenters think that unless you’re Marilyn Monroe you can’t be pretty and be of any value to womanhood. Sorry if this is rambling. Heatwave and no AC is making me loopy o_0
Correct me if I’m wrong please, but wasn’t Olivia Munn one of the hosts of a show on G4? I for the life of me cannot remember the name of the show, it was something like X-Play if I remember correctly. btw….She was hilarious on that show!
@Lycan Girl: It was Attack of the Show.
Jezebel is whack. I visit occasionally and always leave feeling worse than when I started reading, I get the impression that it’s one big casuistic, hypocritical crazytown. One post decries a mild form of sexist objectification in a soap commercial like it’s the end of the fucking world and the reason women in Kandahar are having acid thrown in their faces, and the next minute they’re posting half-naked pics of guys they find sexy because ‘it’s ok when we do it’. Yuck. Skepchick is a sort of anti-Jezebel, where reason and evidence actually matter, which is why I luvz it.
@Kimbo Jones: Ahhh.. Thanks! Been a while since I’ve watched that channel…they stopped playing the funny as hell asian shows outside of Ninja Warrior!
Sorry to barge in, but unless you drink Pepsi, you might find this news simply outrageous:
@Lycan Girl: I wouldn’t know. Being a lowly Canadian, our version of G4 just re-airs pretty much the same 5 shows all day. Blargh.
Another take on the issue: http://bigthink.com/ideas/20841 by Lindsay Beyerstein. — @Beyerstein “I would have defended the #DailyShow against charges of sexism to the death, had they not hired Olivia Munn” — Ouch.
Regarding Jezebel (though a huge digression); I’m a regular follower of the site, and most of the time I find that the articles and comments fall somewhere between harmless fun and maybe interesting controversial points to ponder, but what I absolutely can’t abide is the repeated science denialism that I’ve witnessed there. Someone conducts a study which suggests x difference between men and women, and the comments (and indeed the post itself) explode with anti-science rambling that even verges on anti-evolution if you read into it deeply enough. The first example of this that I can think of off the top of my head is this post on a face-recognition study:
It’s fairly mild compared to some of the most enraging stuff I’ve seen on there. Most of the time I really enjoy Jezebel, but I’ve pretty much had to stop reading their “science” posts altogether.
@Mythology: That’s appalling. She’s an attractive and sexual girl, therefore she’s off-limits for a job at the Daily Show? I wish these people would at least wait to see how she does. If she fails, she will have been on her few try-out episodes and then people won’t have to watch her anymore. They’ll hire someone else. But she’s attractive, so let’s concentrate on why that *must* have been the reason she was hired over the other women that tried out. Maybe that will turn out to be true, but it’s absolutely unfair to make that assumption and even if it is true, it’s not her fault.
Edit: And if the concern truly is with her lack of experience, I have 2 words: Matt Smith. At least give her a fair chance.
So I guess I misread the article. Happens a lot.
I had thought the issue was general sexism on The Daily Show (I stand by my B+).
If the issue is with this specific girl, I’m all for her. GO Olivia Munn! Rock that show! Rock it hard!
going back to the 10^27 thing, my chem teacher used to use the term “schload.” I vote that.
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