In this clip from satirical news program The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart highlights the absurdity and racial bias of a 2015 incident captured on video showing a White Texas Police officer breaking up a teenage pool party, in which he unholsters his weapon, shouts expletives, and forces a young, unarmed Black woman in a swimsuit to the ground. The videos of the incident went viral and sparked national outrage and debate about excessive force used by law enforcement, exacerbated by the fact that the officer in this incident is White, and the young woman and people at the party are predominantly Black. Through this satirical news segment titled “Assault Swim,” Stewart talks with field reporter Jessica Williams, a Black woman wearing a bikini over body armor, for an “on-the-scene” update. Their exchange offers a humorous and honest look at race relations in Texas and the nation as a whole by highlighting racial inequities and discrimination related to this incident, with jokes and comments about how “white people always want to touch our hair,” and commenting on what firearm possession means in the hands of different racial groups.
This 2014 clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart features correspondent Jessica Williams exploring and parodying media and public discourse about whether or not sexism, sexual inequality, and street harassment are still alive. Williams satirically explores different ways to walk down the street and past construction sites on the way to work, interviews a group of women who have all experienced street harassment in NYC, and tries to map out areas where it is safe to avoid street harassment in New York. The clip also includes segments from various news and talk shows with men and women either dismissing sexual inequality or street harassment as a problem, suggesting that there is nothing to be done because boys will be boys, or blaming women for their clothing choices, as well as Williams’ responses to these claims.
This 2014 clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart features Jessica Williams and Jon Stewart exploring sexism in the form of a satirical news report on slow-claps, catcalls, and other forms of sexist interpersonal interactions. Jessica Williams talks about the male gaze, unsolicited comments, and explains the conundrum women are often in when deciding how to respond to unwelcomed sexist comments or street harassment, using the example that if a woman does not respond with a smile to an interaction with a man, she may be told to smile, and if she ignores him or asks to be left alone, she may be called a bitch or worse. Williams explains that women walking down the street to work are not for men to comment on, and ends with a strong suggestion for harassers to work on their impulse control.
“The Day Beyoncé Turned Black” is a mock movie trailer created by comedy television show Saturday Night Live (SNL), which shows the fictional aftermath of a world in which pop-superstar Beyoncé is “revealed” to be Black because of the (real) release of her 2016 song “Formation.” In the satirical trailer, the world is turned upside down because White people finally realize that Beyoncé is Black through the “Formation” song and music video, which unapologetically celebrates Blackness and African Americanness, makes pointed commentary on African-American social issues and struggles, and celebrates Southern Blackness, Black power, and Black femininity.
This video, by JustBoobs sketch comedy group parodies the idea that women need to have “thigh gaps” or wear clothes that create thigh gaps in order to be attractive. The video starts with a girl walking to up to her friend telling her that she looks great, and her friend responds that it’s because of her new “thigh gap jeans.” The camera zooms out to show that she is wearing jeans that have a painful looking built-in separator between her thighs. She touches it briefly and says, “ouch,” before her friend says in exaggerated happiness, “Wow, you look amazing! And I thought the thigh gap was an unattainable beauty myth championed by the media to lower women’s self-esteem and make them easier targets for advertising!” She responds cheerily, “Yup! And the scars are a constant reminder of the sins of my womanly figure.” The rest of the video proceeds as if it is a commercial for the fictional store Thigh Gap, referencing bags and logos from clothing store The Gap, and showing other women similarly unhappy with their appearances and feeling better after wearing the thigh gap jeans.