11 Times Jon Stewart Threw Down For Feminism

The final mic drop.
Credit: Comedy Central

After 16 years behind "The Daily Show" desk, this week is Jon Stewart's last as the host of the beloved political satire.

Since 1999, audiences have relied on Stewart to skewer and sober through times of sadness and absurdity. And when it came to feminism and women's rights, there were plenty of opportunities to do so.

With a well-calibrated mansplain detector, Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" regularly pointed out how absurd it is that a male-dominated political landscape makes decisions about reproductive rights. For a show tasked with parodying the news, real-life instances of sexism and declarations made about women were often farcical enough on their own.

With consistently perfect delivery, Stewart mocked and ridiculed sexism while acknowledging its dangerous impact on the way women live.

Throughout the Stewart Administration, female correspondents including Samantha Bee and Jessica Williams covered gender politics in some of the most standout "Daily Show" segments. Samantha Bee left earlier this year to start her own show, but 26-year-old Jessica Williams will stay on board as comedian Trevor Noah takes over the desk in September.

Stewart's unique brand of male-on-male misandry will be hard to match. Here are 11 of Jon Stewart's most memorable feminist mic drops.

1. When Fox News guests and contributors griped that use of the phrase "war on women" was an overreaction to massive cuts in reproductive health access, proposals to criminalize abortion, and opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, Stewart pointed out their full embrace of a "war" on Christmas.

2. When a Fox News commentator insisted men are the real victims of a "feminized atmosphere," Stewart enlisted correspondent Jessica Williams to vet the claim that sexism no longer exists. In the sketch, William's invited us into "Jessica's Feminized Atmosphere," jam-packed with street harassment, reminders to smile, and safety threats any man would envy.

3. Last year, men's rights groups were up in arms over New York City's thinly veiled indictment of manspreading on the subway. Stewart shut down those who claimed manspreading was a biological imperative to accommodate the male anatomy. "You may not be aware of this, but one regular subway seat does grant you a good amount of ball space," he said.

4. "Clearly, universities are not making their campuses safe for women," Stewart said last summer, referring to the inadequate punishment for those found guilty of sexual assault. In the clip, Stewart asked Daily Show correspondents to go over "college do's and don'ts" that highlight the double standards women face when it comes to sexual assault. As the male correspondent listed a few "party commandments," Jessica Williams rattled off the exceedingly detailed safety measures women are expected to take.

5. In a segment titled "The Punanny State," Stewart lampooned the "sauasagefest" of Catholic religious leaders who don't think insurance should cover the cost of contraception. "On the other side are women, who for some reason would like their preventative health care costs covered by their healthcare providers," he said, noting that erectile dysfunction drugs are covered without objection.

6. When Chelsea Clinton announced her pregnancy, talking heads asked how it could impact her mother's candidacy for president. "Is that sexist?" Stewart wondered. "No, no, no silly Billy! Of course it's not sexist! Even though it's question that has never, ever been posed to a male candidate ever."

7. Stewart frequently called out the hypocrisy of "small government" and "hands off" conservatives who eagerly proposed legislation to control women's bodies. In another installment of "The Punanny State," the host ridiculed politicians in support of a Virginia bill that would require women to have an invasive transvaginal ultrasound in order to access their legal right to abortion.

8. In this 2012 clip, Stewart described an all-male Fox News panel on birth control as the "Vagina Idealogues." "A concerned Sean Hannity convened a diverse panel of experts on the subject of contraception. Catholic men, Jewish men, Baptist men, black men, white men -- absolutely everyone who might have something relevant to say on women's reproductive health."

9. In a June 24 segment, Stewart invited Jessica Williams to discuss the Treasury's announcement about the new $10 bill that will feature a woman. Stewart cited praiseworthy platitudes for the "giant leap for womankind," tossing to Williams who delivered a perfect takedown of the move's inflated significance.

10. Highlighting some of the more animated responses to Caitlyn Jenner's "Vanity Fair" cover, Stewart pointed out how quickly the media was willing to treat her as a woman -- sexism and all. "Caitlyn, when you were a man we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen. But now you're a woman. Your looks are pretty much the only thing we really care about."

11. During the 2008 campaign, devoted Hillary Clinton opponents used the candidate's "emotional outbursts" and "anger" -- stand-ins for womanhood -- against her. In a segment called "Broads Must Be Crazy," Stewart and a mashup of ill-tempered male legislators put an absurd double standard on full display.

Also on HuffPost:

John Legend

Famous Men Who Support Women (Swoon!)

Popular in the Community