"The Daily Show" on the burqa ban

Senior women's correspondent Kristen Schaal on Islamic garb, the torture of high heels and the joys of mayonnaise

By Sarah Hepola
July 2, 2009 4:03PM (UTC)
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Last night, "Daily Show" senior women's correspondent Kristen Schaal made another hilarious, absurd appearance, this time to chime in on France's controversial proposed ban on the burqa.

"Is Sarkozy right?" asked Jon Stewart. "Does the burqa lower the status of women?"


"That's right, Jon," replied Schaal. "The guy who divorced his second wife and immediately shacked up with a supermodel is right. Women shouldn't be allowed to do things that don't empower them. If Carla Bruni had been wearing a burqa when she did all that nude modeling, the president of France would never have fallen in love with her."

When Stewart points out the fallacy here in Sarkozy's sweeping stance, that some women might actually choose to wear the burqa rather than being forced to do so, Schaal scoffs, going on a tangent about how that's like saying women in America actually want to torture themselves by wearing high heels.

"There's a difference between burqas and high heels," Stewart replies. "High heels are still a choice."


"Yeah, right, Jon, they're a 'choice.' And I don't have to throw up my food every time I eat cause I'm so fucking fat."

Cloaked in satire as it is, Schaal is bringing up interesting points about the absurdities women put themselves through in our culture and the narrow notion of what "empowering" clothes really are. If the burqa is a "prison," what are four-inch Jimmy Choos and nerve-pinching skinny jeans? Oh, right: Those are hot.

I don't want to give away all the punchlines, so please enjoy the video below. Spoiler alert: There's a mayonnaise joke.

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Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, "Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget."

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