“Toxic Masculinity & Weaponized Penises”: Samantha Bee Explores All the New Reasons Why We Drink

Plus, a story of long-ignored badass women.

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Last night’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee focused primarily on the country’s current driving force: mediocre yet dangerously powerful white men. It was a full-on examination of Why We Drink, which is exactly how Bee is getting through all this news.

First up, Bee profiles the path that led Steve Bannon to rise from World of Warcraft opportunist to the White House’s #1 Nazi. His front and center seat for Gamergate gave him a window into the angry hearts of internet men and introduced him to “obnoxious, woman-hating douche nozzle” Milo Yiannapolis. Together, they brought misogynist cretins yelling about women in their video games over to the “hard right disruptiongasm” of Breitbart news so they could yell about women (and Muslims and Jews!) in their politics. And in Trump, they found the face of the unofficial Breitbart Party.

Next up, Bee looked at the state of our federal judiciary appointments and–guess what!–it’s not going great. After Republicans dedicated themselves to blocking a a record number of President Obama’s nominations, we’re left now with 120 vacancies–that’s 15% of the judiciary–that Trump is now filling. At the same time. To lifelong positions.

And a Trump-nominated judge looks exactly as you would expect. There’s one who “strongly disagreed” with the Supreme Court’s decriminalization of sodomy and thinks public schools are “teaching gayness.” Another writes blog posts quoting conspiracy theories. And yes, obviously they’re overwhelmingly white.

If you need a palate cleanser from all that toxic mediocrity, Samantha Bee ended the episode with one hell of an Act 3. As she noted, coverage of the war on ISIS is “kind of a sausage fest.” But women have always been a part of Iraqi Kurdistan’s military forces, the Peshmerga, which literally translates to “Those Who Face Death.” Not that you’d know that from watching or reading any news reports at all. That would only get in the way of the self-fulfilling cycle of misogyny of only telling stories about strong men –> earnestly believing only men have stories are worth telling –> being fed more of those same stories.

So Bee traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan herself to meet the women fighting ISIS in the Peshmerga, as well as those educating children in refugee camps and running women’s rights groups. Even if you choose not to watch either of the other videos (and good for you, value your sanity), definitely watch this one. We could all use a reminder that the world isn’t just made up of completely average men threatening each with nuclear weapons or yelling at women on the internet.

(image: screengrab)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.