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Published on February 5th, 2010 | by Sharilyn Johnson


Letterman hires female writer; chicks continue to bitch

I’ve had to get my car fixed a ton of times over the years. Used to have an ’89 Ford Probe that made monthly visits to the garage, and even my ’05 Sunfire had to go in for an occasional check-up. But do you know how many times my car was worked on by a woman? NEVER. Not once. That’s insane.

I might not know what it’s like working at a garage, but I do know that anything less than 50% representation qualifies as rampant sexism and needs to be fixed.

Some people might argue that it’s mostly guys who take an interest in cars, so fewer women apply for jobs as mechanics — and the gender ratio across the industry reflects that. Hogwash! We can’t think like that if women are to truly be equal.

These body shop boys’ clubs think it’s in their best interest to hire the best person for the job, regardless of their gender, age, race, etc. That ridiculous policy has to stop. Gender balance in a workplace is MUCH more important than aiming for high-quality work.

I might know nothing about the business, but as a journalist with a vagina, I’ve decided it’s my duty to make a gigantic effing deal whenever I hear about a woman getting hired as a mechanic. And every time it happens, I’m going to point out what a sexist industry it still is. It might overshadow the new hire’s accomplishments, but whatevs — they’ll thank me later when they realize it’s for the betterment of womankind.

In completely unrelated news, congratulations to Jill Goodwin for being promoted to the writing staff of the Late Show with David Letterman — something that doesn’t happen to anyone without a lot of hard work and a damn good packet.

(Don’t miss my next commentary: Why do so many Japanese people work at sushi restaurants? That’s, like, totally racist and stuff.)

About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.

4 Responses to Letterman hires female writer; chicks continue to bitch

  1. Peter Cianfarani says:

    I totally agree! It’s like when you are abducted and the only people allowed to control the spacecraft or anally probe you are aliens. That’s totally … speciesist!!!

  2. Nwzgrl says:

    I mostly agree with your post. I don’t think these hosts are inherently sexist in their hiring. It’s well-known that there are very few women applying for these jobs. I’ve experienced that in my industry. I search for minority candidates…and they are very few and far between.

    What makes it a more difficult issue is that of the current staff writers (white males) recommending their friends (white males) for open positions on the writing staff. That problem is faced by nearly every workplace.

    What all of this hubbub does, hopefully, is that it makes these shows be more aware and, perhaps examine their hiring practices and make a bit more effort looking for a talented female writer.

    And, as to quality, there’s very little of it in late-night. The only show worth a damn is The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The rest are lame, tired, and nearly always unfunny.

  3. Pingback: Third Beat » Blog Archive » Women & Late Night TV: A Paley Panel Pointform

  4. Pingback: Third Beat » Blog Archive » Women & Late Night TV: A Paley Panel Pointform

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