Feminism Takes a Step Back

A random posting. But it’s worth it, I promise.

This American Life did an episode this past weekend on the theme of “Quiz Show.”

The third act was hilarious.

Robin Epstein discussed a game show she produced and wrote questions for on the Oxygen network. It was a show made to empower young women, to show them it was cool to be smart. Except it didn’t work…

A clip from the show:

Host: What amendment gave women the right to vote?

Girl 1: 8th… 9th… 14th… 15th… 8th… 9th

Host: 3 seconds…

Girl 1: 8th… 9th… Say 9th!

Girl 2: The 9th!

Girl 1: No, wait!!!

[A few seconds later]

Girl 3: I’m gonna guess 14th!

Host: That’s incorrect. It was actually the 19th amendment.

Girl 1: None of us deserve the right to vote ’cause we don’t know that.

Host: That’s true. Exactly…

Like I said, hilarious.

Listen to the episode here (mp3). The entire episode is good, but the relevant act begins at the 46:46 mark.


[tags]This American Life, Quiz Show, Robin Epstein, Oxygen network, feminism, amendment[/tags]

  • Siamang

    I like what Ira Glass says. He says the mistake of thinking more people are like you than actually are is the “mistake that runs the world.”

    That’s it.

    And WHOOOOOO girls are dumb. Listening to that brought me right back to High School and why I had such a hard time finding dates.

    The girls that come out of that, do they do it all in college? I’m amazed that girls survive that phase at all.

  • Karen

    I had to wonder who did the screening for that game show. My son recently auditioned for Teen Jeopardy (quite an honor – he was one of only 250 chosen nationwide) and there were some very bright teenaged girls who tried out. Our high school validictorians are always at least 50% female, and I’m sure they know about the 19th Amendment (or they better!).

    I actually thought that the first segment – about the Irish guy – was one of the most riveting things I’ve heard on This American Life (and that’s saying a lot, because it’s pretty darn terrific every week). Wow, what a tearjerker.

  • Siamang

    My plan is for my daughter to bypass that stage entirely.

    I’m focussing on raising her up as a science geek. Wish me luck.

  • Patty

    I agree with Karen – who on earth did the screening for this show? This episode of TAL was extremely depressing. Ira should have questioned Epstein about why she didn’t just put smarter girls on the air. Instead when she said, “Girls are dumb,” with a audio shoulder shurg, the best he could muster was a sympathetic “Well, maybe they are just smart in a different way.”

  • quasigiani

    I agree with those who wonder where Epstein gets the idea that the idiot in her story isn’t her.

    Typical of these petti-bourgeois, liberal muckheads, she gives up on the idea; ignoring the fact that it was her ill-conceived measures that led to the mess. Admits she was happy to keep the qualified but ‘not attractive enough’ girl off the screen. Turns her show into a mockery of itself at the first sign of trouble…

    “…Because I don’t… I’m not sure it’s possible… I’d not to use the word ‘hopeless’.”

    Robin Epstein, Hopeless is thy name.

  • Emily

    I was unbelievably angry after listening to this show. The host was a


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