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Vowing to "continue to fight for women," new "Late Show" host Stephen Colbert has envisioned a world in which they hold all the power.
"To be honest, sometimes I wonder whether the world would be a better place if women were in charge," Colbert writes in a guest column for Glamour, whose website posted his contribution Thursday. "It would be pretty easy to make that happen. Simply tell the men of the world that you're trying to start a campfire. While we're all arguing with one another about proper kindling placement and whether using lighter fluid is cheating, women can just quietly start getting stuff done."
Labeling himself on the gender spectrum as "somewhere between Channing Tatum and Winnie the Pooh," Colbert wonders why inequality persists after so many years of "manstitutionalized manvantages built into Americman manciety," and ponders how it can be stopped. "I don't have all the answers," he contends. "And frankly, it's sexist of you to think I do just because I'm a man. C'mon!"
Chelsea Clinton was among the first to tweet about the column and praise its "hilarious and smart" themes.
Married to Evelyn McGee-Colbert since 1993 and father to three children (including a teenage daughter, Madeleine), Colbert opens his piece by acknowledging that this is the first time he's contributed to "Glamour, a magazine so sophisticated it has an extra u in the title."
Flattered to have the platform, he even takes a snub in stride. "It's a nice consolation prize for being passed over for their Woman of the Year Award," he writes. "Not that I wanted it anyway. I believe that honor should go to a woman. I'm a bit of a feminist that way."
While referencing powerful female role models, including "Marissa Mayer, Michelle Obama, Sacajawea, and the green M&M," the host laments both the lack of attention for equally established women and the dearth of gender diversity in the job market. "Where are all the lady blacksmiths?" he opines. "What about the bait-and-tackle shopkeepers, pool maintenance professionals, building superintendents, or CEOs of Fortune 500 companies? … Why did Mad Max get top billing in 'Fury Road' when he was essentially just a grunting tripod for Charlize Theron's rifle?"
The power shift in "our thriving U.S. president industry," however, could shift as early as next year. Notes Colbert, "Carly Fiorina, all eyes are on you."
Striving for a "Late Show" that appeals to women and "celebrates their voices," Colbert also contextualizes gender inequity on late-night television, and name-drops his friendly time-slot rivals — including NBC's "Tonight Show" host — in the process.
"While there are many talented female comedians out there, right now the world of late-night is a bit of a sausagefest," he writes. "Perhaps one day it will be just the opposite—which I believe is called a Georgia O'Keeffe retrospective. … Sure, the other hosts bring the eye candy. Jimmy Fallon has a boyish charm, and for the ladies who are into ladies, if you squint, Jimmy Kimmel kind of looks like a rugged Mila Kunis. But female viewers need more than a pretty face. They need someone who will represent their voice."
David Letterman's successor adds, "I think this essay has proved that I have an authentic female perspective, because most of it was written by two female writers on my staff."
Colbert's "Late Show" premieres Sept. 8 on CBS.
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