Stephen Colbert has seemingly done the impossible (according to this man’s perspective, that is): He has managed to address and share our frustration with the lack of a female presence in late-night television while holding himself out as a suitable alternative without coming off as condescending or dismissing the frustrations of women.
In a column penned in Glamour magazine, Colbert says that he’s also “surprised that the world of late-night TV lacks a female presence,” while playfully noting that sitcoms are “packed with smoking-hot wives who teach their doughy husband a valuable lesson when he slips on a pizza and falls headfirst into a porta-potty full of beer.”
While bemoaning the fact that the late-night landscape right now is a “sausagefest” and that gender inequality still exists, Colbert admits that he doesn’t have all the answers. “And frankly, it’s sexist of you to think I do just because I’m a man. C’mon!
Besides, it’s not my place to mansplain to you about the manstitutionalized manvantages built into Americman manciety. That would make me look like a real manhole.”
Nevertheless, Colbert writes, he will at the very least endeavor to celebrate the voices of women.
I will continue to fight for women, because I’m a man who is deeply in touch with my femininity. I believe gender is a spectrum, and I fall somewhere between Channing Tatum and Winnie the Pooh. Pooh and I definitely agree on the no-pants thing. As soon as I’m home, off they go—and I’m knuckle-deep in a pot of honey.
I love all the things women love: exfoliating microbeads, period costume dramas, Joe Manganiello’s second row of abs, pay commensurate with my skill set, York peppermint patties, Legolas, the respect of my colleagues, and being warm.
And physically women can relate to me. I have womanly hips—soft and grabbable, and they really fill out my low-rise Levi’s. I’ve got muffin top for days. 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. And 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.
Point is, I’m here for you, and that means I’m going to do my best to create a Late Show that not only appeals to women but also celebrates their voices.
Small consolation, perhaps? I wouldn’t know, because I’m a man, but I’m a man that loves Stephen Colbert’s “womanly hips” and his desire to at least represent the voice of women. Stephen Colbert may be a man, but at least he’s a good man, and from what I understand of Flannery O’Connor, those are hard to find.