Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart dissects Japan's odd, sexist fixation with genital sculpture

On July 12, Japanese police arrested artist Megumi Igarashi on obscenity charges for encouraging people to print 3-D replicas of her vagina, to raise money to make a vagina-shaped kayak. (She was released almost a week later, but still faces possible jail time). On Thursday night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart puzzled through why Japan would react so harshly to yonic art — and how it justifies such a gross double standard when it comes to obscenity. "On the Japanese pervometer, the vagina boat is practically a Disney World ride," Stewart said.

Stewart finds his answer, sort of, in an annual phallus-themed parade in Kawasaki, and in the Japanese folk legend behind it. "Look, Japan, I don't want to tell you how to run your country," he said, "but just think about it this way: America has a long tradition of allowing its female artists to express their innermost thoughts — and as a result, we don't spend 51 weeks a year storing a giant steel dick in our garage." --Peter Weber