Speed Reads


John Oliver catalogs some of the creepiest and clumsiest reactions to International Women's Day

Last week included International Women's Day, "that one special day a year for half the population of Earth," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. "Knock yourself out, three-and-a-half billion people!" There were "truly inspiring" marches around the world, he said, but "what was dispiriting was that yet again, International Women's Day inspired reactions ranging from the clumsy to the appalling."

He started with the "ham-fisted" attempts by brands to co-opt the day, like McDonald's turning its golden arches upside-down and Brawny giving a shout-out to "sheroes." "Now, the only problem with that is that we consulted some linguistics experts, and it turns out — and this is true — there's already a word for women's heroes, and it's the word 'heroes,'" Oliver said. There was also "creepy" and otherwise "inappropriate" TV news coverage of International Women's Day, he said, showing some examples, "but perhaps the worst moments this Women's Day were from male politicians." He highlighted British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson's chat with school children, and you can watch that below. There is a bit of NSFW language. Peter Weber