On last night’s episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert discussed a recent study that demonstrated that people in hurricane-prone areas do not take storms with female names as seriously as their male counterparts.
After noting that yesterday was the official beginning of hurricane season, Colbert said that “hurricane season seems to come earlier and earlier every year — that’s because, thanks to global warming, it never really ends.”
“We just found out folks,” he continued, “that there’s a new name for danger — and it’s girly.”
He then cut to a clip from CNN informing viewers that, according to 60 years of data, female hurricanes kill more people than male ones. “When it comes to destruction,” Colbert said, “the lady storms shatter the glass ceiling — well, the glass everything.”
“According to the study, ‘people don’t take hurricanes as seriously if they have a feminine name…people neither consider them as risky nor take the same precautions.”
“We’ve all been there,” Colbert added. “I hear Hurricane Irene is coming, and I say, ‘Wow, she sounds like a lovely lady.’ So I go out to greet her in the yard…next thing I know, I’m floating past the high school, clinging to a bloated cow carcass.”
“The study even suggested that ‘changing a severe hurricane’s name from Charley…to Eloise…could nearly triple its death toll.’ Which means, if ‘Charley’ Manson had changed his name to ‘Eloise’ Manson, he would have been three times as homicidal — because everybody trusts the nice lady with the forehead swastika.”
Colbert then suggested using this bias to make hurricane season safer by making “every storm sound as bad-ass and as masculine as possible”:
Watch the June 4, 2014 episode of The Colbert Report in its entirety below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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