Thursday night on “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert discussed the much-maligned (and since removed) post at CNN.com about whether or not women’s decisions in the voting booth are affected by their hormones.
“Folks, we’re a mere 12 days away from the election,” Colbert said, “and it is my solemn obligation as a newsman to bring you the most cutting-edge, baseless guess-timations of who’s going to win.”
The election, he said, could be swung by women, a key voting bloc. Colbert then pointed to the piece at CNN, titled, “Do Hormones Drive Women’s Votes,” which was written by Kristina Durante, an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business.
Durante’s thesis was that women’s menstrual cycles and marital status can sway their votes one way or another. Single women who are ovulating, she said, they “feel sexier” and will vote for more socially liberal candidates, whereas married women vote more conservatively when ovulating.
“Which is why,” said Colbert, “instead of emails, Obama’s just sending late night texts that say, ‘U up?'”
CNN has since taken the article down, on the grounds that “some elements of the story did not meet the editorial standards of CNN.”
“Damn straight,” said Colbert. “This study is offensive. All women are alike? Mindless hormone zombies following pheromone trails like so many worker ants to the polls? No! Come on, it’s the 21st century. Women don’t make decisions based on what’s down here,” he said, pointing to his groin, “They make decisions based on what’s up here,” pointing then at his head. “The shape of their skulls!”
He then pulled out a 19th century phrenology dummy. Phrenology was the pseudo-science of determining people’s personalities and moral character by the shape of the bumps and curves of their head.
“If women lack a prominent occipital ridge,” he said, “that means they eschew causality, a propensity seen here in the skull of this ‘octaroon’ murderer.” (“Octaroon” is an outdated word that refers to a person who is of mixed caucasian and African-American ancestry.)
The quickest way, really, he said, to determine a woman’s political leanings is to throw her into the river to see if she floats like a witch.
Watch the clip, embedded via Comedy Central, below: