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Inequality in Late Night: Five White Guys Walked Into a Studio...

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We just read Conan's statement to the people of planet Earth and we are so with you, Conan. Us gals at Bitches on a Budget stand in solidarity with your standing up for yourself and your principles. Galactically speaking, we need more people like you.

NBC's ongoing debacle got us thinking about late night, bedtime in general, and of course the woes of the last man standing in the 11:30 p.m. time slot -- David Letterman. After all, more was exposed in the aftermath of the unfortunate Letterman affair(s) than the size of his... libido. This scandal drew our attention to even greater inequalities.

There are all these men on network late night television, while there are virtually no women. More to the point, has there ever been a woman even whispered about to take that late night slot? We make up more than fifty percent of the population. Is it that by 11:30 most of us are too exhausted from our day to watch? Nah. Not likely. Is it that no one woman can be a great host? Even less likely. Rosie, O and Ellen showed women can host talk shows so what precludes a woman from hosting a big network show after dark falls?

Seems like there's an unspoken, long-standing myth dominating our entertainment culture: women aren't as funny as men. That bathroom humor in the writer's room is men-only. Trust us, being wry and suggestive is not exclusive to men (have you read our book yet?). Are we still viewing the vestiges of prehistoric thinking on network television?

Now we walk upright and don't carry clubs. It's a new era. When we think funny, we think women. We think Sarah Silverman and Kristen Schaal and Wanda Sykes and Chelsea Handler. We think Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks, the geniuses behind Go Fug Yourself. We think Amy Sedaris. We think Jane Lynch, now creating havoc on Glee, Rachel Dratch, and Kristen Wiig, and for god's sake Tina Fey.

We're not going to go on. That we must make a list only reinforces the inequity.

Another myth: that women can't be funny and attractive as well. That humor is the booby prize for women who don't meet society's absurd beauty standards.

No more. Women can be smart and funny and gorgeous (and "gorgeousness" comes in all packages) and have curves, and luminous hair, etc. etc. etc.

Steve Allen. Jack Paar. Johnny Carson. Jay Leno. Conan O'Brien. What do you notice? Five white dudes. Funny dudes, yes, talented dudes. But it's time to get with the program.

Message to network: Want to find a way to stand out? Want some new attention?

Hire a woman.

P.S. We love you Conan. But we're left to wonder, could all this have been simply avoided by a new hairdresser?

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