“RAPE KITS!” cried Samantha Bee at the outset of Full Frontal’s devastatingly good segment on rape kit backlogs last night. Combining a quick educational seminar about rape culture with a takedown of inept local politicians and some withering insults (“giant pink hamster-fetus of a man”) was my favorite, Bee proved herself both good-natured feminist ambassador — and true inheritor of the best of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s tradition of skewering America’s most small-minded, moronic public officials.
Bee explained that testing rape kits is important because most rapists aren’t confused frat boys — they’re serial offenders whose DNA often shows up on multiple kits. In fact in New York City, finally testing those dormant kits led to the NYPD successfully closing a great number of open rape cases. The decision made public officials’ jobs much easier! So, what could be standing in the way of a common-sense measure requiring said testing passing in every locality, municipality and state in the Union? Well, sexism for one, in the form of rape culture myths.
Bee honed in on two particularly intransigent ignoramuses: Georgia State Sen. Renee Unterman and Idaho Sheriff Craig Rowland, (two officials she noted who are running unopposed for re-election) who seemed to have no understanding of how rape actually works, and gave them the treatment they deserved in her usual calm yet bemused manner, The results are tremendous. Watch below.