After playing a “What did we miss?” montage of every horror that occurred while Full Frontal was on a well-deserved break, Samatha Bee noted wryly that plunging once more back into the breach of our COVID-stricken, natural disaster-beset, misinformation-plagued country is daunting stuff. And while this Wednesday’s Full Frontal was taped too late in another hell-week to address the fact that one state’s GOP forced through a clearly unconstitutional and misogynistic law essentially overturning Roe v. Wade (and the late-night refusal of the GOP-packed Supreme Court to grant an emergency halt to that fundamentalist horseshit), Bee didn’t lack for stuff to get angry about.
The 20-years-in-the-blundering U.S. pullout from the war in Afghanistan got its due, with Bee playing clips of exactly the right-wing white nationalists you’d expect leaping right from “Biden didn’t get everybody out” to “Biden got too many brown people out and they’re moving into your neighborhood!” in a white-hot, white supremacist second. She also profiled a modest alpaca farm in Colorado where the transgender proprietors have been forced to turn Old West tough in response to the all-too-predictable hateful backlash of some of their neighbors. And while the Texas legislature’s end-run assault against women’s bodily autonomy will have to wait for next week’s show (and the in-progress legal challenges), Bee did take on another perpetual attempt by white conservatives to police people’s bodies, just in time for kids to return to the classroom.
Ah, dress codes—they’re not just for banning those T-shirts with swear words anymore. Bee did show how some school districts in states where Republican governors are actively shoveling children onto the “owning the libs” COVID bonfire are utilizing a masks-always dress code to circumvent GOP anti-mask mandates, which is the sort of cleverness born from life under idiots’ rule. But, as Bee explained with an heaping cafeteria helping of local news stories about more traditional and punitive dress code enforcement, these policies are primarily used to “police the bodies of girls, LGBTQ students, and students of color.” You know, like the blanket-banning of hairstyles primarily popular in Black communities. Or the kindergartener forced to show written proof of his Navajo heritage before being allowed to finger-paint and eat paste while sporting his traditional long hair.
And don’t get Bee started on how girls are treated, with the host showing clips of female students being removed from class for not wearing bras, wearing bras, and simply having breasts at all. Seriously telling on themselves for their penchant for sexualizing young women, school officials were shown doing everything from airbrushing girls’ yearbook photos (there are those pesky human breasts again), to disqualifying a victorious school swimmer because the male judge decided that her (school-approved, identical to everyone) swimsuit was a little too appealing. To him. Ew.
With kids all over this under-vaccinated and over-policed nation heading back to overcrowded, under- and unequally funded, poorly ventilated classrooms right about now, Bee (who was bleeped more than even her usual all episode), noted in exasperation that this conformist and prejudicial nonsense is the last [expletive elided] thing students should have to deal with. As Bee put it, hairstyle and dress are two important expressions of individuality that help in children’s long and painful process of self-discovery, and that theoretically well-meaning policing of students’ bodies will only drive those same kids to write more angsty poetry. Nobody wants that.