Fighting for women’s issues in 2016, one joke at a time

Lizz Winstead knows political comedy. A founder of The Daily Show, Winstead now has a media group called Lady Parts Justice, which fights for women’s issues through humor and political action. Winstead recently talked to To the Point’s Warren Olney about what motivates her as we head into the 2016 general election, and why making people laugh is a great political tool.

What’s the lady parts justice media group?

It is a group of comedians, writers, and performers who wanted to take on the hypocrisy that is coming, especially driven towards women’s issues, whether it’s pay equity, whether it’s abortion access, whether it’s rape culture. We try to take it all on and expose the people who are not fighting for what we believe should be prioritized causes.

Do you and other comedians any humor included, Samantha Bee, perhaps as well feel that you can say more now, be more specific and in fact be more political? 

I think so. I think that a lot of times a lot of us didn’t start out on this path to try to make a point, but the more and more it felt like, especially for women who are writing comedy and writing political satire, when we looked at people who are trying to cut off access, especially to things like birth control or abortion care, things that a lot of us have experienced as being able to allow us to pursue our goals and dreams, when we see that as a reality it’s no longer just ok to bring it up and be an anger fluffer if you will we wanted to say ‘here’s the here’s the issue we’re showing it with humor now we want to actually insert a call to action.’

Is there more humor or a different kind of humor on social media than there is on television?

If you’re trying to hit people who are under 30 many of them don’t even own televisions anymore they use Roku, they have Netflix, and so they’re looking at apps, they’re looking at social media and they’re reading the stories that their friends are posting on their wall. They get things through Buzzfeed listicles and in the car on the radio. So I think if you want to make change you have to be in the spaces that people are at and not continue to be tired old mediums that are not really interesting to young people at this point.

On the other hand on that tired old medium – television- we heard Chris Christie screaming, we heard Donald Trump talk about Donald Trump’s hands, we heard Marco Rubio becoming kind of a robot, we see John Kasich and his eating habits so somehow of the politicians it seems to me are making their way into the comedic world.

Sometimes I fear for my job when these people seem to be doing it for me, right? I mean when Donald Trump, he’s literally running for president, doing the whole hand analogy. That is really old Groucho Marx material and you’re like, this is really happening? He’s running for leader of the free world. Sometimes I wake up at night and I think, are all the other countries having a meeting behind our back right now, saying  ‘I think we need to do something about America, because I think they’re losing it.’?

What do you think is going to happen in the general election when the matter of who’s elected and who’s not elected is really serious?

I don’t know how low trump will go, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to come up with more crazy ideas. Maybe he thinks that you know he can build a wall around…  I would actually say that I would start a Kickstarter to build a wall around Donald Trump. Maybe we could just build a large wall around Donald Trump and self fund it. And maybe that could solve some problems.

Are there comedians who you think will have the courage to make fun of Hillary Clinton? 

Oh for sure. I made fun of Bill all through his administration and I made fun of Obama and there’s a there’s a wealth of things that I think we can take on with Hillary. When you have candidates coming up from a political system that is riddled with money, riddled with influence and doesn’t have democracy in its best interest and you know there is plenty of ways to make fun of people. People have to compromise and people are in bed with people that quote unquote liberals shouldn’t be psyched about, so I think there’s a wealth of material. It’s not just pantsuits.