As Sarkosy ponders banning the Burqa, the Daily Show’s Kristen Schaal presented on the July 1st broadcast an intelligent, biting, and humorous reflection asking if 4 inch Jimmy Choos and eating disorders are any less oppressive than a Burqa. Schaal’s opines “The guy who divorced his second wife and immediately shacked up with a supermodel is right. Women shouldn’t be allowed to do things that don’t empower them. If Carla Bruni had been wearing a burqa when she did all that nude modeling, the president of France would never have fallen in love with her.” When Jon suggests that high heels are a choice, Schaal responds,”Yeah, right, Jon, they’re a ‘choice.’ And I don’t have to throw up my food every time I eat cause I’m so f[bleep} fat.”

Even though the Daily Show’s stock and trade is often absurd satire, the piece effectively points out that women in Western societies are also subject to idealized notions of femininity that are neither entirely of their own making nor completely a matter of choice.

The real irony of the situation is not picked up in this piece. If the point is to make sure women have a choice in what they wear, then limiting that choice by banning a garment seems a backwards way of doing it.