Stephen Colbert gives amazing dad advice


Stephen Colbert, cool dad. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Leave it to Tavi Gevinson to get Stephen Colbert to break character. (Take that, James Franco!)

Colbert briefly stepped out of the political arena to answer questions as part of “Ask A Grown,” a recurring feature on Rookie, Gevinson’s online magazine for teenage girls.

In a 10-minute video posted by Rookie, Colbert — a father of three and “The Late Show’s” next host — looked the part of a sorta-cool dad, wearing a plaid shirt and glasses. He removed his specs periodically as he pondered inquiries about teenage boys, a girl sleeping at her boyfriend’s house and how to tell if people genuinely like you.

One 14-year-old girl asked why some teenage boys “cat-call or make jokes about rape” and wondered if “society has taught them to be misogynistic.”

Colbert’s thoughtful response:

I think that the reason why boys do this kind of stuff is to get your attention and, no, I don’t think they know that it’s harmful because I don’t think they mean to be harmful. I just think they desperately want you to pay attention to them. So, my advice would be — if you don’t know the person that’s doing it, I would ignore it – but if you know the person, if the person is a friend or someone you know, they really care what you think. It may not seem like they do because they’re being so aggressive, but they actually really do care.

And I would say ‘please don’t do that because I really don’t like it’ and they may blow you off at the time, but I promise you they’ll remember that you said that. And for this sort of thing to stop, boys have to be educated. Does our society educate boys to be misogynistic? It probably doesn’t value girls and women as much as it should. And boys probably see that as a signal that they can get away with things like devaluing women and being what they think of as sort of playfully or comically threatening, but they do need to be told that it’s wrong. Or even more importantly that you just don’t like it, because they want you to like them. So, be honest with them about it — if you know them, again — and I think that’s the best way to stop it. They’ll pay attention.

The video also includes Colbert advising a letter-writer to kick a lying love interest to the curb. The advice comes complete with a finger snap.

Bethonie Butler is a producer and a reporter on The Post’s engagement team. She oversees online comments and has also contributed to The Style Blog and She The People.
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