The behavior of men like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey may have been an “open secret” in Hollywood, but the last few months have drawn men’s attention to much larger, even more open secret: That the threat of sexual harassment and assault is part of the everyday reality of being a woman.
On Saturday night, the SNL ladies (or SNLadies?), formed another girl group—actually, “this isn’t a girl group, we just travel in a pack for safety”—to sing a song about what it’s like navigating the world as a woman, aptly titled “Welcome to Hell.” It might just be the best thing to come out of this whole sordid mess, packed with news references for those unfortunate enough to have been paying close attention.
“It’s freaky, it’s nasty, it’s button-under-the-desk bad,” sang the band of pop princesses to a background of fun, cartoon buttons. “This is our hometown, we’ll show you around!”
The candy land music video was full of sprinkles and clouds and popsicles and bunnies and potential predators. House of Cards may have been ruined by Kevin Spacey’s actions, but the girls are here to tell you that the list of things that have long been ruined for women is much, much longer: parking, walking, Uber, ponytails, bathrobes, nighttime, drinking, hotels, and vans, to name but a few.
“Hey there, boys. We know the last couple months have been frickin’ insane,” said Cecily Strong.
“All these big, cool, powerful guys are turning out to be—what’s the word—habitual predators?” added Aidy Bryant.
“Cat’s out of the bag! Women get harassed all the time,” said Kate McKinnon.
The song captured the exasperation women feel at the fact that men seem surprised by the prevelance of sexual harassment, something they’ve been talking about since, well, forever.
“I guess it b-b-begs the question,” crooned Kate McKinnon, lying in a field of clouds while channeling Carrie Bradshaw. “Whoa, why didn’t you say something, baby girl?”
“Well dang, Double Daddy, we definitely did,” said host Saoirse Ronan brightly, swinging on a swing. “For hundreds of years,” she added dryly.
The women were joined by their sisters through the ages—a witch being burnt at the stake, a suffragette, Rosie the Riveter, and a ’70s working woman—who all seemed stunned to hear that this shit is still going on in 2017. Leslie Jones also stopped by to remind everyone that it’s a million times worse for women of color, before joining in the chorus herself.
“Yeah it ain’t fair, but pull up a chair, welcome to hell, hey!”