Christine Fenno
December 06, 2007 AT 06:30 PM EST

Okay, it’s official: the trend of women on TV being “cheerfully dumb” has got to stop. Sherri “the world is flat” Shepherd (pictured, right), did you actually declare on The View earlier this week that Christianity predated everything–including Greek civilization? Kellie Pickler (pictured, left), did you actually say on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? that you thought Europe was a country and you’d never heard of Hungary? And are you both as pleased with the attention as you seem?

In a world where so many trailblazing, intelligent women—Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, take your pick—try to make the world a better place with brainpower, you’ve got to ask yourself: Do Sherri and Kellie have any humiliation threshold? Do they even realize how vacant they sound? While neither may be a natural-born genius, why is anyone who uses her time in the spotlight to be so unrelentingly dim rewarded with more spotlight? Shouldn’t any nitwit who comes off as 100 percent allergic to reading (books, news, maps, anything) be mocked all the way to the unemployment line? Or at least the remedial classroom where she belongs?

For the record, EW readers who point out that only one woman cracked the Top 10 on our own Hollywood’s Smartest People list make a valid observation, if you ask me; the rankings, hotly debated and meticulously researched right here inside EW headquarters, rate “impact” on our culture—and it’s worth debating why there aren’t more so-called “influential” women to highlight. But don’t kid yourself that Fifth Grader host Jeff Foxworthy’s condescending banter (Jeff: “Kellie, focus.” Kellie: “I’m listening to what you’re saying, but I only hear what I want to.” Jeff: “That’s just called being a woman.”) during the pitiful Pickler performance was merely harmless filler. Misogyny is a bitch, people, and it pops up wherever it’s welcome!

I’d love to hear other reactions to the celebration of the “cheerfully dumb.” Who thinks Sherri Shepherd and Kellie Pickler milk the dimwit persona for the attention? And while we’re at it, what can be done to stop them?

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