I remember first hearing of Amy Schumer. I was under the impression that she was a curvy millennial (get it?!) who was hilarious, edgy and, really, right up my ally. At this time, the movie Trainwreck was about to premiere in theaters and I was so excited to see it. I had the date in my calendar, I educated myself on who this Amy Schumer gal was and prepared myself to have a new favorite movie.
Trainwreck seemed like just the type of movie that I had been waiting for: a movie that depicted the single 20-30-something female in a realistic light. This realistic light being a woman trying to establish a name for herself career wise, embracing a body that didn’t meet societal beauty standards, all while being sexually empowered.
For those who don’t know, I encourage and appreciate sexually empowered women. What is a sexually empowered woman? In my opinion, it is a woman who knows what she wants sexually, owns this, is safe in her sexual encounters and does not fall victim to the misogynistic views of sex that our society holds so dear. A woman who knows that it is not just okay, but awesome, to enjoy sex and embrace her body and sexuality.
I was really passionate about seeing a film that displayed this way of thinking.
One of my closest friends, also dedicated to the sexual empowerment of women, and I got together, had some pre-movie pizza (that’s when you eat a lot of delicious pizza before venturing out to the movie theater) and headed to the luxurious AMC theater. We snuggled up in those cozy AMC reclining seats and braced ourselves for cinematic genius.
And then…did not experience that.
So…it wasn’t a bad movie. It just wasn’t what I wanted or what I expected from the trailer.
What I expected was a career-savvy, curvy woman who enjoys sex and who’s happiness and success is not defined by her relationship status.
What I got was a career-savvy, fairly thin woman who made a lot of nonsensical fat jokes about herself. A woman who participates in sexual acts due to a lack of self-esteem and frequent consumption of alcohol, who does feel as if a man is necessary to be successful in life. This was very disappointing to me.
So I thought to myself, “maybe this was just a poorly displayed version of Amy’s comedy and who she is as a public figure” and hit up the internet to better understand who Amy is. I was sorely disappointed to find that much of her material fell into the role that, unfortunately…and please, let me stress: SO UNFORTUNATELY, many female comedians tend to fall into: the role of a woman who is not actually overweight, yet, make jokes about how fat they are all while talking about how much sex they have because their lives are so “wildly out of control”.
I find this type of person very annoying for a plethora of reasons, the most important ones being:
- If you are not overweight, please, for the love of women everywhere, stop making jokes about being overweight. I don’t make jokes about being really thin. It just doesn’t make sense.
- Just because you are a single woman in your 20’s or 30’s who has sex, drinks, dates and has fun does not mean that you are some out of control disaster.
- A woman does not need to be married to have her “life together”.
Throughout a great deal of Amy’s comedy and the entire movie, Trainwreck, she almost seems repulsed by the idea of having sex. I’m not saying that everyone has to love sex, I think that some people just don’t consider this an important part of their lives, but if you are constantly talking about having casual sex – can you please like doing this or just don’t do it? Amy acts like she’s doing this just to feel better about herself. The behavior has a very “Everybody Loves Raymond” way of looking at women and sex. Like women are always trying to find a way to get out of this dreaded act, whether it’s a headache, they are too tired, etc. Women couldn’t possibly initiate sex or desire it because…they are women.
I saw this quote from Amy and I honestly have no clue when or where she said this but: “My comedy is unapologetic and fearless. Like, sometimes you’ll wind up having condomless sex with someone that you probably shouldn’t. I’m interested in sharing that part of myself unapologetically so that other people will hopefully feel better”.
I don’t think her comedy is unapologetic and fearless. I feel as if with every joke that Amy tells about her weight, she is telling men that they are doing her a favor by having sex with her. And I think she is sending that same idea out to other men and women as well. In my opinion, she is apologizing for her appearance and behavior on a pretty regular basis in her material.
I will say, growing up on Long Island, about a town away from where Amy grew up, I get where this mindset came from. It took me many, many years to understand that my weight did not define me as a person. It also doesn’t define my worth to others.
There’s this mind set…prepare yourself because this is crazy…where you can be a sexually desireable person and a beautiful person and that these things are NOT determined by a number on a scale. I know…this is insane.
Trust me, I get the disconnect. As a Long Island girl, the idea that my weight and appearance defined my entire life, was an absolute norm and one of my core beliefs as a youth and throughout young adulthood. I have kicked, screamed, journaled, joked and cried my way out of these thinking patterns and STILL slip back into them hear and there. So, I get it. But reinforcing these very unhealthy beliefs is not only messed up but concerning.
In addition, fearlessness does not come in the form of unprotected sex with a random person. I am all about making light of my bad decision making and I do so on a regular basis, both in public and private. However, Amy tends to do this in a way that not only has a tendency to degrade female sexuality (including her own) but makes the occasional “oops” moment that the majority of us experience into a norm of risky behavior.
In a society where women are constantly held to a different standard than men and are judged so harshly in regards to sexuality and appearance, I would really enjoy a movie, a tv show, hell, I will take a Snapchat at this point, that displays a confident, curvy, sexually empowered woman preaching on these characteristics.
Also, single, taken, engaged, married – all of us are screwed up to some extent. Being in a relationship does not change this, therefore, you are not more worthy or less worthy as a result of your Facebook relationship status.
Or your weight.
Or the notches on your bedpost.
Or the amount of calories you eat each day.