Today I had a lovely lunch with some co-workers. We discussed the odd cultural trends of insta-famous pets, whether or not it was “creepy” for a single man to have a pet cat (the consensus: no, as long as you don’t have pictures of said cats on your desk), how much one co-worker’s puppy had grown, among other obviously serious topics.
Then something happened.
“I saw Trainwrecked this weekend,”announced one peer.
Another responded, “Is that with Amy Schumer? She is so vulgar.”
“Well, that is essentially what ‘Schumer’ humor is. Vulgar,” concluded the first.
It was agreed, quite simply, that Amy Schumer’s humor was “vulgar”. I wanted to scream that she is brilliant, she is one of my pop culture idols, her jokes make me laugh till I cry while examining their relevance to my own life. The ability for me to disagree seemed to disappear. Maybe it was shock. Or the fact that I am the youngest and newest and feel no ability to strongly express an opinion (which is a personal problem I’m totally working on).
So, here I am, proclaiming my love of Amy in my own quiet corner of the internet.
She understands her influence as a public figure. And takes it seriously.
After a shooting at the premier of Trainwcrecked, Amy took up the fight for stricter gun control with her cousin, Chuck Schumer (a senior senator for the state of New York). Her position as a current popular media icon as brought more attention to the Schumers’ proposal for further funding of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Amy reaches a generation and demographic via Twitter and other social media that never would have paid attention to Senator Schumer alone.
In addition, Amy, unlike many comedians, takes responsibility for jokes that no longer reflect her viewpoint. She admits that she is a human and does make mistakes.
Third, she risked her career by centering her comedy around feminism. I realize that other comedians (Lena Dunham comes to mind) have also centered their career around this topic. However, Amy has achieved success in a different light. Through her stand up and skits, she engages men and women. Feminism isn’t a “female issue.” By using relatable comedy, Amy Schumer is spreading awareness of controversial issues much more effectively than her peers.
She makes me happy to be a woman.
It is necessary, when discussing feminism, to focus on the social issues women face. Yes, the wage gap sucks. Yes, double-standards suck. Yes, how expensive menstrual products are sucks. Yes, limited reproductive rights suck.
However, we forget to think about why being a women is great. Amy does a wonderful job about putting this into perspective. She accepts herself as funny, sexy and ambitious. She proves to her fans that you can be a funny, sexy ambitious woman. I’m a big believer that positivity is much more effective than hate, and Amy Schumer’s success is a huge testament to that.
In case you are curious:
4 Favorite Schumer Moments