“I want good role models,” proclaimed Amy Schumer in her “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) monologue. “We have to be a role model for these little girls, because who do they have? All they have literally is the Kardashians.”
As the “It Girl” of the moment, Amy Schumer is everywhere. Her signature tongue-in-cheek and bitingly sarcastic humor in the name of feminism is slowly but surely making its ways known.
Last weekend, Schumer hosted SNL for the first time. Schumer’s monologue alone has already hit one million views on YouTube.
“‘Amy, is it an exciting time for women in Hollywood?’” is the question that she says many people ask her.
While Amy sarcastically answers “No,” she is all about portraying women who defy society’s expectations of them.
Schumer addresses the disparity between women and men in the comedy sketch “Ask If Birth Control Is Right For You,” a parody of all the trouble that women must go through to acquire birth control. In the sketch, Amy asks men—from her doctor, to her boss, to the Supreme Court—if she can finally get her prescription, only to repeat the process all over again when she needs a refill each month. On the other hand, a little boy asks to buy a gun in the same drugstore, and finds no trouble in doing so.
The Webster dictionary defines feminism as women’s political, social and economic equality with men. The “Ask If Birth Control Is Right For You” sketch mocks just how the U.S. government treats women’s progressive rights by sending women on a wild goose chase to attain it. In contrast to how the boy easily attained the gun, it demonstrates how men don’t need anyone’s permission to purchase something that has the potential to elicit violence.
While her type of humor may not be for everybody, Schumer makes a point of empowering women. She also lives by the principle through her public persona.
Let’s recount Schumer’s successes in 2015 alone:
The comedian hosted the 2015 MTV Movie Awards this spring.
Schumer, who turned 34 last June, wrote and starred in her first feature film, the R-rated comedy “Trainwreck,” directed by Judd Appatow. Schumer played a character named Amy Townsend, a commitment-phobic but successful sports magazine writer. The film made more than $138 million worldwide.
Just last month, her show “Inside Amy Schumer” won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, its first in that category, beating out SNL. “Inside Amy Schumer” is slated to air its fourth season in 2016.
At the same time, it has been announced that she is collaborating with Oscar-winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence, to write and star in a film where they play sisters.
On top of that, Schumer has secured a reported $8 million deal with Simon & Schuster for her autobiography.
“I’m glad she’s successful—more power to her,” junior film major Guy Fentress said. “I believe that for her to have more impact, she could go into other areas and just talk about feminism. I think Amy Schumer is doing a good job… From what I can see, she’s doing a better job than some other female celebrities.”
However, Schumer has earned quite the reputation for being offensive. She definitely isn’t afraid of being blunt, although sometimes it can be a bit much.
“She can be funny, but she can be pretty inappropriate,” sophomore graphic design major Jessica Gomez said.
It’s been quite common for a woman in comedy to offend people while taking advantage of her sexuality to get ahead of her competitors — the raunchier the better. Both Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman come to mind.
Schumer’s go-to jokes are—more often than not—loaded with sexual innuendo and references to the female anatomy, along with personal stories from her own sex life.
“I don’t really know a lot about her. I just watched a couple [episodes of] ‘Inside Amy Schumer,’” sophomore child psychology major Saige Fleming said. “She seems really funny. She has a really dry sense of humor and some people would probably be offended by it, but I think she’s definitely strong.”
Following in the footsteps of legendary reigning comic queens, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Schumer is not only questioning gender roles and a woman’s place in the world, but also making it known that women can be successful and funny.
“I think Amy Schumer’s success is something well-deserved for her,” junior applied exercise major Martell Norwood said. “Clearly there’re women in comedy, but women take the backseat. Amy Schumer is definitely taking the front seat, and she’s giving the men a run for their money. She’s a breath of fresh air.”
For Schumer, portraying powerful women who couldn’t care less what society thinks includes owning your sexuality. However, behind all that foul language is a satirical take on women empowerment. For 2015 and the sake of all women, I think it’s about time that the Age of Schumer arrived.