How Amy Schumer Is Changing The World For Women

Amanda Pena
Amanda Pena is one of those bridge and tunnel people that frequents the city for her job and the Chipotle on every other block. She hopes to be the next Cheryl Strayed and touch people's lives through her writing and/or find the best prosciutto deli in Manhattan.

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“She’s so crass,” my friend said disgustedly when I asked him to give me his personal review of Amy Schumer’s new movie, Trainwreck. His attempts to give me a brief synopsis of the film started with, “It was XYZ, but…” Her humor had offended him in such a way that it prevented him from taking a step back to really delve into the logistics of the plot, the hilarious LeBron appearances, the witty banter that Schumer artfully crafted and the fact that it was essentially her movie.

 

 

Prior to his botched review, I really had no interest in seeing the film. It was only through word of mouth that I heard of Schumer’s dynamic role in the flick. Though despite her public praise and her celebrated GQ cover, what drowned out the noise of her success were those who could not fathom the words “fu*k” or “di*k” coming out of a woman’s mouth so naturally, and even more infuriating, humorously.

She’s smart, strategic, and funny? It’s just too much for society to handle, so they point to her not-stick-thin figure, they point to her personal life in an effort to grab at whatever they can to drag her down.

“Women are accomplishing more and more, and men are plateauing, so there are these insane expectations of how you’ll be. You really are kind of encouraged to accomplish everything, and then you get to realize, ‘But not too much – make everybody comfortable,’ ” said Schumer in her latest GQ interview.

 

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But here’s the thing, Schumer is not trying to make everybody comfortable. Instead, she’s unapologetically defiant.

Why aren’t more women refusing to apologize for just being themselves? Their true selves. You know why? Because of the outrage that occurs when we even put such a thought into our little “lady brains.”

“She makes everything about sex.”
“Why does she always have to talk about dic*s?”
“Why does she try so hard?”

You mean, “Why does she own who she is?”
I believe you mean, “Why does she make me question my manhood when she talks like that?”
And, if I’m not mistaken, what you’re trying to say is, “I’m upset over the fact that a woman has the audacity to use such crass words in public and not care about the societal repercussions of it.”

Oh, right, that’s what you meant.

When I had finished watching the film with my friend, we didn’t criticize Schumer’s sharp and poignant humor; we didn’t take petty note of her inability to not reference a sexual organ in a sentence (intelligently using penis in every sentence takes talent). We broke apart the plot. We were disappointed with the typical rom-com theatrics that we were sure Amy would steer away from. We laughed as we recalled some hilarious scenes, and reveled in who she was, not as her character, Amy Townsend, but as herself, Amy Schumer.

She has such presence, such confidence that made me question whether or not I was truly being the woman I am meant to be. And then I realized that questioning is exactly what she does – to women and men, alike. Schumer makes most men quiver with her genius ability to effortlessly capture a room solely using her words. She’s not putting her appearance at the forefront to garner attention? Shocking.

As for women, Amy unconsciously makes us disappointed in ourselves. What a force she is. I want to be her. And instead of celebrating that, it seems like our first instinct is to bring her down with women-shaming tactics that stem from our own insecurities, or the fact that she’s not perpetuating gender norms. The sexist criticism, coming from both ends, is just always disguised under facades that jab at her “appearance,” her not-good-enough feminism, and whatever else they can think of.

I left the theater thinking back to the word, “crass.” That single word doesn’t actually translate to “without refinement, delicacy, or sensitivity” in this context. But what it really represents is a larger issue that dates back to the beginning of time when gender roles were solidified.

So, yes, Amy Schumer is crass.

She’s “crass” because she’s breaking out of the mold that society has forced women into. She’s “crass” because she encourages other women to criticize and question the credibility of that mold. And she’s “crass” because with every step she takes, she leaves wakes in her path, laying a new foundation for the women of tomorrow.

 

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