Why Amy Schumer Is Your New Feminist Best Friend


*This post of mine was also published on The Huffington Post.*

If you have been laughing out loud at your computer screen louder than normal over the past few weeks, most likely you have been watching Amy Schumer’s hilarious sketches online. From unattainable beauty standards placed on women to how inaccessible birth control remains to having men debate whether you are good looking enough for TV, it is safe to say that we have found our new feminist best friend.

Schumer has built a legion of fans over the past few years, but it is the new season of her show, Inside Amy Schumer, that really has people paying attention. By being unapologetically feminist and using humor to make her message about an otherwise “heavy” topic of women’s rights funny, Schumer exposes various double-standards women have to experience just because we are women.

Her sketch, “The Last F-ckable Day” is the perfect example. In it, Amy Schumer stumbles onto feminist comedic icons such as Patricia Arquette, Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus nonchalantly having a picnic in the forest, toasting to Dreyfus’ “last f-ckable day,” which is basically when Hollywood decides middle-aged actresses are no longer sexy, and as a result, roles they’re offered go from complex leads to those of mothers or “Mrs. Claus.”

More than being funny. Schumer's comedy exposes Hollywood's deep gender bias. Image Credit: Flickr.

“In every actress’s life, the media decides when you finally reach the point where you’re not believably f-ckable anymore,” Dreyfuss matter-of-factly explains to Schumer.

“Nobody really overtly tells you, but there are signs,” an enthusiastic Tina Fey chimes in. “Like going from girlfriend to mom.”

A naive and confused Amy Schumer asks the wiser women what this age is for men to which the women respond in laughter, informing her that there is no last f-ckable day for men, who remain desirable in Hollywood at any age simply because they are men.

But behind Schumer’s great writing, this segment, like most of Schumer’s sketches, is about more than just a few good feminist jokes. Behind her armor of comedy are serious issues that even the ACLU can no longer ignore, which just announced that they are asking state and federal civil rights agencies to investigate gender discrimination in Hollywood.

What is truly revolutionary and important about Schumer’s work, much of which she writes, is that while shattering stereotypes of women, and especially feminists, not being funny, she is also using feminism as the marketing platform for her show. Schumer is setting herself up as not just another celebrity feminist, but as a new feminist Shero.

“I say if I’m beautiful,” Schumer said in her speech at the Ms. Foundation Award ceremony last year. “I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will.”

If Schumer continues her momentum, no doubt hers will be a story we will all be watching.

1 comment

  1. and, for me…the BEST point is…she is YOUNG! She will outlast those of us (old feminists) who are leaving the fight to the younger generation. YOU GO GIRL!

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