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Amy Schumer's speech didn't make me laugh, it just made me sad

The Amy Schumers and Tina Feys of the world, are for the most part a breath of fresh air, where their comedy sells, not their bodies.

Image: Associated Press

AMY SCHUMER IS a funny woman. She’s a well established comedian with a highly acclaimed film Trainwreck due to hit Irish cinemas soon –  but with one sentence Amy dismissed these accomplishments and proved vulgarity is no substitute for true wit.

While accepting the Glamour Award for Trailblazer of the Year, Amy stated:

“I’m 160lbs and can catch a dick whenever I want.”

Amy brought down the house with laughter but for me it made me die a little inside.

A woman’s self worth

Just like when I see young girls push others off the dance floor in an attempt to twerk their way into some guy’s pants, so they feel some sort of self worth, I just wanted to scream at Amy, “you are more than that, you are more than the amount of people who want to sleep with you”.

Source: Glamour Magazine UK/YouTube

With this one sentence Amy became a perpetrator of misogyny in an attempt to be the antidote to such sexism, placing her self worth in how many people want to sleep with her and in her appearance rather than in her achievements.

The statement also pitted curvier women against slimmer women. Amy is not a bigger woman, she is of average size. It’s only Hollywood that sees her as larger. Women come in all shapes and sizes, none of which are more or less beautiful than the other and all deserve fair representation in the media. This is everything I thought Amy would be standing up for or against respectably. 

Objectification of women 

The audience lapped up the line and could be heard laughing raucously, albeit a little nervously. This reaction is again saddening to me. No one seemed to realise that with this sentence Amy was giving into the objectification of women.

Yes, she was commending the fact that regardless of size she too can get laid but this puts her worth in her appearance and ability for her sex to sell, not her wit, comedy or intelligence. How is this any different to when an attractive, tall, slim, blonde is used purely for her appearance to sell a film or a magazine.

In Hollywood, sex sells, we all know this and it’s a sexist and difficult place for both men and women to work. The Amy Schumers and Tina Feys of the world, are for the most part a breath of fresh air, where their comedy sells, not their bodies. As was Jennifer Saunders before them (Jennifer presented the award to Amy). This is why it felt disappointing to hear Amy objectify herself in such a way.

An industry that tells us to hate our bodies 

Amy’s acceptance speech went on to explain how she has persevered in Hollywood and with fashion magazines in particular, to work in an industry that constantly tells us to hate our bodies. But Amy has come to be comfortable in her own skin. This is an incredibly important message in today’s society and shouldn’t have been overshadowed by her opening line.

I am still looking forward to watching Trainwreck. I expect to find it crude at times but most likely I will relate to the film more than I would like to admit. As for Amy and her flippant comment I suspect and hope it was a once off, a momentary lapse of judgement.

Jacqueline Moore is a 30 something from Wicklow who has just left a career in Insurance to return to college to study social work. She has just returned from a volunteer trip in Cambodia. Jackie has also studied Radio Journalism in IADT, too many years ago now to count, she says.

Read: This country is worried its water will become a commodity but it has bigger problems>

Read: ‘I know it’s not healthy to be fat. You really, really don’t have to tell me that’>


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