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ABOUT AMY

By July 27, 2015 , , ,

(Image source: ScreenRant)

Put your hands up if you agree that 2015 is Amy Schumer's year. The Hollywood comedienne's show, Inside Amy Schumer has garnered headlines after headlines, her movie, Trainwreck is making the rounds, and she is making waves on the talk-show circuit. Her boisterous "you-do-you" persona and skits that take aim at media's treatment of beauty and gender inequality made her a media darling, especially among publications with a large female audience.

While everyone is fawning over Amy, I have a confession:

I don't find her funny. At all.

Now, before you pick up your pitchfork, torch and tie me to the stakes, let me clarify: I don't mean she is not smart. I respect comedian because they are the smart ones who play dumb. Through the works of Shakespeare and medieval literature, we know that the Royal Fool is usually the smartest person around. Satire is the highest form of art - being able to critic something (or someone) and achieve it without so much as a trip to the gallows is something that I respect. Essentially, that's the function of comedy, and Amy is doing a banging job.

I probably should also note that it's not because Amy is a woman. To be fair, it is so much harder for comediennes to "make it," in what essentially is a boy's club. So, kudos and much respect to her. Do I dislike her because she talks about sex a lot? Because she is incredibly vulgar?

"How dare you?! This is 2015 and we women should be able to talk about sex as much as we want to. We should get black-out drunk if we want to, we can be as vulgar as we like! #feminist"

Calm your farm, sister.

What I meant to say is: I don't find her jokes funny.

I'll admit that I'm not familiar with Amy's work. However, she comes off as a bit of a hypocrite to me. While she should be applauded for tackling on touchy subjects such as the "male gaze," she fell into the same trap as well, just with the roles reversed ("the female gaze?") In Trainwreck's trailer alone, jokes were made at the expense of men. It's gaudy, vulgar and consisted of Amy pushing her cleavage into people's faces and poking fun at men. We're supposed to make fun at the men who slept with her and empathise with her not wanting to commit to a monogamous relationship with a lovely sports doctor who took the time of his day and treated her like a lady. But I'm finding a hard time identifying with her persona that only serves to magnify the worst of our generation.

Seriously though, imagine Trainwreck's premise, with the roles reversed: The movie's main character, now a man, lives the single life "with a sick apartment" and a great job, parties hard, sleeps with anyone he fancies but can never commit. When he finds someone that he has a connection with, he freaks out... Hang on, that sounds vaguely familiar to Entourage's main boy, Vincent Chase. The HBO TV show spun off a movie that premiered earlier this year to critic's loathe: Guardian called it "hatefully unfunny," while others reported it as a "testosterone-filled" frat-boy movie. On the other hand, Trainwreck received praise all around. Amy is now a trail-blazer in comedy.

Double-standard much?

Before I drop further into the rabbit hole examining media's role, let's get back to Amy. I find her comedy mean-spirited. While her jokes are well-timed (Penis! Boobs! Wine!), she makes audience feel like she is above them. It's hard to put it into words, but it's as if men should think that she is sexy because she does not conform to the traditional standards of female beauty, but men are pigs for thinking she is sexy. She is smart, we are dumb. That's the vibe I got from her on The Project anyway. She even looks weary of the premise.

(Image source: AdWeek)

Perhaps I am out of touch with the society (I certainly hope not), but I cannot connect with her comedy-style. Yes! That's what it is. Her skit, "Milk Milk Lemonade," which takes aim at rap culture's objectification of women felt elitist. Rap culture from the beginning was about aspirations and though I agree that today's hip-hop takes hedonistic excess a bit too far, I'm not sure making a video that puts even more"fudge factories" on display, complete with Amy herself in a waitress costume caressing herself gets the point across.

However, Amy does have a few gems of work here and there, with "The Last Fuckable Day" being one of them. It examines media's fethisation of Pretty Young Things and media's treatment of "older" women in a brilliant way. The troupe of female comedians that Amy rounded up created a nice "sisterhood" feeling towards it that eliminates the mean-spirit that dominates much of her comedy. It was intelligent, and a brilliant feminist think piece. Although I didn't laugh out loud, it did give me a lot to think about.

I'm sure Amy is a highly intelligent woman, and tough-as-nails too, to have made it so far. Perhaps her minders are the ones ordering her work and sculpting her persona to appeal to female audience. Yet, using satire as a tool to call out media for racism or sexualising women, then turning around to make dick/racist jokes is like pot calling a kettle black.

I'm not sympathising men (afterall, they are enjoying many privileges for simply being born with some extra bits), but gender equality is exactly that: men and women, viewed by each other as equal. Before we call Amy's work "courageous," perhaps think about who is the butt of the joke and if the subject is being treated fairly.

(Image source: People.com)

So, that's why I'm not a fan of Amy Schumer. Her juvenile sense of humour and elitist, entitled persona is not what I can relate to, and makes for an unfunny combination. Unfortunately, that probably puts me as the only person besides Kimye to dislike her (By the way, I thought her Kimye stunt was rather rude, no matter the thought process).

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