This Season's 5 Most Feminist "Inside Amy Schumer" Sketches
Often lauded as comedy's feminist savior, Amy Schumer isn't afraid to tackle touchy subjects. Her sketches on "Inside Amy Schumer" dissect everything from the double standards imposed on women in Hollywood, to traditional gender roles, to widespread female stereotypes. Comedy Central's audience is about 60 percent male, so not only is she forming a connection with women viewers, she's introducing concepts of feminism, body positivity, and female empowerment to her male audience as well.
Last season she illustrated the absurdity of female exploitation with a skit called "Lunch at O'Nutters," a kind of Hooters for women where men wear spandex briefs, serve skinny-girl spritzers, and talk about feelings. In season two she came up with "Compliments," a sketch in which women respond to compliments with brutal self-deprecation. This season was just as on point as the previous. In honor of the show’s finale tomorrow, here’s a look at our favorite feminist sketches from season three.
1. "Milk, Milk, Lemonade"
"Milk, milk, lemonade, 'round the corner fudge is made." Yes, the rhyme is a gross reminder of your primary school days, but it's also the basis for Schumer's brilliant takedown of the way the music industry fetishizes a certain woman's body part. She recruits Amber Rose and Wu Tang’s Method Man as guest vocalists, and the three produce a satirical, hilarious, and borderline disgusting ode to the booty. With her choice in backup dancers, guest performers, and accessories, she also reminds the audience that "booty culture" is an appropriation of black culture in the first place.
2. "Girl You Don't Need Makeup"
In this hilarious spoof on a boy band video, four beautiful, vapid teen pop stars materialize in Schumer's kitchen to tell her that she doesn't need makeup. In their words, "you're perfect when you wake up; just walk around like that all day!" But the tweens quickly change their minds when she washes her face and her natural look isn't exactly what they were expecting. They dig her beauty products out of the trash and tell her to reapply: "Think of a clown and then work your way back." Here Amy checks two boxes: beauty standards for women are ridiculous and unrealistic, and the recent "you're perfect without makeup" movement (think One Direction and Beyoncé) targets a very particular subset of women.
3. "12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer"
Is Schumer hot enough to be on TV? Only this panel of 12 men can decide! In this remake of the classic "12 Angry Men," Amy again comments on how the entertainment industry views women. Part of the brilliance of this sketch is in its format: The show devotes its entire 19-minute episode to this single sketch, an unusual move that gives the comedy space to breathe and to truly drive home a point.
4. "I'm Sorry"
If you’re a woman, this is one of the most painfully depressing "Inside Amy Schumer" sketches to watch, period. The sketch takes place at a Female Innovation Conference; Schumer is one of the women scientists on a panel of four. Each woman is a top specialist in her field, but things go wrong from the outset when the moderator (a dude) mispronounces several of their names and occupations — the women meekly point out the mistakes while apologizing to the moderator. Things get worse when they apologize for clearing their throats, for speaking too loudly, for being allergic to caffeine, and for speaking at all. The sketch is at once an ode to women scientists (of which there are startlingly few) and a reminder that we should never apologize for kicking ass in our chosen fields.
5. "Fight Like a Girl"
"Women cannot deny the authority of therapy and/or Oprah," Amy tells her warriors in training: three men quaking in their latex training suits. What are they so afraid of, you ask? "Female emotional combat." In this spoof on Karate Kid and all its imitators, Amy trains three dudes in the art of bickering. She's drawing attention to the stereotype that women are emotionally sensitive and prone to lash out irrationally, but she’s also throwing the men a bone by presenting them all as dimwitted and obtuse; her point is that they’re not.
Photo Credit: Matt Peyton/Comedy Central