When it comes to social commentary and, in particular, the sexist double standards women have to deal with on a daily basis, no one is killing it more than Amy Schumer right now.
Last night's episode of Inside Amy Schumer featured a bunch of strong sketches, but our favorite was "Boyfriend." This skit touched on a particular expectation placed on women, one that hasn't been widely discussed or acknowledged as yet: the requirement that women will be "polite," especially to men, at all times.
In the sketch, Schumer is having a conversation with her boyfriend at a party when he leaves her to go and get a drink. While he's gone, two guys come up to her. She lets them know that she has a boyfriend, but the two men are offended at her apparently arrogant behavior.
One of the men says, "You don't have to slip in that you have a boyfriend. I was just making conversation." The same guy then goes on to tell Schumer that she is "just a four." Yes, we know: What a douche canoe.
Given the train wreck of a conversation that was, Schumer decides to forgo telling the next guy who approaches her about her boyfriend. And then she ends up marrying the guy, whom she doesn't love, all because she felt such pressure to be "polite" to avoid being dressed down by another man.
Although it's hard to imagine that a marriage would be the result of a woman failing to meet society's expectations of politeness in real life, the sketch highlights an issue many of us (both women and men) have perhaps never considered before.
While the outcome of the sketch is exaggerated, the situation it's underscoring is very real: Yes, women do feel they are being impolite or mean if they reject a man, so they will lean toward being polite and courteous so as not to offend him. There is an inherent expectation that women will be polite to a man in such situations, but there's no similar expectation of men.
Another brilliant point Schumer makes? When a woman rejects a man, his response is to belittle her. But how many women do you know who are rejected by a man and start examining what is wrong with themselves as opposed to letting the man know his shortcomings?
We love our comedy in all different forms, but we are really digging the fact that Schumer tends to lean toward making a point with her sketches. Her ability to send a strong message through relatable comedy is opening a lot of people's eyes to the sorts of damaging behaviors and expectations that are ingrained in our society. By acknowledging such issues through comedy, Schumer is giving us all a big shove in the direction of rectifying those issues.
Inside Amy Schumer airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on Comedy Central. If you aren't watching, you should be.
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