Actress and comedian Amy Schumer sat down with Oprah Winfrey earlier this week to discuss her first sexual experience, which was not one that she consented to.
Amy Schumer began by saying that nobody is ever really warned that friends, family members, partners and people we trust are more likely to hurt us than strangers hiding down alleyways. She said:
“When we hear about rape when we’re children, when we’re being warned about it, it’s about a guy popping out from a bush while you’re in the park, some villain. They don’t say it’s probably gonna be a guy you know really well. It could be your husband. It could be your friend.”
Schumer went on to say, because of the way we’re conditioned to see rape and sexual assault as random acts of violence committed by strangers, it was difficult for her to come to terms with her own experience. She explained:
“You think, when that happens to you… You say “Okay, well this isn’t someone I want to see sitting rotting in a jail cell, but what he did to me was wrong. I didn’t consent. For me, I lost my virginity while I was asleep and that’s not okay.”
Amy Schumer says that over the course of her career she has tried to teach people about consent in her standup shows. She said:
“In my standup, I would say “If she’s asleep, it’s a no”, just hoping that a couple of guys would see that and in that moment would think “This is a no, I’ve heard it somewhere before.”
Oprah pointed out that in Amy Schumer’s case, and in the case of many other people who have been affected by rape or sexual assault, they were made to feel bad about being upset. Oprah said:
“What’s interesting about that, is that you were feeling bad about he would feel the next day.”
“Yeah, I was feeling bad. He was my boyfriend. I loved him. I had to comfort him. I also felt really angry at him. It’s a rage that has stayed with me – I don’t think you lose that. As women we’re really trained not to get angry, because that makes people dismiss you right away. There’s no place for that anger. But, I felt that I wanted to comfort him and I just tried to push my anger down.”
Check out the clip below.
Amy Schumer also said that an ex has been physically abusive, sometimes without realizing he had done any harm. And Schumer, at the time, wasn’t equipped to handle the aggression, and said she could only think to try to placate him. She said:
“I got hurt by accident a lot. He didn’t realize how hard he’d grabbed me or shook me or pushed me, and I would fall and hit something then I’d be hurt,” she said. “I can picture being thrown on the hood of a car like it was an hour ago.”
“And running from him, carrying my shoes and running from him, running into backyards trying to get away from him because I was afraid for my life,” she added. “It’s so out of body. You think, ‘I’m not this woman, who is this woman? This can’t be me.’ I’m not that kind of woman, and then you realize there is no kind of woman. It happens to all women.”
Check out the clip below.
Since then, Schumer has continued with her life and achieved box office success with Trainwreck, Snatched and, more recently, with I Feel Pretty. She married chef Chris Fischer in February, just one day after Valentine’s Day.