When I looked at Amy Schumer’s YouTube channel and saw that only one video was uploaded, I was curious. The title of the video: “Amy Schumer Gets Heckled in Stockholm,” made me even more concerned. I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested to see how a performer handles a heckler.
Unfortunately, a bystander heckling a comedian is nothing new. Ask anyone who has ever done standup before, and they will have plenty of stories for you. However, the comments that an audience member will throw out to a female comedian can be a lot more threatening than the regular jabs given to her male counterpart.
In Schumer’s video, an audience member at her Aug. 31 show in Stockholm, Sweden yelled for Schumer to show the audience her breasts (I’m paraphrasing his words nicely).
Put yourself in Schumer’s shoes for a second. Would you ignore the man? Would you make a joke? Would you confront him?
What Schumer did next was incredible. Not only did she ask everyone around the man to point him out, but she also had him escorted from the venue only a few moments later. The best part? Hearing the audience applaud her decision to make him leave.
While the incident is definitely not the first time Schumer has stood up for herself, there is something particularly moving about this occasion for me, personally.
We live in a world where women are told that they have to censor themselves and fit into a certain mold. And firing back at a man after he says a sexist comment does not always come naturally. In fact, it can take a great amount of courage.
Let’s take a moment to think about another female comedian who has had a lot of experience in this arena: Leslie Jones. Jones made headlines this summer after she received a barrage of racist, sexist and overall hateful comments on Twitter after starring in the all-female Ghostbusters reboot. And just when it couldn’t get any worse, her website was hacked while she attended the 2016 Rio Olympics.
But Jones soon took some time off of Twitter, and came back with her head held high. She tweeted Sept. 4:
Some people might find it hard to believe that two female comedians such as Schumer and Jones could have any sort of impact on society. After all, these women don’t fit the Hollywood mold that’s been burned into our brains. Instead, they are making their own paths, and as a result, are no strangers to receiving nasty comments.
But they owe their success, in part, to the way they’ve handled those very comments. They don’t just ignore the sexist, racist, vile comments thrown their way. They stand up for themselves, and “always get back up.”
So when Schumer stops her set two minutes into her show to confront a man who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to tell her to show him her breasts, or when Jones reports Twitter troll Milo Yiannopoulos to authorities, they are doing a service to women everywhere.
They are teaching women, especially those of the younger generation, that it is not acceptable to be treated horribly. They are a new hope for Hollywood because they help crack that ridiculous mold women are always being shoved it.
Of course, there will always be someone who tries to ruin their day with an absurd comment. But as long as these two ladies keep being stunning examples of how to handle hate, it’s possible that a lot more people will end up following their lead. If you don’t believe me, just listen to the roar of the crowd in Schumer’s video.