This is why “being a woman sucks,” according to Amy Schumer.
For many years, people have openly wondered about the differences between the sexes: it is for this reason that books such as Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus are still bestsellers, even today.
However, speaking during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, Amy Schumer has suggested that the only true thing that sets men and women apart from one another is the fact that the latter are sexually objectified on an almost daily basis.
“Being a woman sucks,” she said. “It’s very difficult… we’re sexualised all the time, even when it seems crazy.
“I feel really bad for these girls who are so hot because guys can’t handle it. You can’t have a conversation, everything skews sexual and you’re gonna be treated differently.”
The I Feel Pretty star went on to state women are left in “constant fear of violence” because of the staggering sexual assault figures, and insisted that men “don’t really understand” what women have to go through on a daily basis.
“1 in 6 women reports being sexually assaulted, but really it’s 1 in 3 women,” said Schumer. “So we’re not even like, is this gonna happen? We’re like, when? Like if I’m in New York and I take the subway – women, we run home at night. We’re afraid. We put the key between our two fingers, like we’re gonna be able to do something with that.”
The actress and comedian added: “We live in constant fear of violence. Just the feeling that we have all day, walking past a guy sitting alone on a bench. We just brace ourselves. And I think that’s something men don’t really understand.”
Schumer’s comments echo the findings of Jackson Katz, a social researcher and author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help (which was first published in 2006).
In the preface of his book, Katz explained how he used to make a point of asking all the men in his college class to share the steps they regularly take to prevent sexual assault.
“Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, ‘I stay out of prison,’” he shared. “This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, ‘Nothing. I don’t think about it.’”
However, to draw a stark comparison, Katz then posed the exact same question to the women in the room.
“Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine,” says Katz.
And their answers make for an extensive list:
- Hold my keys as a potential weapon.
- Look in the back seat of the car before getting in.
- Carry a cell phone.
- Don’t go jogging at night.
- Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights.
- Be careful not to drink too much.
- Don’t put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured.
- Own a big dog.
- Carry Mace or pepper spray.
- Have an unlisted phone number.
- Have a man’s voice on my answering machine.
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Don’t use parking garages.
- Don’t get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men.
- Vary my route home from work.
- Watch what I wear.
- Don’t use highway rest areas.
- Use a home alarm system.
- Don’t wear headphones when jogging.
- Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime.
- Don’t take a first-floor apartment.
- Go out in groups.
- Own a firearm.
- Meet men on first dates in public places.
- Make sure to have a car or cab fare.
- Don’t make eye contact with men on the street.
- Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.
As Schumer has made very clear, women are still taking these daily precautions, some 12 years after Katz’s social experiment was first carried out.
We can only hope that now, 12 months after the #MeToo movement went global, men are becoming more aware of the trials and tribulations faced by women – and doing their best to build trust with the women in their lives. Because it is only by reaching out, offering support and taking women’s words to heart that we can bring positive change into the world.