Not to brag, but we definitely predicted that Amy Schumer would slay at the MTV Movie Awards, and she did, putting her signature style of unapologetic comedy to good use in skits and bits laden with sex-positive messaging.
Hosting for a largely teen/young-adult live audience, Schumer probably didn’t win any parental advisory awards, but we applaud her no-shame, #notsorry sex talk—particularly around the topic of female masturbation. In her opening monologue, Schumer joked that Magic Mike “really is magic because every time I watch that, two of my fingers disappear—so weird!” Later, a pre-filmed sketch had Schumer, Nikki Glaser and Amber Rose running into each other on a “girl’s night out” at the movies (note the apostrophe placement); ladies um, came for 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike XXL prepared with bottomless popcorn bowls, handheld massagers, a pony and even a washing machine.
While lady-jerking-off jokes have been getting a little more mainstream in pop culture—Broad City is all over it, Caitlin Moran’s hilarious novel How to Build a Girl opens with her teen-girl protagonist having a “wank” after a stressful day (read the first chapter here), and there was that scene on The Mindy Project—they’re still on the taboo side (even though men talk about it all. the. time). Schumer—who also made cracks last night about anal sex, her blow job skills and the Magic Mike cast “making it rain” in her Spanx—has talked about the double standards in the past: “I think that I get labelled a sex comic just because I’m a woman. I feel like a guy could get up here and literally pull his d— out and people would be like, ‘He’s a thinker.’”
Were Schumer’s jokes highbrow? Of course not, it’s the MTV Movie Awards! But if an audience of young people can laugh at an adult woman talking about masturbation, it may be nudging open an important dialogue. Less stigma, more empowerment, more liberation, one punch line at a time.