Amy Schumer dug deeper with Oprah Winfrey during a chat on the talk show host’s SuperSoul Conversation Wednesday night, finally dropping the “G” from her previously self-labeled “grape.”
Both Schumer and Winfrey agreed that part of the issue with labelling a rape a rape is that as children, women are so often taught that rapists are men “popping out from a bush … some villain.”
“[Grownups] don’t say, ‘It’s probably going to be some guy you know really well,’” Schumer said during the interview. “‘It could be your husband. It could be your friend.’”
The comedienne explained that she always used her “grape” as a punchline during her stand-up routines to try to “make people laugh while they learned.” The reality of the situation, however, is that the assault caused her confusion and mental stress in the years following.
“He was my boyfriend,” she said. “I loved him. I had to comfort him. I also felt really angry, which was just a feeling I had. I felt really angry at him. It’s like 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 sort of no place for that anger. But I felt I wanted to comfort him because he felt so bad and he felt so worried, and I just tried to push my anger down.”
Schumer previously detailed the encounter in an interview with Marie Claire back in 2016, detailing how her boyfriend at the time had penetrated her while she was asleep. On Wednesday’s show, she reckoned with the fact that even though her boyfriend felt bad about what he’d done immediately afterward (“The first thing he said was, ‘I thought you knew,’” she said), it still didn’t make the violation okay.
“There is the desire to label things so we can store it somewhere and put it away,” she said when Winfrey pressed her to address the incident full-on. “I personally feel like I lost my virginity through rape. I didn’t consent, we hadn’t discussed it, we weren’t there in our relationship. We weren’t at that moment. And we talked about things, we were open with each other.”
Schumer has spoken out about her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, particularly in response to sexual misconduct allegations against fellow comedian Aziz Ansari, as detailed in an article on Babe.net this past January.
“It’s about expressing and showing women that that behaviour is not okay and not only can you leave, but you need to leave,” Schumer told Katie Couric on the former TV anchor’s podcast at the time. “Because then the women who come after you, you’re leaving a mark for them too.”
Watch Schumer's interview with Winfrey below.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.
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