Amy Schumer and Howard Stern are both sages of transparency. Both comedians continually try to access the heart of the matter, and both have won not just fans but followers for their efforts — the difference being the respect, loyalty and dedication shown the performers’ lives and careers. Schumer and Stern are often seen as doing more than merely entertaining — they help make sense of the world with their straight talk. They let their followers know they’re not alone in thinking there’s an awful lot of bulls*it in the world, that it’s a hard world to navigate. That Stern and Schumer manage to do this while being damn funny is the cherry-flavored medicine they give out along with their grim diagnosis.
So it’s only natural — but still a wonder — that Schumer, who exposes her life to the public almost as a public service, would take advantage of the increasingly sensitive Stern platform to talk candidly about being sexually abused. A terribly large percentage of women share this horrible experience, and in talking about it so honestly to Stern’s mostly male audience Schumer delivers a message that doesn’t play a lot on this channel. There’s nothing new about Schumer’s courage in addressing what happened to her: she’s talked about her “grape” — a category she calls “gray area rape” — in her stand up routine and in her book, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. But talking about it with Stern is another step beyond, bringing this message where it perhaps too rarely travels. Taking the rigid, problematic black-and-white boundaries out of a difficult subject, Schumer told Stern:
“Look, I didn’t have a perfect rape, but my virginity was taken from me, and it was not in a cool way.”
“I think it’s important to talk about because it’s made me feel less alone when other women have come forward about being sexually assaulted.”
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— Stern Show (@sternshow) August 23, 2016