The 'Inside Amy Schumer' Prenatal Yoga Sketch Highlights Rape Culture With A Timely Look At Parenting
Though viewers can always count on this show to address feminist themes directly, the Inside Amy Schumer prenatal yoga sketch from the June 9 episode really knocked it out of the park on that front with its discussion of an especially timely, important topic. It starts out as straight-up hilarious — after concluding the yoga portion of the prenatal class, the instructor asks all the couples in the room how they're feeling. As it turns out, they all share the similar concern that their children will turn out to be "*ssholes." The parents-to-be have no shortage of contributions. What if their kid can't hang? What if he or she wants to participate in SantaCon? Amy tearfully admits she's worried that her son will be on a dating app and his profile picture will feature him wearing New Year's glasses with numbers on the eyes. (This particular concern prompts everyone in the room to visibly shudder.) However, the concerns eventually become more serious, and the Inside Amy Schumer sketch addresses rape culture in a way that will likely remind many viewers of the Brock Turner case, though the sketch is not actually about Turner and would have been written well before his case received national attention.
The calm, collected instructor repeatedly assures everyone in the room that these are valid concerns. But, one father takes it a step further by asking, "what if he does something totally unforgivable? Like rape or becoming a DJ?" The instructor firmly responds that fathers need to have a serious talk with their sons and tell them not to DJ, because it's unacceptable. The rape concern is literally the only issue raised that doesn't prompt nods or shudders of concern — in fact, it doesn't get any response or acknowledgement at all.
The sketch is painfully timely and topical — and, because it was undoubtedly written before the Stanford case made national news, it suggests that Brock Turner's father is not as much of an anomaly as we may want to hope. As many people know, Turner is a Stanford swimmer was sentenced to just six months in jail for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman. The incredibly light sentence sparked outrage, but people rightfully became even angrier when a letter written by Turner's father was released to the public. The letter focused solely on the impact the trial had on his son and describes the sexual assault as "20 minutes of action" rather than the violent crime he was convicted of.
The letter is so direct and shocking that it put a spotlight on rape culture that's impossible to ignore — and it has sparked plenty of important conversations that I'm grateful for. But Schumer's sketch about rape culture illustrates that these conversations are long overdue. Victim-blaming is nothing new and women are constantly made to feel like what they wear or how they act somehow puts them at fault for a crime committed by another person. However, it seems like parents and society as a whole spend far less time worrying about how to educate boys and men about rape and consent than they do reminding women not to drink heavily or wear revealing clothes. Although no parent wants to believe their child is capable of violence, these conversations need to happen — otherwise, it's hard to imagine that there will be much progress in preventing rape and holding perpetrators accountable.