Today, I have a new reason to love Amy Schumer even more.
With beautiful trademark honesty, in an interview with Marie Claire, she’s revealed her first sexual experience wasn’t consensual.
The realisation only dawned on her, she says, when she was reading over old journals, working on her memoir.
“My first sexual experience was not a good one,” she says in the interview. “When it happened, I wrote about it almost like a throwaway. It was like, and then I looked down and realised he was inside me.’ He was saying, ‘I’m so sorry’ and ‘I can’t believe I did this.’”
When asked whether she would like to punish the man she replies no, “this was 17 years ago” and he’s no longer in her life.
— Daily Mail Femail (@Femail) July 14, 2016
It’s what she says next that really resonates with me; she doesn’t consider herself a victim. Amy can bravely reveal her experience of non-consensual sex, but she doesn’t have to see consider herself a victim of rape. Similarly, I’m open about being in abusive relationships but I will never say I’ve been the victim of domestic violence. Why do I want to give someone so much power? To me, that’s a very different headspace. It’s not how I want to perceive myself.
I choose to be open about being in abusive relationships because I firmly believe speaking out will help others. That doesn’t mean my experience is the same as anyone else’s, my psychological reaction to it has been identical, or that I choose to use the same words to describe it. My internal dialogue is unique.
I’ve made peace with my experiences, in my own way, and that is absolutely my right. My experience, my headspace, my choice.
Watch: Twitter users share their experience of sexism and harassment. Post continues after video.
I feel defiant when I say, ‘My dark experiences don’t define me’. I have lived through dark chapters of DV but they aren’t my entire novel. I have other chapters I’m very proud of; they gleam and glisten with laughter, they twinkle and sparkle with smiles, success, achievements and happiness.
I choose not to use the word ‘victim’ because it mentally assigns power to someone else who has already selfishly stolen that power. Having already lost power at various times in my life, I’m fiercely protective of it now.