First appearing on the Season 3 premiere of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer on April 21, 2015, this sketch adopts the frame of a prescription drug commercial to tackle the issue of birth control access. The sketch opens with Amy completing a frenzied morning routine while the voiceover assures “busy” viewers that the “last thing [they] want to have to worry about” is their birth control. Despite this acknowledgment, the voiceover urges audiences (and Amy) to consult one male figure after another to “decide if birth control is right for you.” Viewers follow Amy as she confronts her doctor, her boss, her boss’ priest, a Boy Scout, and a mailman to get their take on her situation. From here, the voiceover asks viewers “why [they] insist on having sex for fun.” When Amy finally reaches the pharmacist, she learns that her prescription does not cover refills and that she must repeat the entire process over again next month. Once Amy leaves the pharmacy, a small boy approaches the counter, asking for a gun. The pharmacist happily complies, calling after the kid, “Remember, that’s your right.”
Amy’s lengthy quest for approval includes confrontations with her employer, her employer’s priest, and the Supreme Court, echoing the controversial 2014 Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case. After two Christian-owned companies challenged laws that employers provide insurance coverage for contraception, a Supreme Court ruled that corporations can bypass certain laws that violate the owners’ religious beliefs. The 5-to-4 ruling sparked a great deal of national dissent, with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asserting, “Contraceptive protection is something every woman must have access to control her own destiny.”
With the exception of the Supreme Court and the Internet, every resource Amy consults is male. What does this suggest?
In a May 2015 article for Bustle, Kadeen Griffiths lauds Amy Schumer’s “feminist brand of comedy.” What makes this piece feminist?
Amy Schumer is a comedian who often uses satire as a means of commentary or critique. How does satire function as a mode of commentary in this sketch? Do you think satire can be used as a tool to further gender equality?
How is the spoof offering potential commentary on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case?
At one point, the voiceover guides Amy to an “old Black man and an Asian boy playing chess in the park” for their input before asking them “how they became friends because there has just got to be a story there.” What does this say about diversity (or the lack thereof) in advertisements? Why include this joke in a video lampooning birth control coverage?
The piece ends on a scathing note, with the indifferent pharmacist handing a small boy a gun and assuring him, “Remember, that’s your right.” What is the effect of juxtaposing birth control coverage with gun control?