In response to women’s lack of maternity care, Michelle Wolf proposed a radical solution: Women should stop being “too cute about the stuff that happens to our bodies," and people should call babies “natural disasters” instead of “miracles,” Wolf declared to an packed crowd Tuesday in Cahn Auditorium.
“It’s really hard for women to get maternity care, which is kind of crazy,” Wolf said. “Having a baby is not a miracle, it’s a natural disaster, and we need to describe it like one so that we get the healthcare that we deserve.”
Wolf, the 2018 fall speaker for A&O Productions, touched on a wide range of topics, from healthcare to body positivity to abortion.
Wolf has served as a writing supervisor and performer on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and an on-air contributor and writer for “The Daily Show” with Trevor Noah. Last year, Wolf’s first hour-long stand-up special, “Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady,” premiered on HBO, and this year, her remarks at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner made waves that garnered national attention for her pointed remarks regarding Trump, his supporters, Ivanka Trump and Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Wolf currently serves as the host and executive producer of the Netflix original “The Break with Michelle Wolf.”
McCormick freshman Seth May was pleasantly surprised by the show.
“It was maybe a bit more vulgar than I expected, but it was still funny and targeted to the audience,” May said. “Since she talked at the correspondents' dinner, she’s sort of high-profile,” May said.
Wolf also touched on maternity, saying, “Every mom is too nice, and we’re so mean to them. Everyone is so mean to their mom.” In light of Brett Kavanaugh’s first day as a Supreme Court Justice, Wolf related her discussion of moms to Brett Kavanaugh.
“Moms make Brett Kavanaugh, they make someone who just cries all of the time, and the whole time they’re thinking, ‘My mom still loves me. No matter what happens, my mom still loves me.’ That’s why moms need to leave,” Wolf said.
In her rapid-fire, brash comedic style, Wolf switched topics to abortion, saying, “This is going to be an abortion joke, put on your hats.” Wolf’s discussion of shame, abortion and playing God elicited applause and laughter from the crowd.
“Plenty of people feel like you should feel shame having an abortion, you don’t have to feel ashamed. I mean, it’s your body, you can feel however you want. You know how my abortion made me feel? Very powerful. You know how people say that you can’t play God?”
During a transition to her qualms with body positivity, Wolf remarked, “There’s a lot of women’s issues right now. I don’t know if these are new issues, or maybe it’s just the first time that we’re allowed to talk about them, probably that one.”
“We’re going too far with this body positivity nonsense,” Wolf said. “The real reason that I hate the body positivity stuff is that it means that we’re still valuing women on beauty, that’s what we should be getting away from.”
“Right now we are in the midst of this female revolution, and that’s great, but I think that we have to be careful about some of the stuff we’re doing. A lot of the things that I hear right now are about how men and women are the same. We’re not the same, we need different things, we have different strengths and weaknesses. I don’t want the same healthcare as a man,” Wolf said. “We shouldn’t be trying to be thought of the same as men, we should be getting society to value women and the things that we’re good at.”
A necessary part of the female revolution, Wolf says, is coming to terms with the wrongdoing of white women.
“White men are getting in trouble, not saying that it’s not deserved, it is,” Wolf said. “We blame a lot on white men, but I think that white women, it’s our turn to admit that we are also part of the problem.”
In the face of the discomfort that women face, even during more mundane encounters like “manspreading,” Wolf had one piece of advice:
“Bitch, if you want power, you’ve got to take power.”