I haven’t watch [amazon_link id=”B000VNMMVG” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Saturday Night Live [/amazon_link] for a long time, as I can never get used to new cast members, and frankly, the skits are usually quite stupid. I do like Tina Fey (she was a great Sarah Palin) and hosting SNL while pregnant is perfect for Mother’s Day weekend. Apparently, Fey’s skit on natural, home birth has some advocates upset.
Lindsay Beyerstein writes on big think:
I had high hopes for Tina Fey’s Saturday Night Live send up of natural childbirth. Fey is very talented and natural childbirth subculture is ripe for parody, in part because some of its proponents take themselves so very seriously while being so cavalier about the evidence.
So, I was disappointed that the sketch was mostly an exercise in meanspirited hippie punching…
To underscore the miracles of homebirth, the instructor slides an implausibly large video tape into a VCR. (A nice sight gag, given the topic of the sketch.)
The tape rolls. The video features “Victor” and “Laylani” a couple giving birth in their yurt. Basically the video segment is a series jokes about how natural childbirth is for dirty hippies who don’t shave their pubic hair. (Admittedly, a clever mirkin/tutu placates the censors and makes for a decent sight gag.)
The rest of the sketch alternates between the subjects of the video being gross, alien, and crunchy (not to mention French Canadian) and the “normal” couples in the birthing class being disgusted. As Victor and Laylani make out in a prelude to orgasmic birth, Fey’s character exclaims, “Oh my god, that’s the dirtiest thing I’ve ever seen! And I’m talking about the bottoms of her feet!” By the end of the sketch, the sheer grossout factor has turned Fey’s character against natural birth…
Fey clearly went for the easy laughs; but at this point, dirty hippie jokes are as dated as patchouli.
Both of my children were born at home in a natural birth attended by qualified midwives. Do I take offense at Tina Fey’s skit? No. I personally think it is more of a parody of childbirth videos and classes than home birth per se. I’ve seen some pretty wacky birthing videos, and I never had the patience to attend a childbirth class.
Does this skit do anything to harm the movement towards more natural childbirth? I think not. Saturday Night Live has always been about making fun of current trends and events. Natural childbirth is such a trend. This is a good thing, and it certainly isn’t limited to hippies living in yurts.
Fey’s skit made me laugh. I am not offended.
Jessica Gottlieb says
I thought it was hysterical too, but I’m a Lamaze dropout.
Get Over Yourself says
This was HILARIOUS.
I did think it was more about the videos than home birth itself, and I thought it was funny.
I agree, I think it’s hilarious! I don’t think any less of natural child birth after watching it.
As a doula I nearly died laughing! In no way does this hurt the home birth or natural community.
Marianne Thai says
I don’t think this hurts natural birthing at all. I was cracking up the whole time! SNL takes it so extreme that it is funny.
What a stupid thing to be offended by. I agree that it more makes fun of birth videos than natural childbirth. It’s not like the skit ended by someone saying, “Well, sign me up for a c-section!” The offended woman is clearly a humorless, easily offended person.
Margaret W. says
I have tears rolling down my cheeks!!!
And really, like my husband said last night – If you’re going to not choose home birth because of one SNL skit, you have a pile of other issues you need to deal with!
I didn’t take it as an assault on homebirth at all. They were clearly making fun of the dated 70’s style natural birthing videos that unfortunately represent what most people think of when they think natural birth because it seems that most birthing classes are still showing them! The punchline of the whole skit was that though the birthing video looks like a relic, it’s current because the dads whip out their iPhones.
A great natural birthing video would be to show this skit and then say, natural birth isn’t for hippies, it’s for modern women and show mainstream women having natural hospital and home births.
Jeanne Ohm says
This is not a parody about a natural home-birth..it is one about the out-dated, absurd hospital birthing classes (they mention epidural at the beginning and ask the couples who is having a natural birth.
This skit was a hoot.
–Mom of 6 home-birthed kids, grandmother of three
SO FUNNY! Natural birthers are way too defensive some times. We need to lighten up and have a laugh! The meme below is pretty funny about home birth… 🙂