mater mea - Celebrating Motherhood and Women of Color

Poet Cleo Wade Has The Perfect Clapback For Anyone Who Thinks Pregnant Women Can’t Have Careers

Photo credit: Today Show

Photo credit: Today Show

Poet Cleo Wade Has The Perfect Clapback For Anyone Who Thinks Pregnant Women Can’t Have Careers

Words: mater mea

“A woman wanting to exercise her freedom to start a family when or if she chooses to is not the problem.”

Cleo Wade is a poet, artist, activist, and author of Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom For A Better Life and the upcoming Where to Begin.

Her brand of heart-first affirmations—which she shares with her 525k+ followers on Instagram—are perfect for this new age of self-care we’re in and have even earned her the nickname “Millennial Oprah.”

She’s also a first-time mom-to-be! Cleo announced yesterday that she and her screenwriter boyfriend Simon David Kinberg are expecting their first child together.

The announcement was met with a who’s who of celebrities and fans—including author and former Teen Vogue editor in chief Elaine Welteroth, Essence global beauty director Julee Wilson, and actress Storm Reid—wishing her well.

But, as always, there was one naysayer who had the nerve to open Instagram, see Cleo’s happy news, and fix their thumbs to write this especially egregious comment:

“I see all these young women really hitting their stride professionally and then getting pregnant right at a high point. I don’t get that. I never will.”

Bruh… Seriously?

While the rest of us were like…

… Cleo responded with a grace that got this clown all the way together, while giving pregnant women everywhere a template for putting people who feel this way in their place.

cleo-wade-pregnancy-announcement.png

Let’s break this perfectly executed clapback down.


“Hi! Thanks for your comment. The good news is (and I say this with love & respect): It’s none of your business!”


Sis could’ve left it there. It’s true—a woman’s choice to have (or not have) a baby is no one’s business. But what she says next is Italian-chef-kiss perfection.


“But while we’re on the subject of things we don’t get, here’s some things I don’t get.”


Here’s where you got her f****d up.


“I don’t get why women don’t get equal pay for equal work.”


Facts: Black women make $0.61 to every dollar a white man makes, and as the wage gap stands today, a Black woman who works for 40 years will lose $946,120 during that span, according to the National Women’s Law Center


“I don’t get why women are almost always responsible for being the main caregivers in households across America but our country has yet to, at the federal level, legally standardize fair workplace policies like paid leave for new parents and caregivers of sick family members.”


“ I don’t get why all women don’t have access to quality affordable healthcare so they can safely have their children without it putting them into bankruptcy.”

“And last but not least, I don’t get why women’s reproductive rights are constantly under attack—I am actually completely unclear as to why anyone believes the government should have any say in when or IF a woman should choose to start [a] family.”

“Just a few things I don’t get, and never will. Also—I am not at a high point, I am not having a moment—I am having a life—one that includes a career and family in ways that I choose and design.”

Ok, random troll? Or your well-meaning auntie, co-worker, stranger on the subway, or whoever else would say this without going after the systems that actually make it so hard for moms to have babies, take care of their families, and have a career.

“A woman wanting to exercise her freedom to start a family when or if she chooses to is not the problem,” Cleo writes in a caption addressing the snarky comment, “the multitude of ways society oppressed her along the way is the problem. Also trust and believe, a man’s professional drive or ability to thrive at work is never questioned based on the reproductive choices he is making in his personal life.”

Congratulations, Cleo, on your pregnancy and your impeccable clapback.