How do you feel about this map?
Do you live in France, Sweden or Finland? Do you want to have kids? Great! Go for it! Do you live in the United States yet also have the hankering to lay down by the sweet fire and make a baby? Ha! You may want to reconsider.
Although the United States is deemed one of the most powerful and “greatest” (the words of many, including our President’s) countries in the world, it’s not exactly mom-friendly when it comes to taking time off after that baby has been born. In case you’re unclear as to just how unfriendly, you can look at that map above — what do you see? Oh, you see that the U.S. doesn’t force paid maternity leave. Did you just ask yourself: “What the fucking fuck?” Good. That’s exactly what you should have done.
If you’ve received paid maternity leave in the past, then give yourself a high-five. If you know it’s in your work contract, then give yourself a double high-five then take a shot to celebrate. But if you’re not sure as to your work’s policies or that it’s definitely not part of the deal, I suggest you find yourself a European partner with whom to procreate. Actually, let’s broaden that to the reality it is:
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE A BABY, YOU SHOULD LIVE PRETTY MUCH ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD BESIDES THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Are we clear on this?
While America, as a whole, is very gung-ho in believing it is far superior in all realms when it comes to everything, the truth is that we are not. I’d love to list out the facts about education and the rest of it, but since we should all be well aware of that aspect in which we fail miserably, let’s instead focus on the sexist reality that when it comes to providing for a new mother and her baby, the U.S. simply sucks. Even in what the States consider “third world” countries, women are allowed at least some paid maternity leave; we can’t say the same for us.
The United States is one of eight of 188 countries with policies on maternity leave that don’t make it mandatory. Pretty shitty for such a “progressive” country, no? Would we call this backward, ignorant or straight-up sexist? How much do you want to bet that if men could get pregnant there’d be six months mandatory paid maternity leave and a legal abortion clinic on every other block? This is not meant to get into the legality of abortion or the debate of it in other countries, but in looking at this map, how do you feel?
Oh, America. If you really think you have your shit together, you need to step up to the plate and join 2013… just like all those “third world” countries to which you look down your nose.