"How far along are you?" "Oh, about 260 weeks!"
With all the focus on our current administration threatening to take away the rights we all thought we’d already fought for and won for good, public attention to ongoing fights to making American lives better have been pushed to the wayside a bit. Luckily there are organizations out there whose entire purpose is fighting to make things better for everyone and they haven’t lost sight of the fact that, while America before Trump was moving towards greater equality, things weren’t perfect then either. Enter, The National Partnership for Women and Families.
The National Partnership
The National Partnership has been fighting to make life easier for working parents since 1971 and, in spite of the pressing concerns over the retraction of our currently held civil liberties, they’re pushing forward in their mission. Yesterday, the National Partnership released a new PSA designed to highlight the absurdity of America’s parental leave policy (or lack there-of).
The parody video follows Lauren, a woman whose company does not offer paid maternity leave and who cannot afford to take off without pay. A narrator explains that, since Lauren cannot afford to take the time off right now—and since her husband is out of time-off at his job—she’s opted to remain pregnant until she can accrue the necessary amount of time off to properly care for her child… Which is about five years.
Aside from the fact that it’s alarming enough that it would take the average worker five years to secure enough paid time off to support new parenthood, the videos premise highlights the biggest flaws in our current system.
Surreal Concept, Grounded Message
Sure, the premise is absurd. But that’s the point. You can’t choose to give birth when it’s convenient for you. That baby is coming whether you can afford to take the time off or not. Yes, ideally women would only have babies when they’re fully prepared, but the video’s surreal concept just proves the flawed logic in opposing paid parental leave—not to mention the hypocrisy.
Just kidding, I always mention the hypocrisy.
Those against a federal law about paid maternity leave usually say “well, they just shouldn’t get pregnant in the first place if they aren’t ready,” but there’s a fun paradox at work—the people who oppose paid leave for new parents tend to be the same people who oppose Planned Parenthood, comprehensive sex education, and anything else that would help a woman plan to have kids at a time that is convenient for her.
Isn’t that fun?