Even a Swedish Cracker Company Knows U.S. Maternity Benefits Are a Joke

It would be funny if it weren’t so true.
Aug 6, 2014·
Nicole Pasulka is a writer and reporter who lives in New York City. She has written for Mother Jones, BuzzFeed, The Believer, and the New York Observer.

Americans should be outraged about the sad state of parental benefits in this country. New moms in Australia get 18 weeks of paid maternity leave; mothers in Iceland are paid 80 percent of their monthly salary for 90 days. Canadian parents get six months off (a mother and a father can share the time) after having a baby. But new parents in the United States? They’re guaranteed much less...like, nothing at all.

“We sent a man to the moon. What a waste, when we could have sent him to the playground, as our Swedish sisters do,” says the woman in this ad for Wasa crackers, who has stumbled on a dreamy Swedish yoga studio full of hot Nordic dads on parental leave.

American parental leave is now fodder for a cracker commercial. Apparently, this is what happens when a developed country can’t provide basic rights to parents.