The woman took a stand against the unfair rules regarding maternity leave in the States, which leaves parents at the mercy of corporations.
Parenthood is a difficult job to undertake, especially when an individual has no support whatsoever from their country. This is exactly what Anna Gantt believes parents in America are suffering from because of the government's affinity with capitalism.
In her TikTok video, she explains how it is unempathetic to expect parents to leave their six-week-old kid and come back to work in order to maintain their livelihood. She also points out the pressure it puts on the parent's mental and physical wellbeing. The rant touches on how horrible parents have it in America compared to other countries in terms of paid maternity leave.
In the video, Gantt is out on a walk with her newborn baby and dog. She goes on a rant that having gone through the experience herself, she cannot fathom how mothers are expected to leave their children and join the workforce mere weeks after giving birth. Though she is a model and does not have any compulsion like that, the physical discomfort she is feeling right now makes her feel sad about fellow mothers who would have to work through it for a paycheck. She explains that it is only after six weeks that she has the energy and mobility to take a walk, and cannot even think of working full-time.
Gantt's next point was how the rules in place do not include any care for children. She criticized the system of maternity leave in America and said, “I'm six weeks postpartum with my baby, and there's no way on earth I would be going back to work right now. The people who decided that it is okay to leave an infant at a daycare at six weeks old — jail.” She adds that in the state where she lives, Georgia, it is illegal to separate a puppy or kitten from their mothers before they are 8 weeks old. This gets her to question, “So how is it okay to leave a human at six weeks old?”
Moreover, the physical challenges of a postpartum body are also huge and are very difficult to manage with a full-fledged working life. Despite repeated efforts, the stance on maternity leave has not been changed by the authorities. There is no mandate for paternity leave, it is up to the employers whether they want to offer the leave or not. Only 55% of employers and 45% of businesses give paid paternity leave, as per Investopedia. More than half of American parents find themselves rushing to their workplace after giving birth, in a sensitive physical and mental state. Gantt wants to raise her voice for such parents.
The model expressed her disbelief at the government's attitude by saying, “And I can't imagine being in the position where you must go back to work to survive, in order to provide for your family with dual income, or if your partner's not working and you're the one that's responsible, that must be awful. I thankfully work from home, but hitting six weeks and knowing that this is when most women return to work here in the United States is insanity.”
She goes on to compare the situation in America with that of other countries where parental leave is much more expansive. “My friends in other countries are guaranteed six months paid leave, up to a year, two years. I have a friend who just got two years paid maternity leave.” In contrast to the dismal conditions in America, the average paid maternity leave is 16 weeks all over the world.
The comment section wholeheartedly agreed with Gantt. @nadiagorman67 brought to attention how mothers even have to work till they give birth, "Not to mention these women work until they go into labor, literally. The nurses I work with complete their shifts and go downstairs to give birth." @storm.iggy describes the state of maternity leave in Norway, "In Norway, we have 49 weeks of parent leave at 100% pay. And everyone wears running glasses (we call them fast-shades)."