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We're one of the only countries where new mothers don't get paid time off. John Oliver looks at why.

"Paid maternity leave is a bit like having hockey on in the background at a bar. It's not hurting anyone, and a couple of people are actually really into it."

We're one of the only countries where new mothers don't get paid time off. John Oliver looks at why.

In his latest in a long line of epic segments, John Oliver made the case for paid family leave on "Last Week Tonight."

The whole thing is worth watching, but if you don't have the 12 minutes to do so, I've recapped it below.

The United States is one of very few countries in the world without any form of paid time off for new mothers.


Here in the U.S., new mothers are not guaranteed any paid time off after giving birth. However, they are able to take unpaid time off. While that's better than nothing, not all mothers can afford to forgo a paycheck, especially with a newborn.

As part of the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees can take that unpaid time off — if they meet some rather restrictive criteria.

FMLA only applies to people who have worked for the same employer for 12 months, have logged at least 1,250 hours in the past year (an average of at least 24 hours per week), and work for a company with more than 50 employees within 75 miles of the worker's location.

Also, this doesn't apply to contractors, freelancers, or employees at small businesses (fewer than 50 workers).

In 2013, NPR reported that this leaves roughly 40% of the workforce without even FMLA coverage.

Family leave is important to fathers, too. Sadly, the idea that women take care of the children while men work has made the prospect of paternity leave a challenge.

Because, you know, in some families, both parents work. In others, the mother works while the father stays home. Or it's a family with two mothers. Or a family with two fathers. Or ... well, you get the picture.

Society's one-size-fits-all, old-school approach to parenting just doesn't cut it anymore.

As an example of what happens when a father dares to take leave from work to be with his newborn child, Oliver pointed to Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets.

At the very start of the 2014 season, Murphy's wife went into labor with the couple's first child, their son Noah. Like most loving husbands and fathers, Murphy wanted to be there. To do this, he had to miss the first two games of the season (out of 162, mind you).


Daniel Murphy giving up two games of 162 doesn't seem like asking too much. Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images.

Critics came out in full force to criticize Murphy, including former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason and radio talk show host Mike Francesca.

Murphy handled it as well as could be expected. He even spoke at the White House Working Families Summit.

"When Noah asks me one day, 'What happened? What was it like when I was born?' I could have answered 'Well, [Washington Nationals pitcher] Stephen Strasburg hung me a breaking ball that day, son, and I slammed it into the right-field corner.' But I think it's going to go so much further in that I'm the one who cut his umbilical cord. And long after they tell me that I'm not good enough to play professional baseball anymore, I'll be a father. And I'll be a husband. So that was a reason on the front end that I wanted to be there for my wife and for my son." — Daniel Murphy

But let's get down to the real question: Why do we have such a flawed system? Simply put: lobbyists and legislators.

Oliver broke it down, showing what debates on the floor of the House of Representatives looked like in 1993 as FMLA was being discussed.

Now mind you, this was just to get the current, restrictive, 12 weeks of unpaid leave system in place. We haven't even touched on paid leave.

Did FMLA destroy the American economy as Reps. Ewing, Pryce, and DeLay predicted? No.

Other things may have but not FMLA.

What happens to the economy when we actually take it to the next level — paid leave? Pretty much nothing.

Like the FMLA, a California law offering partial paid leave managed to not destroy the state's economy.

Oliver sums it up best, pointing out the hypocrisy of being overtly, publicly "pro-mom" but then folding when it matters most.

via USO

Army Capt. Justin Meredith used the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program to read to his son and family while deployed in the Middle East.

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One of the biggest challenges deployed service members face is the feeling of being separated from their families, especially when they have children. It's also very stressful for children to be away from parents who are deployed for long periods of time.

For the past four years, the USO has brought deployed service members and their families closer through a wonderful program that allows them to read together. The Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program gives deployed service members the ability to choose a book, read it on camera, then send both the recording and book to their child.

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Jimmy Fallon #MyFamilyIsWeird.

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is when we get the pleasure of spending way more time than we’re used to with our families. For those of us who’ve moved away from our immediate families, the holidays are a great time to reacquaint ourselves with old traditions and to realize that some of them may be a little strange.

Every family seems to have its own brand of weirdness. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who says that their family is completely normal.

On November 18, “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon gave everyone a reason to celebrate their unique families by asking them to share their favorite stories under #MyFamilyIsWeird. The responses were everything from odd holiday traditions to family members that may have a screw (or two!) loose.

Here are 17 of the funniest responses.

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Representative Nancy Mace on Fox News and CNN

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) is the subject of an embarrassing viral video where she downplays the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine on Fox News and then, an hour later, touts their importance on CNN.

On Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Mace made some misleading and dangerous statements about why “natural immunity” is better than immunity provided by vaccines.

“One thing the CDC and no policy maker at the federal level has done so far is take into account what natural immunity has done,” Mace said. “That may be what we’re seeing in Florida today. In some studies that I have read, natural immunity gives you 27 times more protection against future COVID infection than vaccination. We need to take all of the science into account and not selectively choosing what science to follow when we are making policy decisions.”

This may sound scientific, but Mace leaves out the part where to get “natural immunity,” you have to survive the virus first. The goal, for most people during a pandemic, is not to get sick in the first place.

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Cayce LaCorte explains why virginity doesn't exist.

The concept of virginity is a very loaded issue in American culture. If a woman loses hers when she's too young she can be slut-shamed. If a man remains a virgin for too long, he can be bullied for not being manly enough.

There is also a whole slew of religious mind games associated with virginity that can give people some serious psychological problems associated with sex.

Losing one's virginity has also been blown up way beyond proportion. It's often believed that it's a magical experience—it's usually not. Or that after having sex for the first time people can really start to enjoy living life—not the case.

What if we just dropped all of the stigmas surrounding virginity and instead, replaced them with healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Writer Cayce LaCorte is going viral on TikTok for the simple way she's taught her five daughters to think about virginity. They don't have to. LaCorte shared her parenting ideas on TikTok in response to mom-influencer Nevada Shareef's question: "Name something about the way you raised your kids that people think is weird but you think is healthy."

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