This Mother’s Day morning I awoke to a very angry “friend” on facebook berating me for supporting paid maternity leave in the U.S. Whilst trying to wish significant others Happy Mother’s Day she piled on her “opinions” and attacks on the mater. I guess she must have thought she won the debate as only those with trailer park debate skills tend to think they won such debates. After I finally gave an answer she unfriended me rather than continue the conversation she started.
I think the need for paid parental leave here in the U.S. needs to be addressed as we are only one of two countries that doesn’t offer it. Understand that for her this was an issue that centered on women’s reproductive and life choices. She had the nerve to even contend that men of reproductive age would face discrimination with such policies in place. The fact is that men have traditionally (and overwhelmingly) always received a “bread winner” wage. White, male, head of households were typically paid substantially more than single men and women in general. It’s the crux of patriarchy and demonstrated stunning ignorance on her part to dare suggest such discrimination against “family men” would happen. Frankly, it was disingenuous on her part.
So here is my response to this anti-Mother’s Day nonsense:
Does society exist merely to facilitate businesses? Aren’t women and children part of we the people to? Why should the life propagating aspects of humanity be unpaid work, or worse considered a burden? Similar to when health insurance rates were adjusted to be the same for women as men because all of society (and humanity actually) benefits from women’s reproductive aspects, paid maternity leave also benefits all the rest of society, including businesses. Furthermore, this practice is used to justify paying women less than men. Why should men get a pass on family responsibilites and child rearing? Why are we not demanding men be more rounded and stop sucking off the other gender by insisting women sacrifice their careers over men. BTW: I worked as a cleaning lady when my children were small. (Only because she specifically signaled out that occupation as one unworthy of paid maternity leave).
We live in what is called a society. We pay for all sorts of infrastructure and services that we will personally never use because it behooves us to. We educate other people’s children whether we will ever know them or not as well because living with ignorant people is miserable.
The compensation would be close to the typical male wage all the time and gets treated as if it would be too much to ask for females to be compensated for a few months of their working lives. I mean its a little more but wouldn’t even equal a year of a working woman’s lifetime’s work for most of us. Furthermore, its doubtful employers would screen young male applicants to see if they are potential new dads that might also take advantage of paid paternity leave policies, so It sounds like a cop out to me. Furthermore, companies that fire pregnant women tend to get sued, fined, and have to pay damages for their illegal behavior.
You see, the Civil rights Act of 1964 was not promulgated to create a bunch of new laws and regulations for businesses as is often portrayed by Libertarians and Tea Partiers. It was made to ensure that constitutional rights were respected in regards to the 14th Amendment per the Commerce Clause.
“Subsequent legislation expanded the role of the EEOC. Today, according to the U. S. Government Manual of 1998-99, the EEOC enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, apprenticeship, and all other terms and conditions of employment. Race, color, sex, creed, and age are now protected classes.”
Unless there is a specific health concern regarding hiring fertile women with plans to reproduce while employed in a particular position (i.e. work related exposure to toxic or radio active chemicals), it is illegal to discriminate against women of child bearing age in hiring or promotion. It is also illegal to discriminate against already pregnant women in hiring or promotion.
All the worn out welfare reform terminolgy and “choices” rhetoric that enabled America to declare war on its working mothers back during the 1990s ignored that women of child bearing age tend to be the segmant of the population that gets pregnant. It is therefore a matter of status to be fertile and/or pregnant person (See Roe v. Wade) and would be illegal then to discriminate against such people in hiring or promotion except in the case where its a bonafide job requirement or could endanger her or unborn child’s health.
Although, I tend to agree that most women consider it responsible to have fewer children if they can, women who get pregnant (with or without taking precautions) should not be treated as if they are obligated to terminate pregnancies for purposes of job or work eligibility. Parental status should not be a basis for hiring or promotion either.