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Should Men Be Expected to Take Maternity Leave? [POLL]

Getty Images, Dan Kitwood

My wife recently had a baby and my employer has been really cool. My wife has tons of paid time off saved up. So my family is good, but I understand a lot of feminists believe employers should give men maternity leave, and the men should use it. What do you think?

Maternity leave is often considered a “women’s issue” — even a women’s rights issue.

Why is that? It’s not a woman thing, it’s a child thing and the child has two parents.

Similarly, it usually falls on working women to find child care. As a result, women often ask employers or the government to help them afford it. I can attest that child care is really expensive, and maybe there should be employer-sponsored day care, but why is that a woman’s responsibility?

Now that we have two kids, it’s my job to find, pay for, and commute to my daughter’s day care. My wife will do the same for our son. We’ll split that equally.

It seems government is often called upon to do more for single mothers. Why isn’t society demanding more of the fathers?

That leads me to an argument I had with a coworker today. If a society (like ours) demands equal rights and opportunities for women, why should there be special welfare programs for women like WIC, subsidized day care, maternity leave, etc.? If it’s needed for children, it should be a parent program. If it’s needed for mothers, are we making the fathers step up first?

What do you think?

Bottom line is I want my daughter to be able to do whatever she wants with NO LIMITATIONS. If she wants to be president, she can be president. If she wants to be a homemaker, she can be a homemaker. If she wants to be a professional football player, I want her to be able to. Technically, the law says she can be all those things. But will she really be able to? I just want that to be a reality for her.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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