January 12, 2007

Sen. Stevens: 'Parenthood Is A Series Of Fallopian Tubes'

The Washington Post reports that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has "introduced a bill that would provide eight weeks of paid leave to federally employed women after childbirth and five days of paid leave for new fathers. The bill also would provide five days of paid leave to federal employees who adopt children."

Until he compared the Internet to "a series of tubes," Stevens was best known for his advocacy of a $223 million "bridge to nowhere," and for his unwavering loyalty to his constituents in the oil drilling industry.

Just the kind of forward-thinker you'd expect would be pushing for an 8:1 disparity in parental leave policy between men and women. Any more than that, though, and we might as well all be speakin' Ruskie.

[update: as my wife, who is now a federal employee, sagely points out, men's and women's parental leave benefits ARE equal right now at zero.]
Revisiting Parental Leave [washpost.com via wsj]
Men Don't Leave -- The Office [wsj via dt reader rob]


Eight weeks for moms and five days for dads? That is too hilarious!!!

In Canada, you can get one year (52 weeks) of paid leave (17 pregnancy leave and 35 weeks of parental leave), which is covered by unemployment insurance. And depending on the organization that you work for, a person can get their full salary for the 52 weeks. Being a guy, I don’t qualify for the pregnancy leave, but I am on parental leave for 32 weeks with my full salary and my job protected during my time off.

Yeah, the ratio sucks. But, the current "no leave" policy really sucks. So much for family values.

Just a clarfication to Andrew's post: the first part of the leave in Canada is actually maternity leave, not pregnancy leave. There are limits on how early in your pregnancy you can start the maternity portion of the leave, so it is a bit misleading to call it that. For example, if you were to have a high risk pregnancy, you would not be able to use this sort of leave until near the time of your delivery.

As great as we have it here in Canada though, the Scandinavians get 2 years (or is it now 3?), plus an extra 6 months per child in the case of multiple births -- twins an extra 6 months, triplets an extra year and so forth.

Signed another Canadian on maternity leave...

How about the disparity between adoptive and biological parents? I guess adopted newborns don't need that bonding time quite as much. I hear they're an adaptable lot.

I could get all bent out of shape with the disparity and, well, I am, but it IS better than nothing.

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