Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Maternity Leave is a Racket?

I have no love for Fox News, but this scene was an amazing display of feminism, even if it did appear on a typically anti-feminist station.

Host Megyn Kelly invited Michael Gallagher, a radio personality, to explain why he criticized her taking three months of maternity leave by calling it a «racket».

Here is the conversation:

She played a recording of Gallagher saying on air: Megyn's still on maternity leave, isn't she? Boy, what a racket that is.

MK: What a moronic thing to say.
MG: Well, I mean, let's— Are you going to disagree that's there a diff—
MK: Oh, you're standing by? Are you doubling down? No, no, no, no, no, are you not taking those remarks back? Is maternity leave, according to you, a racket?
MG: Well, do men get maternity leaves?
MK: Guess what honey? Yes, they do. It's called Family Medical Leave Act. If men would like to take three months off to take care of their newborn baby, they can.
MG: OK. Let me give you an explanation. I was drinking that day.

Kelly ends the clip by listing some of the risks associated with not taking time to rest and bond with your baby after delivery. She even criticizes the US for being the developed country with the least developed maternity leave policies. I think Gallagher represents a certain sector of Americans who really believe women are being lazy or unprofessional by taking paid leave time after giving birth. They probably also think giving space for women to breastfeed at work is a racket. Or that increasing maternity leave to six months, so women can more easily breastfeed for the recommended amount of time, would be insane.

And I love how she shut down his ridiculous logic that men don´t get to take leave time. Yes, they do, and I support that, but even if they didn´t get to - men also don´t gestate and don´t give birth which includes bleeding, stretching and sometimes even a surgery to recover from. He basically just being a dick, (sorry Mom) and she called him on it. Good for her. And good for Fox for giving her a platform to address the issue.

Some less triumphant moments on Fox:

The Office of Majority Health (Glenn Beck on the Office of Minority Health)
Why Does this Man Still Have a Job? (Bill O´Reilly on Birth Control)

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