Since I have been running this campaign I have experienced many negative comments from people – women and men in equal measure. The comments I receive fit into 3 categories:
- This is your choice so you should suffer the consequences.
- Businesses are negatively affected by maternity leave, there needs to be a more equitable share of the burden
- A woman’s priorities change when she becomes pregnant and this affects her productivity
There is a 4th category, I would probably just title this as ‘misogyny.’ The comments belonging to this category are not worth discussing.
I recently watched this terrific TED talk by Anne Marie Slaughter, ‘Can we Have it all?’ and, although it is not about this particular topic, I think the discussion about how we value care giving in our society is something we should consider when we debate the benefits or the negative impact maternity or parental leave has on society. Here it is: