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Femisim and parternity rights

(23 Posts)
sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 21:38:13

AIBU to suggest we the feminists of MN take a slight brake from the gender equality bill and discuss the discrimination against fathers taking the " traditional maternal" role and how they are treated in the workplace.

I am slightly enraged (fucking fuming actually) that DP has asked for Monday morning off to take DS for his preschool, injections, his boss (female!) said "cant mum take care of that"

For context I am the bread winner, I consult so don't get time off work and as I am self employed anytime off means, no money.

"we are a modern family" (translated to a fair shared parental responsibility one) and I am really getting fed up of the snide remarks and responses from employers and just people in general!

Myself and my partner, when I got pregnant worked for the same company, I was running a multi million pound project being a subject matter expert, and was irreplaceable to the project really, he was doing a job that you could train another person quite easily to do In a few weeks. (From his own admission too)

We discussed shared leave with HR, I would get 90% pay he would get the statutory minimum. Bullshit really, I took the time off obviously ( it only 6 months as the pressure to return was horrible and I ended up with stress and PND, being hooked up to ECGs at 27 isn't fun!) and I know it cost them more in missed deadlines and project failures than what it would of don't to give DP a fair paternity wage.

I honestly think the gender pay gap starts to close with making it normal for fathers to have the option to take paternity at the same rate as their female counterparts on maternity.

As well as this we need a cultural shift on how fathers, as I do think there are many, who want to do more and take more time off for their children but would be viewed the same as the "women" who do it, so front want to risk it n their careers,

FirstShinyRobe Fri 10-Mar-17 21:42:31

Yes, the glass ceiling is really within the home.

Will massively get behind the campaign by fathers for more equality in this area. Do you have a link to a campaign? *

*yes, that is a bit snarky. Fed up with women having to come up with solutions for men who won't put in the hard yards.

sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 21:48:33

I honestly understand what you meen, hence my last paragraph, men don't want to be seen as "women".

It's hard for my DP as he only has me to talk to about it, if he stands up for the "women" he is seen as week by his bosses, he massively gets feminists, and is totally judged for doing so

sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 21:55:18

Fuck my auto correct and the 2 glasses of wine I have drunk! Hopefully people get the meaning and sentiment about my semi illiterate tipsy post?!

FirstShinyRobe Fri 10-Mar-17 21:58:40

Yeah, well he doesn't get everything on a plate. What happened with his boss?

sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 22:01:36

He has to take it off on holiday if he wants to go. He will only be an hour late. Cunt of a boss.

Really annoyed!

icy121 Fri 10-Mar-17 22:10:24

I saw this in my old job. Walked behind the FD and a senior (female, full time, live in nanny) bitch about a male finance middle manager who was stepping up at home and not being in the office as much.

Made me wonder if all this pay-gap/discrimination stuff is actually employers not liking it when their staff can't/won't give 100% commitment, and the gender doesn't really matter; if someone has a kid and prioritises it over their job, then, on the face of it, the employer is 'losing out' compared to employing someone who doesn't have any other commitments.

icy121 Fri 10-Mar-17 22:11:31

*a senior director with 2 kids I meant to say, with a live in nanny, so she could focus on work.

sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 22:17:30

I honestly think there is a negative view point towards men who want to "do what women do" as in be a pageant or god forbid the primary carer for a child!

Femisim isn't about men shaming or being snarky about men having more, it's about wanting equality and respect. (Wel, for me anyway!)

This is something we are not equal on, and I think many men, want this change, but don't have a platform to stand on. Forget about everything else, because if we can get parental leave right and shift this obsurd culture where women are always expected to be breeders/primary child careers then everyone can win.

FirstShinyRobe Fri 10-Mar-17 22:17:36

Has your husband been posting online to find out whether he has any avenues to pursue in terms of employment law? Or to garner ideas of what to put to his manager in terms of a compromise? He needs to approach this like women have in the past because, as you say, it should be a sex neutral issue.

And, yes, the pay gap may certainly be partly because mothers tend to be seen (at work & in the home) as the default parent. Dads need to fight too, if the family stuff is important to them too.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Fri 10-Mar-17 22:18:46

Totally behind you over being fuming about your DH's boss saying "can't mum take care of this?" (We were talking about similar issues in our workplace recently, where there's a lot of support for women who're part time and yet still some bosses who take the attitude towards men who're part time that it shows they're not committed to their jobs - and that's an attitude that needs to be changed).

Disagree on the leave thing, though. That's just par for the course. I went to DS's class assembly this morning. I had to book a couple of hours of leave to do it. That's the way the cookie crumbles. It doesn't do working parents of either sex any favours to expect time off for free for routine stuff (my workplace was fab over paid special leave when DS was in hospital - but school visits, doctor's appointments, D&V bugs - no, that would be taking the piss).

FirstShinyRobe Fri 10-Mar-17 22:20:35

They need to create the platform! I'm only being snarky because you seem to think that men should automatically benefit from the efforts of women who have spent decades fighting this battle. The door is ajar - they don't even have to break the lock.

LostSight Fri 10-Mar-17 22:22:15

The situation in Norway is very, very different. It's normal here for both parents to work flexibly around their children. Sad to hear things in the UK are still so poor in that area.

I think icy has a point though. I remember sitting in a hotel in Italy last year, listening to some loud British man pontificating about his work. The gist was that the only people he would consider promoting were those who would just put in all the extra hours without question. They had the 'right' attitude apparently. I sat there wondering how many wonderful, decent, hardworking people he was missing, just because he assumed the availability and willingness to be shafted in order to gain promotion was the ultimate criterion on which people should be judged.

AnneTwacky Fri 10-Mar-17 22:26:49

Totally agree re the "Can't mum do it?" retort but totally fair to have to use annual leave to sort out a non emergency.

PeridotPeridot Fri 10-Mar-17 22:37:17

You can't blame everything on men. Sometimes I think women can be worse in the attitude towards male/female roles, promoting gender inequality etc.

I'm pregnant with dc3 ATM. Dh and I are taking shared parental leave this time which I think is a great step forward. So we'll be using the whole 12 months of leave and swapping at 8 months, so he'll have the last 4 off.

We're having a bit of a baby boom ATM and there are 4 other women I work with all due around the same time so there's inevitably a lot of chat around leave dates and plans etc.

Every one of the 4 women has done a variation of a hmm face at me when I mention our plans for SPL. Two have said openly 'you must be crazy, I'd never let Dh take some of my mat leave!'. Another that she wouldn't be happy giving up some of her time with the baby just for her Dh to have time off work.

I get why SPL isn't for everyone...if the man is the main earner for instance it may not be financially sensible. I get 8 months full paid mat leave which is why we're splitting 8/4 months rather than 50/50 because there's just no sense in us exchanging two months of full paid leave for two months of statutory. Or if mum is bf...yeah easier to take the whole leave period.

But IME it's been the women not open to considering a more equal approach because they see it as their right to take a year off and are hence unwilling to share.

sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 22:39:39

If DP was an hour late because he went to the dentist, which he has been over the last 6 years, he could just work an hour extra another day.

But because he wants to take his son to the doctors for his jabs, it's a half days holiday.

He knows women in his team who have had similar appointments for their DCs and can just make up the time.

He is one of two males in a team of 6. The Kerr male is near retirement and has grown up children.

It real.t isn't fair on him

sharktoothcushion Fri 10-Mar-17 22:45:46

it's not about him finding his own platform, we are a partnership, he is every bit of a feminist as me on all honesty! He is not the problem, it's the culture. I am sure he would find great success starting his own group...

But "just in case he doesn't start a whole new movement online or wherever" how about we as fair people lend a bit of our platform, especially as it is mutually beneficial!

FirstShinyRobe Fri 10-Mar-17 23:03:15

If women in the team have had the opportunity to do differently, then there's his argument. Yes, he needs to fight, but that's what happens! We all have to fight in corporate scenarios.

We're not there yet in terms of equality, for either sex. So he can choose to challenge if he wants. It's not exactly throwing yourself in front of the King's horse, is it?

Steamgirl Fri 10-Mar-17 23:15:15

Equal paternity rights - and men taking them being the norm - would be a key factor in closing the pay gap and variance in opportunities for women.

Fwiw I'm a single parent now but in the early years I was the bread winner while ex-dh was sahd. He struggled with the poor attitudes of WOMEN at toddler groups etc and I was judged in and out of work by other women for working full time when my dc were small. Even ex MIL (who married a violent abusive man to be stepfather to her children so she didn't have to work) would comment about this. My ex-dh left me saying one of the reasons our marriage failed was my placing my career above family ... I think that may have been the voice of his poison mother.

Personally, I'm now proud to be able to support my dc fully and without financial help from their father. I'm also very lucky that I work for an excellent company that allows me to prioritise my family when needed and which expects - and gets - hard work judged by results not hours in the building.

whatsfair Sat 11-Mar-17 00:24:02

I second everything said by firstshinyrobe
If men started pushing back to employers for themselves and insisting on equal paternity rights they would get them.
Women have enough on our plates fighting for basic equality for ourselves. Time for the blokes to buckle up and get stuck in for something that affects them. Let's be honest, it's only when men become personally invested in the fight for sexual equality that anything is going to change, much as I loathe that being the case.

sashh Sat 11-Mar-17 06:15:12

*DP has asked for Monday morning off to take DS for his preschool, injections, his boss (female!) said "cant mum take care of that"

And what was his response?

KateDaniels2 Sat 11-Mar-17 06:39:18

I agree with posters that say that attitudes do need to change, even in the home.

Like pp said, most women i know are horrified at tge thought of splitting mat leave. Quite a few women (including my sil) really let me know what they thought of me when i returned to work full time after my second. It wasnt pleasant.

Even on here you see the occasional thread about the man being a sahp. People often warn the OP that her husband may get the kids if they divorce. But women have been in that position for years. It seems ok for women to be the main carers in divorce, but not the other way round.

I also agree that its up to your dh to challenge his boss. If i want a few hours off for the kids, i can work it back. The same goes for my male collegue.

The door is open for him, but he has to open it. Its not going to be handed to him on a plate. We all have to fight to get pur point across, sometimes. Thats life. Him being a feminist should mean that he is aware of how big our fight has been and still is. He should be aware that sometimes we all have to fight for fairness and join in.

HilairHilair Sat 11-Mar-17 08:59:38

we the feminists of MN take a slight brake from the gender equality bill and discuss the discrimination against fathers

Oh great, another job to put on my To Do list.

But seriously, this won't happen until men start to demand recognition for their parenting - when they do it ...

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