Sunday, September 20, 2015
Newspaper letters-to-editor question the selfishness behind some voices in the paid parental leave debate
Lela Moore has a compendium of reader reactions in the New York Times to a story of a father who had sued his employer for paid paternity leave. This was the case of Josh Levs at CNN (Time Warner), explained by Lovs in his own blog.
Some readers point out that mothers need time to recover biologically from childbirth that fathers don’t need. Others note that we have simply become too self-centered and narrow in our notions of equality, unwilling to let others have a benefit that we can’t use.
But it does seem that the paid-family leave debate ultimately contradicts individualistic ideas of equality and libertarianism. Ultimately, those who don’t have children or other family responsibilities (like caring for elderly parents) are expected to sacrifice for those who do. And none of us can “choose” to get out of eldercare, something that belongs in the debate, as I found out last decade.
Ironically, the refugee crisis could turn all of this bickering on its head. The paid family and parental leave debate reminds one of the Parable of the Vineyards, the subject of a sermon this morning.