Men taking weeks of paternity leave are “absolutely ridiculous”, according to curator Kimberly Klacik.
Klacik, who unsuccessfully ran for Maryland’s 7th congressional district in two separate elections in 2020, tweeted monday“Do you remember when the men who served our country would go home to see their child born and then leave for war within 48 hours? These children were doing well.”
The Red Renaissance PAC founder said the context of her tweet was due to reading a news story about the US Secretary of Transportation. Pete Buttigieg potential candidate for the presidency in 2024.
“If the DNC has to resort to the guy who was sitting at home on paternity leave when we had serious supply chain issues, they’re in full doo-doo,” Klacik wrote. “The Transport Secretary literally sat at home on paternity leave during a supply chain crisis.”
This is not the first time the Tories have mentioned Buttigieg and paternity leave in talking points. Last year, an outspoken Conservative Candace Owens tweeted that his paternity leave was “disgustingly pathetic”, adding that the “little boy” should be relieved of his duties.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), provides certain U.S. employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. However, tens of millions of Americans are not covered by FMLA due to certain employment conditions, such as the size of the companies or the number of hours worked before requesting leave.
“The FMLA is designed to help employees balance work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for certain family and medical reasons,” the department says. “It also seeks to take into account the legitimate interests of employers and to promote equal employment opportunities for men and women.”
A policy brief released by the DOL, titled “Why Parental Leave for Fathers is So Important for Working Families,” reports: About 2 million dads were stay-at-home dads in 2012 and nine U.S. dads out of ten took time off work for the birth or adoption of a child.
However, seven of the 10 fathers took 10 or fewer days off as part of their leave.
“Even when men have access to paid time off, they can still cut their time off to avoid being perceived as less dedicated employees,” the report says. “A recent survey of highly trained professional fathers — who had more access to paid parental leave than most working Americans — found that a substantial portion were taking less than all of the paid leave available.”
While a few states and private companies offer paid leave, the United States currently does not have a national paternity or maternity leave policy.
According to the Fatherly website, only five states as of November 2021 mandated paid parental leave:
- New York State,
- New Jersey,
- Rhode Island and
- Washington, DC also had laws in place.
The Baby Center website reports that according to one study, less than 5% of American dads took two or more weeks of paid time off after welcoming a new baby. Those who refused time off cited fear of reprisal or discrimination from employers; a potentially negative effect on salary or professional trajectories; or simply not being able to afford a temporary lack of income, especially if their female partners are already taking unpaid maternity leave.
Klacik’s tweet was not met with glowing approval.
“No. It’s a terrible catch”, a Twitter the user responded. “If women can get tons of maternity leave, men can get it too. It’s our child too. I thought an extra pair of hands would be welcome in the most difficult times to raise a child.”
“Remember when that same dad came back from the war with PTSD and was too ‘manly’ to get help, and that resulted in alcohol, drugs, divorce or suicide? ” said another user. “These kids probably did okay, huh?”
One user used Klacik’s own words against her, referencing a 2020 tweet in which Klacik said, “If Baltimore really wanted to do something about crime/violence, leaders would address fatherless homes. Free up dads serving time for minor drug offenses & provide incentives for dads who live at home with their children. Taxpayers’ money is well spent!”
Klacik’s recent tweet too went viral on Redditwhere it was upvoted over 30,000 times.
“Men or children weren’t ‘well’,” one Redditor said of the link between paternity leave and the war. “Many children grew up without a father or if he was lucky enough to return, so many of them suffered in silence for the rest of their lives turning to alcohol, drugs or violence in an attempt to cope with reintegration into a society that did not understand what they had crossed.”
Penn State University recently published a study of post-9/11 veteran fathers that looked at factors associated with “positive parenting” — such as providing a healthy environment, being a good example, and meeting the emotional needs of parents. children.
The data noted that veteran fathers who reported positive social functioning within their community were 61% more likely to engage in positive parenting, or more than those who reported lower social functioning.
Newsweek has reached out to Klacik for comment.
One dad, however, took to the internet to admit that he “hates” fatherhoodand internet was not supportive.
And an teacher fresh out of maternity was bombarded with questions from her young students in a fun clip.