10 April 2014

Unite to fight!

Image courtesy Mother Jones

Very few things warm my jaded, curmudgeonly, contrarian heart like seeing people on the economic left and on the social right advancing a common cause against the establishment. But this is exactly what happened! Mother Jones, a flagship periodical of genuine left thought in the US, has long been voluble on the topic of worker rights, up to and including paid maternity leave. (The United States is one of six countries which does not have an explicit national paid maternity leave policy; the others being Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Swaziland and Samoa.)

And this week, The American Conservative published an article suggesting that the equal-pay campaign was actually using statistical sound-bites to paper over deeper structural inequalities in the American workforce designed to place women in particular at a disadvantage, including - you guessed it! - the absence of a paid maternity leave policy:
We need to remove the stigma that treats pregnant women and new mothers like pariahs, and the economic structures that punish childbearing... If we want to help women, we should start by fully understanding the complexity of the challenges they face.

The American Conservative in agreement with Mother Jones on a matter of (rightly considered) feminist, egalitarian and pro-family concern; I love it! (Old) Left and (Old) Right, unite to fight!

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