Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 28th May 2012 19:25 UTC
In the News This topic comes up quite a lot on technology websites, but I generally try to steer clear from it as much as possible, since I'm not the one to talk about it (you know, with me being a man and all that), however, I feel it might be a good idea to just get my opinion out there and be done with it. The topic of women in IT is a hot-button issue, so let me just go out guns blazing: assuming women need special treatment, help, protection, and affirmative action is just as insulting and degrading as outright claiming women have no place in IT - maybe even more so.
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RE[2]: Hmh.
by WereCatf on Wed 30th May 2012 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmh."
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I globally agree with your post, but can't agree with this part of your reasoning. Sure, men can't get pregnant themselves, but they can get others pregnant, and when they knowingly do it to someone who trusts them, I believe it's their moral responsibility to make sure that the event doesn't ruin the professional life of the mother.


It's not really up to the father: a woman is the one who has to carry the child for 9 months with all the negative side-effects that entails and which affect job-performance, a woman is the one who has to breast-feed the child since most men cannot do that, and if the parent is responsible she won't put the child in daycare for atleast the first 3 years.

After the 3 years the father could choose to stay at home with the child and let the woman go back to work, but such a long break from work can really make it hard to go back, and most men still refuse to be the ones taking care of the children. That area is one where more men could grow some balls and take charge of caring for the children at home, that I agree with. It just doesn't seem to be happening.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmh.
by Alfman on Wed 30th May 2012 02:15 in reply to "RE[2]: Hmh."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WereCatf,

"a woman is the one who has to breast-feed the child since most men cannot do that, and if the parent is responsible she won't put the child in daycare for atleast the first 3 years."

Wow, I don't even know how to respond to this. It's sad and painful to leave a child and go to work, but that's the modern reality for every single "responsible" parent I've ever known. Having a spouse stay home full time to take care of the kids is an ideology that few families can afford any more. My wife's job only permitted a year of unpaid leave for childcare before they would dismiss her. Get this, on top of everything else, while she was on leave I was paying $1450/month to continue our cobra health plan that her job stopped covering while she was on leave. She didn't want to go back to work but I don't make enough income to support our family - sometimes I'm so ashamed of this fact that it brings tears to my eyes.


"That area is one where more men could grow some balls and take charge of caring for the children at home, that I agree with. It just doesn't seem to be happening."

It's not an easy thing to do. I watch our child for two weekdays, and the other 3 weekdays she's at childcare. But it's very difficult to find a good job at all, much less one willing to work around childcare. I've been denied positions due to my request to have some time off with her. I'm tormented about taking a job in NYC that pays better but forces me to commute 3.5hrs/day, since I wouldn't see my daughter at all during the week. I know parents who do exactly that, and I find it so sad that society forces us to make family compromises like that.


WereCatf, you need to count your blessings if you can stay home with your child or maybe have a relative that can while you cannot. Don't judge those of us who face this struggle every day, especially if you haven't been in our shoes.

Edited 2012-05-30 02:28 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmh.
by WereCatf on Wed 30th May 2012 09:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmh."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

WereCatf, you need to count your blessings if you can stay home with your child or maybe have a relative that can while you cannot. Don't judge those of us who face this struggle every day, especially if you haven't been in our shoes.


I quite obviously was talking about the people who have a choice in these matters. If you have no choice then you obviously cannot do anything about it and so why would I bother complaining to you?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Hmh.
by Erunno on Wed 30th May 2012 11:54 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmh."
Erunno Member since:
2007-06-22

while she was on leave I was paying $1450/month to continue our cobra health plan that her job stopped covering while she was on leave.


Wow, I say it with utmost sincerity that reading this sends shivers down my spine. It reminds me how thankful I should be for having general ("socialist") health care. I'm having a hard time imagining not being able to go to a physician or any other specialist whenever I'm not feeling well because I would have to worry how to pay for it.

She didn't want to go back to work


There are also enough mothers who don't want to be stuck with an infant for years all day long. As much as it runs contrary to the widely propagated image of mother and child living in happy bliss together, I've met (and read about) mothers who were on the verge of snapping after some time when your whole day consists of cleaning up shit, cooking, washing and otherwise having to entertain a living being which is on the intellectual level of an amoeba. Make no mistake, I love children but they are not very intellectually stimulating in the first stages of their live. Even worse, the only topic everybody else wants to talk about with you is your child, as if you didn't have other interests before giving birth. I remember a young mother which I knew a couple of years ago who was so immensely thankful to me because I regularly had some small talk with her about movies, books and other general topics.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmh.
by Neolander on Wed 30th May 2012 06:20 in reply to "RE[2]: Hmh."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

It's not really up to the father: a woman is the one who has to carry the child for 9 months with all the negative side-effects that entails and which affect job-performance,

Sure, men can do nothing about this part, that's why I said that we have it easier in the beginning and should try harder later to compensate.

a woman is the one who has to breast-feed the child since most men cannot do that, and if the parent is responsible she won't put the child in daycare for atleast the first 3 years.

These are more matter of debates. Breast-feeding first : it's a choice, not an obligation. Some mothers do it, and some don't. I've recently heard something about its health benefits for the baby being overestimated (it would only have temporary effects, no long-term effects).

And then there is this three years number. I don't have statistics in mind, but this sounds like an oddly large number. I'm pretty sure no one does it for so long here, but I could ask all these young parents around me at work in order to get a better idea. It may be a bit of culture-specific thing (like the "Raubenmutter" stigma in Germany).

Concerning daycare... Here, an option that is often explored is getting help from the grand-parents, if one of them is retired at the time children are born. They are considered more trustworthy than strangers, so maybe one starts to get help from them earlier. But again I don't know how long after birth parents do it, I'd have to ask

And then, as Alfman mentions, there's the issue of money... A couple would really have to be fairly wealthy in order to afford losing half its income for an extended period of time, at the very time where there's an extra mouth to feed. Here, employers are supposed to keep the job contract running and continue paying a salary for about 4 months, but after that you're on your own...

Again, I can have a look around, but I'd be surprised if three years of parental leave is customary around here. That would make most French mothers irresponsible in your view, which is maybe a bit excessive.

Edited 2012-05-30 06:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmh.
by WereCatf on Wed 30th May 2012 09:09 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmh."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

These are more matter of debates.


Possibly.

Breast-feeding first : it's a choice, not an obligation. Some mothers do it, and some don't.


I know some people do, some don't. Personally though I hold the view that one should breast-feed if possible.

I've recently heard something about its health benefits for the baby being overestimated (it would only have temporary effects, no long-term effects).


In the short term it protects the child from various kinds of illnesses; whatever viruses the father or mother may carry will eventually wound up their way into the child, too, but thanks to breast-feeding the mother transfers some of the antibodies to the baby, protecting him/her in the process. Atleast I view this as quite a big benefit; a sick child is never a good thing.

Secondly, about the long-term effects: there's more mental long-term effects than physical ones. Physical proximity helps the child feel more secure and aids child's mental development.

I'm pretty sure no one does it for so long here


Almost no one does it here either. Doesn't mean it's right anyways, or that I have to agree with them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmh.
by Soulbender on Wed 30th May 2012 07:10 in reply to "RE[2]: Hmh."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

a woman is the one who has to breast-feed the child since most men cannot do that


Uhmm..most? Are there men who can??

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Hmh.
by WereCatf on Wed 30th May 2012 08:55 in reply to "RE[3]: Hmh."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"a woman is the one who has to breast-feed the child since most men cannot do that


Uhmm..most? Are there men who can??
"

Actually yes, some men do start lactating and can in some cases even breast-feed. Not as much as a woman simply because these men do not produce as much milk, but still.

Reply Parent Score: 2