Wednesday, April 12, 2006

FMLA and Men

So family leave is apparently a hot topic of late ... with fathers. This is, as I've argued before, a good thing. We're not going to do any serious damage to the idea that the best possible worker is a clock-punching nine-to-fiver until fathers *and* mothers start demanding a little more flexibility.

But when Paul over at Family Man said a new Details mag article dealt with the issue, I was intrigued. I haven't trekked to the 7-Eleven to grab my copy yet, but I did dig up the press release for one of the more troubling findings mentioned in the story: the continued widespread assumption that guys who take FMLA leave are radioactive. The research was dated 2003, and I hope against hope that this will be laughably outdated by the end of the decade. I'm certainly doing my part.

I'm not alone. Dan from "dad random" posted about his plea to Barack Obama regarding the paltry nature of FMLA. Dan received a response back from Obama, and while I don't expect to see this as a major Democratic campaign plank (yet), it was nice to see Obama take the time.

Takedowns: I'm not sure I have the time or energy to continue fighting the fight against fighting the mommy wars, but there's some great reading if you're interested. Becky from I'd Like to Buy a Vowel points to this long and elegant trashing of Leslie Morgan Steiner's "Mommy Wars" by Sandra Tsing Loh in The Atlantic. And while we're speaking of The Atlantic and book reviews, Atlantic golden girl Caitlin Flanagan (soon-to-be-everywhere author of "To Hell with All That") gets taken to task in a wonderful Salon essay. Both are well worth the read, and far more thoughtful than the usual quick hits here.

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