Echoing the skepticism broadcast by controversial Fox News host Tucker Carlson earlier this week, Joe Rogan is now voicing his doubts that dads need paternity leave.
When former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, welcomed twins last month, Buttigieg took parental leave from his position as the U.S. Transportation Secretary.
It didn’t take long before Carlson and other right-wing pundits like Matt Walsh and his ilk followed suit and criticized Buttigieg for taking paternity leave while being dismissive of the idea that dads need to take paternity leave at all.
Tucker Carlson mocks Pete Buttigieg for taking paternity leave: “Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went.” pic.twitter.com/zFnp6uSser— nikki mccann screamírez ? (@NikkiMcR) October 15, 2021
On a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan said it was “weird” that parents would need to take paternity and maternity leave simultaneously because leave should be reserved for “the person who gave birth.”
Here’s the thing: While only one person physically delivers the child, it takes the biology of two people to conceive that child. And when those two people are in a partnership—whether as romantic, committed partners or committed co-parents—both of those people can and should be equally responsible for the care of that child.
Men who think that fathers don’t need to be home with their newborns are just blatantly telling on themselves. They’re saying they don’t think dads have anything to do, because it’s a woman’s job to stay home and care for the baby.
Coming from the same people who shout about “family values,” it’s incredibly ignorant and sexist to assume a father isn’t an important figure in a child’s life. The newborn phase is no joke—you’re just trying to survive during that time. Even nursing mothers can take a break by allowing their partners to bottle-feed. Despite the fact that household tasks and, you know, sleep should be divvied up so the burden doesn’t fall on one person—shouldn’t dads want to, oh I don’t know, spend time with their babies?
My husband received two days for the birth of our first child, and three days for the birth of our second. I would have done anything to not be left drowning in postpartum anxiety all by myself each time. Anything.
Thinking dads shouldn’t be home to support their partners and bond with their child is toxic masculinity at its most toxic.
Recent research supports this point, indicating that paternity leave is associated with greater relationship stability, according to McKinsey. That may be because when fathers take leave, it signals a greater investment in family life by reducing the burden on moms and strengthening parental relationships.