Good news, ladies! Donald Trump has released his “maternity plan” that will give all new mothers six weeks paid maternity leave, a tax credit for stay-at-home mothers and a few other credits pertaining to child care.
And I do mean ladies — and that’s it.
You see, Trump’s plan only covers new mothers and stay-at-home mothers — no men allowed.
Team Trump thinks that only women are the ones who stay at home with a new baby or forgo having a career so they can stay home and be “mommy.” In Trump’s mind, men are the ones who have no need to stay home with an infant while the mother recuperates or adjusts to a new baby. In Trump’s mind, a father would apparently never be a stay-at-home dad — that’s women’s work.
Oh, and if you’re two married gay men, well, your child apparently doesn’t need parental care and neither of you better dare think about being a stay-at-home dad. Again, according to Trump, only women do the whole “stay-at-home parenting thing.”
Then there’s always the career issues his plan would cause by instantly making employers view women, as Trump said in 2004, as an “inconvenience.” After all, under Trump’s plan, men would never be allowed to take six weeks paid leave after their child was born, whereas every single female employee would be allowed to do so.
It’s also important to point out that six weeks, while better than nothing, is still not nearly enough time off. Most paid parental leave advocates support at least 12 weeks and don’t discriminate to “new mothers only.”
Plus this isn’t paid family leave — it’s paid maternity leave. Which means families who encounter unfortunate situations where some sort of unexpected and urgent care is needed for someone in their family, you’re flat out of luck under Trump’s plan.
New. Mothers. Only.
So, just to do a quick summary. Donald Trump’s paid parental leave plan:
- Only assumes women want to be with their new infant after they’re born.
- Only assumes women want to be stay-at-home parents.
- Doesn’t cover fathers at all.
- Only pertains to new mothers instead of an overall “family leave” that covers more than just the birth of a new child.
- Possibly, as Trump said in 2004, makes female employees a bigger “inconvenience” for their employers since they’re the only ones covered under his plan.
It’s great that we’re talking about paid parental leave for Americans, but Donald Trump’s plan sounds as if it was constructed in some Mad Men-style misogynistic utopia where women stay at home taking care of the children while the fathers are the “bread winners” and “man of the house.”
Leave it to Donald Trump to support a fairly progressive idea (at least for a Republican) — that’s ridiculously sexist and views women and families like we’re living back in the 1950’s. It’s a woefully inadequate plan that treats women like their job is to stay at home with the child, ignores the role and concerns of the father and has the potential to turn women into an “inconvenience” for their employers.