We were trying to figure out why our new VCR wasn’t taping right today (yes, we have a new VCR) and we came upon the new Dr. Phil-developed show The Doctors.
And these four doctors in all their various costumes happened to be talking about parental leave. And the OB/GYN, the only woman, was saying that women should have at least 2-3 months off after they have a baby. And the three men agreed but not too strongly.
I felt like I was watching a TV show from an alternate universe. Has it slid that far in America, that if you are not a stay at home mom, you are likely back at work in a month, six weeks? I honestly thought things were moving in the other direction – flexible working hours, nominally better maternity leave, etc. I guess economic hardship trumps all.
But then the OB/GYN said that fathers should get some time off too. She said this defensively and quietly.
And the ER doctor, Dr. Travis Stork, laughed. “Someone has to work,” he said with a smug smile.
What a moron.
Obviously most American dads do not or can not take time off with their babies. I think that is sad. I know I am lucky to live in Sweden, where I get all this time off with my kids (and happily pay the taxes to do so).
But this faux macho, women aren’t working at home, men are doing real work crap. Please.
We need to change the metaphor here. So let me call out Dr. Travis Stork. I consider him less masculine because he said that. I think the guy is a terrified wimp.
I smell fear.