Feminism Catch-All (with FAQ)

LarryC wrote:

In addition, you're attacking me instead of discussing the topic.

How is she not discussing the topic when she pointed out how you're wrong with a citation from one of the most respected medical facilities in the world?

LarryC wrote:

Finally, you are wrong on data. I will not contest your experience. Everyone is different. Are you telling me that I did not see my colleague go back to work within the week of her surgery? That I did not? How can you possibly know that?

Did you mean "datum"? As far as I know, your 1 anecdote doesn't count as "data."*

[size=2]* disclaimer: I don't speak Latin[/size]

Are you really arguing that most people should be able to just pop out a baby (or, in the case of a C-section, have a major surgery that cuts through stomach muscles) and just jump right back to work? That belies logic, the Mayo Clinic, and basically every other thing I can find discussing C-section recovery. Am I a doctor? No. But if you're going to make such extraordinary claims I would expect more than "I met this person that totally did it!"

Attempting to shame someone while ignoring their argument again, LarryC? C'mon. I think there's been enough of that.

Ranger Rick:

Actually, we expect most people who undergo vaginal delivery to be able to walk the next day and be back to activities of daily living within the week. If you're looking for anecdotes, the extreme anecdotal data speaks of women who pop a baby on their lunch break and then keep right on plowing the field after they're done. That's fairly extreme, but I wouldn't discount it.

If you're doing white collar work - mainly answering calls, filling out forms, and telling people where to go and what to do - I don't see how you can't do that soon after childbirth.

Are you really arguing that most people should be able to just pop out a baby (or, in the case of a C-section, have a major surgery that cuts through stomach muscles) and just jump right back to work? That belies logic, the Mayo Clinic, and basically every other thing I can find discussing C-section recovery. Am I a doctor? No. But if you're going to make such extraordinary claims I would expect more than "I met this person that totally did it!"

Not logic. Empirical data. We're not going by logic. I'm not arguing from postulates. Also, C-section doesn't routinely involve ligating (cutting) muscle. Most surgery avoids doing that because it's hell on recovery, post-op pain, and long term chronic pain. If your centers are cutting muscle routinely, I can see how that can take a toll on recovery periods.

iaintgotnopants:

How is she not discussing the topic when she pointed out how you're wrong with a citation from one of the most respected medical facilities in the world?

She is citing medical recommendations for laypeople. I am citing a personal observation. Those are different things. She can't tell me that what I saw never happened or didn't exist. She can't possibly tell me that I didn't go back to work within the week after surgery. Unless you're just going to tell me that I'm just flat out lying, in which case that is a personal attack, and I refuse to discuss it.

Neutral party here

It is well known that different countries have different standards for recovery times from surgery and different regulations for how long someone is allowed to be off work after giving birth (in this case) without losing their job.

For example, up here in Canada, 12 months combined Maternity/paternity leave is the norm, with your position (or an equivalent) guaranteed. Is it possible, that in the Philippines (I believe that is where Larry is from), they go back a week later because they have to?? Any longer and they no longer have a job?

LarryC wrote:

She is citing medical recommendations for laypeople. I am citing a personal observation. Those are different things. She can't tell me that what I saw never happened or didn't exist. She can't possibly tell me that I didn't go back to work within the week after surgery. Unless you're just going to tell me that I'm just flat out lying, in which case that is a personal attack, and I refuse to discuss it.

No one is saying you didn't personally observe someone going right back to work after pregnancy. You are, however, giving the dictionary definition of an "anecdote," which is not in any way an indication of "average recovery time."

Ranger Rick wrote:
LarryC wrote:

She is citing medical recommendations for laypeople. I am citing a personal observation. Those are different things. She can't tell me that what I saw never happened or didn't exist. She can't possibly tell me that I didn't go back to work within the week after surgery. Unless you're just going to tell me that I'm just flat out lying, in which case that is a personal attack, and I refuse to discuss it.

No one is saying you didn't personally observe someone going right back to work after pregnancy. You are, however, giving the dictionary definition of an "anecdote," which is not in any way an indication of "average recovery time."

I don't recall talking about average recovery time. I said it was doable. Possible. Tons of people can do the Ironman. I can't.

That said, I would have to submit hospital data on that, which is a no-no. During training, I'd do something like 14 patients a day on a busy day. I know because we have a log book and I was required to log my cases. Assuming normal delivery, they would all be discharged in two days, with most of them being given provisional allowances to work if they're white collar. This was necessary because if we didn't discharge them that fast, there wouldn't be room for the deluge of patients coming in. It never stops. There are always more patients.

Many of the women asking to work do so because they're their family's breadwinner. If they didn't work, they didn't eat, so they had to work. Manning a storefront while sitting down isn't that hard. I don't see why I couldn't do something like that on the day of my own surgery (open reduction and plating of my right arm).

(EDIT clarification: the last bit I actually do understand. We don't recommend people (of any label) doing any serious work on the day they are subjected to general anesthesia because residual effects may cause microsleep at unfortunate times. Many people ask to go back to work, but we strongly recommend against it).

Is that enough data?

For people who might interpret my intent in the wrong way, I'll spell out my point.

Women are just as tough as men and deserve an equal part in the workforce. We can expect them to contribute an equal quality and quantity of work as their male peers; there is no reason to expect less of them or to think less of them simply based on their gender. They do not need to be coddled or protected.

This is something you mentioned a few posts ago, but if I understand correctly, LarryC, you're basically saying that one parent has to work and the other has to raise the children, correct? Particularly in the early years? That's all well and good when you can afford it, but a vast majority of people don't earn enough to support themselves, their soupses and their children. Also, I don't know how it is where you are, but child care is most definitely NOT free in my corner of the world.
Also, carrying a child is most definitely an onerous task. I takes a lot out of a person. Some pregnancies are easier than others, but when you're puking your guts out for 4 months (or more), can't get a decent night's sleep, ache all over, or feel like you've got broken ribs, you're damned straight it's an onerous task.
Just a couple of things that bugged me.

Very thorough post, Hypatian. And honestly, I'm just talking about France because that's where I currently live, but I truly feel these are some universal issues we're tackling here.
I'd have to agree with you and add that not only is it expected of women to look after children, it's pretty much a given. Whereas when men take care of their children of the house, people sing their praises. It's pretty much: "oh wow! you're a stay at home dad (SAHD), kudos!!" versus "oh, she'a just a SAHM (big whoop)." Double standard?... (and this is not to diminish SAHD's, like LarryC said, both SAHD and SAHM should be valued equally).
And yes, I do feel women feel social pressure to "do the right thing". It's a true case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't." If you opt to be a SAHM, you get the "oh, you had to give up your career (insert sad and condescending look here)", and if you choose not to have kids (because of your career or even just because), then you get condemned for that. And God forbid you'd have kids, work full-time, then you're not a good mother because you're not spending every waking moment with them. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Your friend has a valid point, and I've had similar experiences. I breastfed (and still do), and had to pump on a fairly regular schedule during the first couple of months. I was asked to several important and interesting meetings, but wasn't always able to attend, because I was told of said meeting, say ten minutes before the meeting actually started, leaving me no time to anticipate and modify my pumping schedule. Not exactly a conference, but definitely an example in which child care got in the way of work, even though I was actually back in the workplace. And it doesn't take much, really, just giving a heads up two hours in advance instead of 10 minutes, so I can move up the pumping session by 20 minutes. Small thing, big difference.

Your friend is spot on on having children in health care, at least in my experience. If you take more than two months' maternity leave during a six month rotation, you lose said rotation. The remaining four months you completed are lost, and you have to start that rotation over from scratch. A lot of colleagues I know plan their conception attempts around this by trying to calculate the whole thing so that maternity leave overlaps rotations. And if they miss the window, they go back on the pill, wait six months for the next window. When you know that there's only a 25% chance of conception for each cycle (in a 100% "normal" couple)... I'm guessing things get kinda rote and mechanical then...

And about women being urged to pursue nurturing professions... Again, this is only my experience, but the general sentiment when I was in high school was "yes, you should take care of people!" when I would've been perfectly happy tinkering with computers. Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

Anyhow, great post, Hyp, I definitely agree with your assessment of the situation. But yeah, I don't care if it takes forever, I'm still gonna try changing the institutions in my small immediate circle.

Thanks for posting the article, Garden Ninja. The whole thing makes me want to shake my head. It was petty of Anne Rice, and the reactions were just... sigh.

I'm going to have to agree with Duckideva on C-section recovery... Even with the most normal vaginal birth, you need a few days to bounce back, both physically and emotionally. But yeah, C-section is major abdominal surgery. LarryC may know one or two women who've done that, some actually do, but having spent time in the obgyn ward, most women I saw weren't discharged until a week after the C-section. (and no, we aren't cutting muscles, but have you SEEN the procedure?)
I will add, however, that you have no more reason to disbelieve someone claiming to be a doctor on the internet, than someone claiming to be a plumber. Doctors are allowed to roam the internet too!

Reading ahead... *sigh*
LarryC, just because patients should be able to do something, doesn't mean that they should have to do something. Just because a woman is up and walking within a day after giving birth (or hours in my case), doesn't mean that she's ready to go back to waiting tables, carrying boxes, stressful responsibilities. Just because you could theoretically go back to a white collar job within days of giving birth doesn't mean that it's advisable. You have to take the patient as a whole, not just "oh her stitches are healed and she can walk, out you go."
And empirical data is just that. Empirical. You should know as well as I that empirical data doesn't always hold up, and need to be verified on larger scales.
I think the differences in cultures really show here. You say women who have had normal vaginal births are discharged within two days, but out here, the average is 5 days. Because of baby blues, and help with breastfeeding (particularly when your milk comes in). The difference is probably due to different cultures, but also paid maternity leave, and universal affordable health care. The context is quite different.

Sorry for the great big wall o'text, there, but I feel some things need to be said.

Eleima:

I'm going to have to agree with Duckideva on C-section recovery... Even with the most normal vaginal birth, you need a few days to bounce back, both physically and emotionally. But yeah, C-section is major abdominal surgery. LarryC may know one or two women who've done that, some actually do, but having spent time in the obgyn ward, most women I saw weren't discharged until a week after the C-section. (and no, we aren't cutting muscles, but have you SEEN the procedure?)

I participate in the procedure in my line of work. I'm kind of expected to. If I don't do the anesthesia for it, it doesn't get done, so yeah, I have seen thousands (I can estimate the ballpark from my logs, so I have literally participated in thousands of C-sections).

I spend time in the OBWard maybe every other day. The normative time of discharge is about 3 days. The last CS I did was on a Thursday (last Thursday, in fact). The patient was discharged Sunday. She was able to walk with some discomfort and go about her business in general. She had entertained a bunch of visitors during her 3 days in the hospital. This is about normal. We can delay discharge for about a week if there's a problem or if the patient just wants to rest up and take a vacation.

I know so many women who can come back to work soon after childbirth that it's simply pointless to count. It's considered normal around where I work.

This is something you mentioned a few posts ago, but if I understand correctly, LarryC, you're basically saying that one parent has to work and the other has to raise the children, correct? Particularly in the early years? That's all well and good when you can afford it, but a vast majority of people don't earn enough to support themselves, their spouses and their children. Also, I don't know how it is where you are, but child care is most definitely NOT free in my corner of the world.

Nothing is free where I live. Not the shoes on your feet nor the road that you walk. We had to pay out of pocket for road repairs on the road outside our house when I was little else it was never going to get done. I find it hard to believe that the richest nation on earth has it worse than a dinky Third World nation constantly criticized for being inefficient and backwards. If we can earn enough to keep ourselves alive, surely your people can, too. It's hard to raise children. It's expensive. If you can't afford it, postpone it. Nothing wrong with that.

Also, carrying a child is most definitely an onerous task. It takes a lot out of a person. Some pregnancies are easier than others, but when you're puking your guts out for 4 months (or more), can't get a decent night's sleep, ache all over, or feel like you've got broken ribs, you're damned straight it's an onerous task.

We may have different definitions of what an "onerous task" entails.

LarryC, just because patients should be able to do something, doesn't mean that they should have to do something. Just because a woman is up and walking within a day after giving birth (or hours in my case), doesn't mean that she's ready to go back to waiting tables, carrying boxes, stressful responsibilities. Just because you could theoretically go back to a white collar job within days of giving birth doesn't mean that it's advisable. You have to take the patient as a whole, not just "oh her stitches are healed and she can walk, out you go."

And empirical data is just that. Empirical. You should know as well as I that empirical data doesn't always hold up, and need to be verified on larger scales.

I think the differences in cultures really show here. You say women who have had normal vaginal births are discharged within two days, but out here, the average is 5 days. Because of baby blues, and help with breastfeeding (particularly when your milk comes in). The difference is probably due to different cultures, but also paid maternity leave, and universal affordable health care. The context is quite different.

Shrug. Each person is different, you do what you can and then your body shuts down and you have to take a breather. But you don't let your mind give up when your body can still do it.

Carrying heavy loads and walking long distances is not advisable for the immediate post-er, birth period (post-partum from here on). It may or may not be advisable to get back to a secretarial job or CEO duties. If your business is about to go under, you do what you can, right?

What I'm saying is that mothers getting the short shrift at work and long maternity leaves are two sides of the same sentiment - that women are weaker. They need to be supported without expecting work in return. They can't be expected to work the same as men. That's the context difference I'm seeing.

EDIT:

To put further context, you get the same 1 week of sick leave whatever gender you are and whatever situation you find yourself. You get mugged, slashed from chest to groin and had to undergo surgery that basically recreates your entire insides? Tough. You got one week.

We expect that from our menfolk. Should we expect less from women because they're women? We actually do have maternity leaves, so we do acknowledge that childbirth is a special situation. But not 6 months. That's just crazy.

LarryC wrote:

To put further context, you get the same 1 week of sick leave whatever gender you are and whatever situation you find yourself. You get mugged, slashed from chest to groin and had to undergo surgery that basically recreates your entire insides? Tough. You got one week.

We expect that from our menfolk. Should we expect less from women because they're women? We actually do have maternity leaves, so we do acknowledge that childbirth is a special situation. But not 6 months. That's just crazy.

If men got slashed from chest-to-groin as part of reproduction, paternity leave would be six years.

Cut muscles or no, it's still pretty big surgery (and even if we don't cut abdominal muscles anymore, we do cut through the uterus). I'm not saying it has to compete with other surgeries, just that some recovery time is to be expected. Two days seems super short to me, but it all comes down to the individual. Some will be ready to go back to work earlier, others won't. The point is that you shouldn't have to if you don't feel ready to, and that might be happening in the system you work in (in which you don't eat if you don't work).

I'm not saying Western countries have it worse. On the contrary, France is leaps and bounds ahead with its 10 weeks of paid maternity leave (provided you're a salaried worker, so even then, it doesn't concern everyone). But just because you've made certain steps in the right direction doesn't mean that you have to stop there. Don't know where you got the six months maternity leave though.

About the "onerous task", I'm just going to come straight out and say that you have never been pregnant and have not the slightest inkling of what it's like. I will also say that it's harder to operate at full capacity when you've hard 2 hours of sleep because of being kicked repeatedly, or sciatica. And of course, I'm not even mentioning preeclampsia, retroperitoneal haemtoma, whatever. Again, like I said, some have it easier than others.

In the end, I do understand what you're trying to say, but you sound eerily like my husband who says I contradict myself by advocating for both maternity leave and women's equality. I don't think they're mutually exclusive, I'm saying that women need to be able to pick and choose between both, to be at liberty to opt for what's best for them, their family, their child.

Not sure if that makes sense, but that's my two cents nonetheless.

Edit: CheezePavilion, I totally lol'd.

The irony of a man telling women what pregnancy feels like is not lost on me

LarryC wrote:

What I'm saying is that mothers getting the short shrift at work and long maternity leaves are two sides of the same sentiment - that women are weaker. They need to be supported without expecting work in return. They can't be expected to work the same as men. That's the context difference I'm seeing.

On the contrary, I think a man who undergoes a major medical procedure should get as much time off as he needs to make a successful recovery, and not the bare minimum "you can walk, now back to work you go!"

Childbirth in any form is a major event and no different.

Demyx:

Why? This is a straightforward question. If I undergo a major medical procedure and am physically unable to work for 6 months to a year, I do not expect to have a job at the end of that period, let alone be paid my full salary for the duration. And I have to pay for the procedure out of pocket. Are things different in your locality?

If you were an employer, would you employ a person like this? Pay for an employee that's not there for most of the time you're paying for?

Yes. I believe that proper health care is a human right and if you have a major medical procedure it should ideally not impact your career.

I also realize this is a pipe dream, but if you're asking how it should be, that's how I think it should be.

EDIT: Also, monetary support would not necessarily need to come from your employer but could also be partially covered by your health insurance. Like that's ever going to happen.

I'm looking at it from both sides - employer and employee. I'm also looking at it from the perspective of all the employees who get left behind - people who would have to work twice or thrice the workload to cover people who are drawing pay but don't work. I can't see any way to make that work in a capitalist system. Let's say you're the employer. Your competitors only have employees who work - his health care provisions are normative. Yours are, well, your pipe dream. Half your workers don't show up for work, so you have to hire twice as many workers and you're in the red. How are you going to make that work?

I'll note that this already happens with normal maternity leave. For 6 weeks in one of our work cycles during training, two of our colleagues gave birth and took their full leaves. We were wasted for a month which severely affected all the personal and family lives of everyone who was left behind.

We honestly didn't mind that all that much, but one of those guys took maternity leaves every year and she had no appreciation for how much covering that required. It was her right. Everyone hated her guts.

Well, upthread it was posted that several months of combined maternity/paternity leave are the norm in Canada, and as far as I know Canada hasn't melted into slag yet. Since I'm in New England I would probably be seeing the runoff if it did.

Here's a good explanation: http://www.investopedia.com/financia...

Your anecdote about the company that was "wasted for a month" is well and good but it sure sounds like they didn't plan very well. It's not like maternity leave comes out of the blue. You usually know several months in advance when the woman in question is going to be absent.

EDIT: Here's a chart of maternity leave around the world: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...

If all these other countries can do it, why is it impossible for the US to do it?

Context: There is no planning.

There are a specific number of slots for government doctors, which is politically determined. Whatever the workload is, that's the number of doctors who work. The ratio is unbelievable. Like I said, the work never ends.

We're short as it is, so there's no extra manpower to be had anywhere for love or money when someone leaves work. You just adjust the schedule and hope that not too many people die because of the scheduling shift. Knowing several months in advance doesn't really do anything. We're going to be shorter than short one way or another.

Moreover, it's not like there are specialists or even generalists who are unemployed and need work. We have no unemployment benefits. If you don't work, you don't eat, so if you can't cut it as a doctor, you do something else. This means that we cannot reliably draw upon a pool of unemployed unskilled anythings to fill slots, let alone doctors. Everyone's got something going on.

That's how it is here.

But let's talk about how it's handled in Canada. Let's say half the workforce will be on maternity leave sometime in the next two weeks. If the employer has a steady workload, how is the work to be done unless he either asks his current staff to put in double the time without compensation (as we did) or hire 50% more people for the duration of the leaves?

If you're the employer, how would you compensate having to pay 50% more for labor for 52 weeks when your competitor doesn't?

EDIT:

Wow. The US has no maternity leave?!? Alright, that's insane.

The answer to your anecdote is that the government should indeed hire more people so that you are not devastated by the loss of two employees to maternity leave, something which you should have known about six months in advance. Governments not spending enough on necessary services is only tangentially related to this thread and should probably go elsewhere, but it is a serious problem.

You're inventing a statistical outlier of a company where 50% of the workforce goes on maternity leave at once while they have a competitor where none of the company goes on maternity leave ever. That's highly unlikely in any company with more than a handful of employees (and hell, if you have just a handful of employees, you might be able to coordinate family planning).

How should the company deal with it? They should know months ahead of time that an employee will be out and plan their workload accordingly. If a company is running such a tight ship that they can't deal with one employee being out with plenty of advance notice, then they're asking for ruin. What happens if an employee gets cancer, or gets in a car accident and dies, then? It's not like that's impossible. Hell, how do they deal with vacations or run of the mill sick leave?

In Canada, payment for maternity/paternity leave comes from, IIRC, payments that all people who work make into Employment Insurance, our national program that covers things like this. Depending on your employer it may get topped up from around 70% (what you automatically get) to a higher amount. For example, government employees get topped up to 93%.

As for how it can be predicted and planned for, requesting maternity leave needs to be done several months in advance and you have to let them know when you are coming back. From there, it is just a matter of rescheduling and, if necessary, bringing in someone to take up the slack.

LarryC wrote:

Context: There is no planning.

There are a specific number of slots for government doctors, which is politically determined. Whatever the workload is, that's the number of doctors who work. The ratio is unbelievable. Like I said, the work never ends.

We're short as it is, so there's no extra manpower to be had anywhere for love or money when someone leaves work. You just adjust the schedule and hope that not too many people die because of the scheduling shift. Knowing several months in advance doesn't really do anything. We're going to be shorter than short one way or another.

Moreover, it's not like there are specialists or even generalists who are unemployed and need work. We have no unemployment benefits. If you don't work, you don't eat, so if you can't cut it as a doctor, you do something else. This means that we cannot reliably draw upon a pool of unemployed unskilled anythings to fill slots, let alone doctors. Everyone's got something going on.

That's how it is here.

Bit harsh to blame a women for taking all her maternity leave when the broad system is clearly broken.

LarryC wrote:

But let's talk about how it's handled in Canada. Let's say half the workforce will be on maternity leave sometime in the next two weeks. If the employer has a steady workload, how is the work to be done unless he either asks his current staff to put in double the time without compensation (as we did) or hire 50% more people for the duration of the leaves?

If you're the employer, how would you compensate having to pay 50% more for labor for 52 weeks when your competitor doesn't?

EDIT:

Wow. The US has no maternity leave?!? Alright, that's insane.

Not sure about Canada but in the UK the gov't gives companies grants to cover (all?) most of maternity and paternity pay. Covered mostly by National Insurance contributions and in part by taxation. Employers to have to cover the costs of find a temp if they want some to cover.

mudbunny wrote:

In Canada, payment for maternity/paternity leave comes from, IIRC, payments that all people who work make into Employment Insurance, our national program that covers things like this. Depending on your employer it may get topped up from around 70% (what you automatically get) to a higher amount. For example, government employees get topped up to 93%.

Locally, you can get however much you insure for privately. I think the national health care insurance scheme gives you a fixed amount for every birth, and you get 6 weeks of paid leave, last I heard, if you're a regular employee. Temps get nothing. The paid leave is one thing, but the work situation is another. Do employers get money from the government to offset the labor hit? Do they hire temps to cover the workload?

LarryC wrote:
mudbunny wrote:

In Canada, payment for maternity/paternity leave comes from, IIRC, payments that all people who work make into Employment Insurance, our national program that covers things like this. Depending on your employer it may get topped up from around 70% (what you automatically get) to a higher amount. For example, government employees get topped up to 93%.

Locally, you can get however much you insure for privately. I think the national health care insurance scheme gives you a fixed amount for every birth, and you get 6 weeks of paid leave, last I heard, if you're a regular employee. Temps get nothing. The paid leave is one thing, but the work situation is another. Do employers get money from the government to offset the labor hit? Do they hire temps to cover the workload?

As I mentioned, once someone goes on mat/pat leave, they no longer draw on the resources of the company. They draw on the social safety net that is part of Canada. As to what the companies get, I have no idea. I suspect that they get nothing at all and it is up to the company to decide if they hire someone, shuffle things around, or simply do nothing.

Demyx:

You're inventing a statistical outlier of a company where 50% of the workforce goes on maternity leave at once while they have a competitor where none of the company goes on maternity leave ever. That's highly unlikely in any company with more than a handful of employees (and hell, if you have just a handful of employees, you might be able to coordinate family planning).

How should the company deal with it? They should know months ahead of time that an employee will be out and plan their workload accordingly. If a company is running such a tight ship that they can't deal with one employee being out with plenty of advance notice, then they're asking for ruin. What happens if an employee gets cancer, or gets in a car accident and dies, then? It's not like that's impossible. Hell, how do they deal with vacations or run of the mill sick leave?

Statistical outlier?!? Clearly you haven't worked in a company with a strong female composition. 50% is normative. Our OB departments right now in two hospitals are 100% female. If they all decided to go in a family way and happen to have delivery dates in close proximity, the entire workforce could be wiped out. Having 50% out is not at all unlikely. If a company were to only accept male and non-married women who accepted a no-maternity leave clause, then they would not have to deal with maternity leaves. This creates a strong economic pressure on companies not to hire women, do you see?

As for the rest... I'm afraid it's not really pretty. If you die, you get replaced ASAP, of course. We're assuming this is not what we want for women on maternity. You get cancer? You continue to work. If you can't work, you get fired. It's tough. Vacation leaves are typically staggered. You can't take a leave when someone else in your workgroup is out. Sick leaves are not, but those are just one week, like I said.

Typically, when companies are severely shorted by sick and vacation leaves, the remaining workers work harder to take up the slack. You work something like 12 to 14 hours without additional compensation. Generally, this is tolerated since it's assumed that you'll get your turn getting sick or having a vacation.

DanB:

Bit harsh to blame a women for taking all her maternity leave when the broad system is clearly broken.

Not if all the other women and men are working around the system to as not to be douchebags to each other.

Here's how that went.

Like I said, some of the women in my workplace quit work for a few years in order to have children. Those children are now toddlers and infants. Their colleagues taking full leaves when they're perfectly capable of working, and every year to boot means that they get to go a month without seeing their infants. Then they hear the new mother gushing about how the mall is so cool this year with all the Christmas stuff, and how it was great to enjoy it with her baby.

I hope you can see how that makes these women especially vicious and unforgiving to other women who are rudely unappreciative of their efforts.

mudbunny:

As I mentioned, once someone goes on mat/pat leave, they no longer draw on the resources of the company. They draw on the social safety net that is part of Canada. As to what the companies get, I have no idea. I suspect that they get nothing at all and it is up to the company to decide if they hire someone, shuffle things around, or simply do nothing.

So it's not at all unlikely that a company could simply ask its remaining workers to cover the missing workload? Can they do that? Do they do that? Would they have to pay overtime rates?

They can ask the employees to cover the difference. I expect that they would be required to pay overtime, as the payment of overtime past a certain number of hours of work is a requirement according to Canadian labour laws.

Men are telling women how being pregnant feels and how easy it is to give birth vaginally and surgically. In a thread about feminism. Ah.Maze.Ing.

Somehow a discussion about women became an argument about men's rights, because, ice cream. Which then devolved into women being told that pregnancy and childbirth is a trivial task and we are slackers "taking vacations" if we need more than a few hours of recovery. And those kids? Why would you expect to behave like a mammal and nurse them or bond with them or treat them as anything other than an annoyance stopping you from getting back to work? Rather than arguing that both parents should have some time off to bond with their new children, it is argued that both parents should abandon mammalian instinct and return to providing value to an employer, which is therefore implied to be more important than early childhood patterning.

For the record Larry, just because someone argues with you, does not mean you are being attacked. However, an observation of the points you have made for the last 3 pages shoes that you have repeatedly argued that pregnancy and childbirth are no big deal, despite having neither a uterus or a vagina. You have zero empirical data with which to make that statement. It comes across as paternalistic, reductive and insulting.

You have used the words "vacation" when talking about a women recovering from surgery and 40 weeks of gestation. This is patently offensive, and again; paternalistic, reductive and insulting.

You have been on the attack since you came into the thread. You didn't come in here, in good faith, to learn anything about feminism, or to engage in fruitful conversation. You came in to tell us that women are weak little bitchy whiners who slag off and breed all the time, making everyone else's life so difficult. You can't come into a thread and use the language and phrasing you've used, and then be all "Oh poor delicate me, why am I being attacked?" when someone argues with you.

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LarryC wrote:

Wow. The US has no maternity leave?!? Alright, that's insane.

At least in theory under the law as written (if not enforced), we have three months of maternity, paternity, slasher mugging, and a whole lot of other things leave:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_...

duckideva:

I won't answer your personal attacks, as I've said I won't, but to substantiate some points on a purely objective basis...

You have used the words "vacation" when talking about a women recovering from surgery and 40 weeks of gestation. This is patently offensive, and again; paternalistic, reductive and insulting.

The term "vacation" used to refer to overstaying in a hospital I was taking from the OB I was working with. She's a woman. She's had three children, all delivered through CS. She's the current Training Officer in one of the institutions, in line for Chairmanship of her department in a few years.

Somehow a discussion about women became an argument about men's rights, because, ice cream. Which then devolved into women being told that pregnancy and childbirth is a trivial task and we are slackers "taking vacations" if we need more than a few hours of recovery.

1. I never called it trivial. You're putting words in my mouth.
2. I stipulated two days for normal vaginal delivery, not a few hours.

Rather than arguing that both parents should have some time off to bond with their new children, it is argued that both parents should abandon mammalian instinct and return to providing value to an employer, which is therefore implied to be more important than early childhood patterning.

I actually argued that parenting and house management is an important and essential occupation that should be a full time role for someone in the household. I could quote my earlier posts about that if you like.

I also didn't specify that the breadwinner in question should be an employee. A self-employed person generally has a stronger onus to return to work because he's his own employee and employer. His business doesn't earn anything if he doesn't work. This is actually not all that different from a small hunter-gatherer existence. If you don't get food, you don't eat.

Bombsfall's ice cream animation is becoming a meme, and I love that.

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