Paw'd Defiance

Motherhood Part II

February 06, 2020 UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and Assistant Professor Sarah Hampson Season 2 Episode 10
Paw'd Defiance
Motherhood Part II
Chapters
Paw'd Defiance
Motherhood Part II
Feb 06, 2020 Season 2 Episode 10
UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and Assistant Professor Sarah Hampson

UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and Assistant Professor Sarah Hampson join us to talk about their research. Both Jolly and Hampson have looked into life in the military for mothers. We'll discuss their work and we'll also get into a conversation about motherism, the wage gap, the new Paid Family & Medical Leave act in Washington State and the possibility of having the Equal Rights Amendment added to the United States Constitution. 

Show Notes Transcript

UW Tacoma Associate Professor Natalie Jolly and Assistant Professor Sarah Hampson join us to talk about their research. Both Jolly and Hampson have looked into life in the military for mothers. We'll discuss their work and we'll also get into a conversation about motherism, the wage gap, the new Paid Family & Medical Leave act in Washington State and the possibility of having the Equal Rights Amendment added to the United States Constitution. 

Speaker 1:

When women become mothers, there is a deep suspicion in our society that they are less committed to their job and that they have become less competent. So because of that bias, we see this huge wage gap that happens between actually mothers and childless with

Speaker 2:

from UDaB Tacoma. This is pod defiance. Welcome to pod defiance where we don't lecture, but we do educate. I'm your host Sarah Smith. Today on the pod, the second in our three part series on motherhood. On this episode we're chatting with UDaB Tacoma, associate professor Natalie jolly and the system professor Sarah Hampton. We'll discuss work life balance, mother ism and the pressure to return to work after becoming a parent.

Speaker 3:

So why don't we go around, um, Sarah, we'll start with you. You want to introduce yourself and talk a little bit about your affiliation with UDaB Tacoma. I teach, um, in the law and policy major and I'm a political scientist by training. Um, I've been here, this is my sixth year at UDaB Tacoma.

Speaker 1:

I am Natalie jelly. I'm an associate professor and a sociologist and I teach sociology courses, gender courses, gender studies courses, and um, really enjoy focusing on pop culture issues with my students. So we do a lot of conversations around around that. And then my research, uh, I think about issues of motherhood, how women navigate pregnancy, childbirth, and, and new motherhood in the world today.

Speaker 3:

So Sarah, do you want to talk a little bit about the new parental leave policy in Washington state? Sure. So, uh, the new policy as far as I understand it from a cursory read, uh, is, uh, offers folks up to 12 weeks of partially paid leave. So just to be clear, this is not a full paid leave. It's partial pay, um, which is uh, you know, um, massive improvement on the family medical leave act, which is the national, the only national law that we have or federal law that we have. Um, that covers a family medical leave. So Washington state has, is really kind of a four runner with this law, which is great. And so, um, you go ahead and apply for the event. The sort of qualifying event can cover anything from sickness or illness that you need 'em to leave. So it's sort of medical leave as well, but it also covers birth adoption.

Speaker 3:

So fathers can take this, leave partners can take this leave. If you've adopted a child, you can take the sleeve, which is actually over and above what many workplaces have as well for paid leave. So yeah, those are kind of the basics. Um, if folks want to claim it, they also don't technically have to be employed currently, but they do have to meet some employment qualifications, um, in the last year. It's a pretty comprehensive as far as what's out there. It's, it's fairly progressive. It's fairly comprehensive. You mentioned it's partial paid leave. So what does that mean exactly? So you don't receive your wages or your full salary, but you'll receive a portion of that. And it seems to be just from, again, a very cursory read, I'm not an expert on this particular policy. It seems that you qualify, you sort of apply on a weekly basis and sort of work out what a amount you qualify for. I think I read that it was about 90% of your salary or $1,000 a week was the sort of max out. So $4,000 a month that sounds about right. And if you didn't reach that in your weekly salary then it was 90% of what ever your weekly salary would be.

Speaker 4:

You both have done some work with motherhood in the military. So I would just love to talk about that a little bit. And Sarah, you wrote a book that talks about women and work life balance and higher education as well as the military. Um, can you talk about some of the key takeaways from your research? Sure. So

Speaker 3:

I'm, my book is called the balance gap, working mothers in the limits of the law. And um, I I share with Natalie, uh, uh, a focus on mothers specifically, although I always got the question, what about fathers? And I actually, my husband is actually, um, kind of classifies himself as a stay at home dad. So I don't not think about fathers, but I, I think Natalie will back me up and say that it's, it is really important to look specifically at mothers too because they're kind of a key demographic, um, that is overlooked in so many parts of our society. So I was a graduate student, uh, in, at university of Connecticut thinking about having a baby. I was a little bit older as a graduate student, was thinking about getting pregnant and I was taking this line society class that was telling me all about the importance more, the importance of informal norms over and above formal law.

Speaker 3:

Uh, I was looking to get pregnant and everybody around me was saying, don't get pregnant in graduate school. That's like the most dangerous thing you can do for your career. You're going to get on a mommy track. You're not going to get a job. Nobody's going to take you seriously as a scholar. And I was like, Whoa. And there were books about this there. This was a real, um, uh, kind of theme that I started to discover when I was thinking about getting pregnant. And I looked, my school had a policy for graduate students that they could take leave, but I didn't know anybody who had taken it. So I was really starting to kind of get interested in this question of like, um, you know, how important are these informal dorms about you don't get pregnant in graduate school over and above the, the kind of ability to claim a formal policy that's there.

Speaker 3:

And once I started to dig into that question, it, um, became, uh, like kind of a passion for me, a real drive. So that's kind of where this book originated was my own personal experience of you can't have a baby in graduate school and, and how important that was over and above. Um, you know, any rights that I had on paper to claim. Just incidentally, I didn't take the graduate policy. Uh, the graduate leave policy, I sort of work something out with my, um, supervisor and came back to work formally two weeks later and sort of a victim of what I call the sort of ideal worker complex. And I know now Natalie about that too. So I

Speaker 1:

don't want to like hog that, but that's sort of where that, where that book came out of my own, um, sort of interest in, uh, in those things. So I look at, um, mothers in academia. Um, and I was, uh, also I have a brother in the army and I was sort of interested in how mothers who are in the military, if I experienced some of these same questions, same, um, kind of pressures. And, uh, once I started to dig into that, I sort of saw these as maybe opposing cases, sort of two really different workplace environments that I could study. Um, but once I started to dig in, I realized how much the military and academia have in common. So not only can tell us a little bit more about, about how she came to this. Yeah, well I was, um, just thinking about how nicely the, you know, our research sort of pairs because I am interested in sort of those informal policies and how they shape people's experience.

Speaker 1:

Uh, I was particularly looking at, um, support for breastfeeding because many of the women that I spoke with who are active duty soldiers talked about the difficulties they had, the sort of gymnastics they had to do in order to breastfeed or pump, you know, pump milk while at work, even though there was sort of an official policy and support for breastfeeding, um, at the institutional level. So it ends up looking like women are choosing to give up breastfeeding. But, but when you start talking to them and you hear about the context for that decision, it starts to become clear that, you know, they're having to ask a coworker to cover for them and it's getting awkward, or they have to go across campus to get to this particular room and they don't have enough time in their break. And so those contextual facts factors then, and, uh, illuminating that though there's this official policy, it's really not doing enough to serve people.

Speaker 1:

As a sociologist. I'm, those are some of the questions that I'm thinking about in terms of the individual choices that women make and how they're constrained by these broader social contexts. Uh, that you can't always see from above because you have pro breastfeeding policies in stated. Uh, but like you mentioned those informal norms sometimes just the logistics are incredibly tricky. Right now I'm following this Facebook group of, um, active duty soldiers who just sort of use it as a sounding board to try to figure out how do I solve these particular problems that arise? I'm going to a field training. How do I pump milk in the field? How do I store milk? How do I ship it home? I work with jet fuel. What sort of precautions do I need to take? Uh, and so just to, to kind of understand how these, how these decisions get made, um, for, for women as they're trying to navigate a very tricky situation. I think that it's interesting for us to always think about how those choices are constrained by what's going on and how those informal norms, you know, can sometimes work against official policies. I love that you're at these Facebook

Speaker 3:

groups. That's one of the things that I was, I kind of went into my research. I'm not really expecting what I ended up finding. And one of the things that I, I found that I was really fascinated by, um, I called them this very clunky term, institutional consciousness networks, but basically what they are is in both types of workplaces that I studied and I found exactly what Natalie was finding these sort of informal social groups, right. And they were largely very loosely connected, right? They weren't formal, they weren't, um, formal affiliations. But these sort of little social groups that women were sh like, um, creating for themselves and their workplaces. Like, Oh, how did you claim that? Um, what did you do? What was your Trek right to get around this? That's empowering. It's like women empowering themselves. Um, I think in these, in these contexts.

Speaker 3:

Um, but it's also indicative of the fact that probably these policies aren't fully working, that women are having to kind of find these hacks and, and, but the, the good news is that I think in many of these, in many workplaces, these kinds of little networks exist. Having it exists out there indicates that there is a larger problem. Yeah. So that you can see the network. You can understand that, Oh, this is, this is indicating that you know this is a Canary in the mine. Yeah, and it's, it's telling us something about how these policies are working on the ground.

Speaker 5:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

Hey everyone, it's Sarah. I wanted to take a moment to talk about the Huskies and pups student organization here at UDaB. Tacoma, Huskies and pups helps support student parents at UDaB T. well they juggle work, school and parenting. The goal is to make parents, students feel welcome and connected to the UDaB Tacoma community. To learn more, visit the UDaB Tacoma website and type dog done into the search bar. That's dog spelled D, a w G. click the link to access dog done and the list of registered student organizations including Huskies and pups. We'll also include a link in the episode description.

Speaker 5:

[inaudible]

Speaker 3:

I would love to discuss a little bit more in depth, sort of the, the conundrum of the ideal worker and what mothers in particular face when there's this idea of we can have it all and we can be successful career women and we can also be the PR, you know, the perfect mom that's doing everything right for their kids. So I just wanted to, um, to speak to that a little bit about, about the ideal worker and what that means when women become mothers. There is a deep suspicion in our society that they are less committed to their job and that they have become less competent. So because of that bias, we see this huge wage gap that happens between actually mothers and childless women. We think of the wage gap, you know, the wage, we talk about the wage

Speaker 1:

gap in terms of men's wages and women's wages, but childless women and men make almost the same amount. We have a much smaller wage gap there, but the real wage gap comes, uh, out of mothers salaries. So there's been some really interesting studies that look at this. Uh, one of my favorite studies that was done by a sociologist named Shelly corral, and she did this, this great national study where she took paired resumes and one indicated that, uh, a woman was relocating with a family, so she was a mother and the other one didn't indicate that. And she would send them out to just thousands of different, um, employers. And she found that mothers were half as likely to just be called back, you know? And so that's just the first step, right? That's just the callback. That's not about hiring or promotion or anything like that. You can sort of extrapolate out how that would go. Um, but we, so we do see this, this motherhood penalty coming out of those assumptions about who mothers our fathers to face a penalty. But the interesting fact is that fathers actually get a bonus to their wages. They're seen as more competent and more committed when their parental status changes. And so I think that it really shed some light on who the ideal worker is and you know, and how those assumptions shape the economic realities of, of men and women. So yeah, I actually

Speaker 3:

am in the work that I do in my book, um, I kind of trace the particular flavor of the ideal worker, um, in each of these workplace contexts, um, to kind of build on what Natalie's saying like, um, you know, it, it takes on, you know, a particular ideal worker takes on a particular flavor for a particular workplace. So I mentioned in academia, I was coming up against this, you know, stigma of, you know, you won't be really a productive scholar, right? If you won't be seen, taken seriously as a scholar, if you're a mother. So the idea is that, um, you know, an ideal worker in academia is someone who focuses very much on their research, um, and is someone who, uh, that's kind of what their life goal and they're, um, they're kind of living toward, um, again emerged right out of the, the military context of very similar, um, but differently flavored, um, ideal worker in that context to, so there's a whole bunch of research on sort of masculinity and masculization masculinity in the military, but, um, in particular this idea of duty and that you have this, um, sort of duty to deploy.

Speaker 3:

Um, you have this duty to kind of show up and, and be 100%. Your body is the militaries, right? If you, you know, if you get pregnant and you suddenly take yourself out of that giving up of your body, if that makes sense. Um, then you, you know, you're, you're sort of not just derelict in your duty, but you're also in some ways sort of taking something away. The ideal worker is someone who gives themselves fully to their jobs, is being the ideal

Speaker 4:

mother on top of that, where you're supposed to, you know, do everything and be everything for everyone else in your family. Everyone else comes first and your needs come last. So there's, you know, you kind of throw that in the mix and that just makes it even more stressful and complicated. They don't put any of that on the hallmark card. We know. Yeah. It should all be in fine print on the back. So in what ways does the law protect mothers who work? In what ways does it come up short?

Speaker 3:

So one of the, one of the ways it comes up short is in sort of a lack of, well it's the particular ideology that's infused in these laws. So if you go look at, you know, how the paid leave law was, was sort of sold or how the FMLA was sort of sold to voters, there's always an economic argument, right? Oh, this is good for business, right? It's, it's, we're sort of devoid of thinking as a society about the value of caregiving in and of itself, right? Intrinsic value of caregiving, not the sort of economic value of caregiving. Um, and so, and we don't place a kind of economic value on caregiving. And so that in and of itself, um, is I think an inherent flaw in the way that public policy deals with this, right? It's thinking about recouping the loss to businesses, um, which you know, is fair enough.

Speaker 3:

Businesses have a loss if somebody is going to take time off, but we're, we're sort of structurally thinking about it kind of the wrong way. And I mean probably health is the same thing, right? But we're starting to rethink healthcare and try to think outside that box. And I think we really kind of need to do that with, with childcare and elder care as well. Um, you know, women have to claim these policies or men or whoever, you know, whoever's who's ever actually, um, taking advantage of them. They have to go through the process of speaking to their employer, um, claiming the leave working out what they are entitled to. Um, and all of those things take them into a zone of the non-ideal worker. Right? So even investigating this, nevermind claiming that, um, and most people, you know, if they can, would like to try to avoid that, right?

Speaker 3:

Would like to try to avoid seeming non-ideal at work. And so it creates this tension, um, where you know, you don't want to let down your employer so you work out the best, you know, the best thing that you can do to sort of, um, help them out, uh, while also kind of making things work for you at home. So it's, it's tricky. The military, all branches have really, um, you know, they would look on the books, they look very progressive. They have some very forward thinking policies about breastfeeding, about, um, leave for, um, parental leave. Um, but it's in, in practice and actually claiming those things, um, you are up against, that's where we were talking about you pushing up against these informal norms that make it really difficult for you to want to claim

Speaker 1:

never you personally to, to make a choice. And again, it's kind of like problematizing that word choice, um, to make a choice to claim these policies. Many of the women I talked about, uh, I talked with, spoke about their desire to really prove their loyalty. Um, and, and come back. One woman just told me this story about, um, hiring a trainer about three weeks postpartum and she wanted to beat her time, her physical training times the minute she was back to just sort of demonstrate her fealty her, her loyalty to this and show that she wasn't, I need to need to show that I'm committed to a degree that other people aren't committed. And so I heard a lot of stories about how you prove mainly through physical training that your body is absolutely back in the game. Um, and so that was an interesting way to think about, you know, a very generous leave policy that in some ways just doesn't necessarily work because you can't combat some of those in more informal norms about whether you truly are an ideal worker.

Speaker 1:

And I, you know, committed to that, we spoke about this earlier as well. You don't always know that this is coming. I think particularly young women, you know, who think that this isn't going to be a roadblock for them, don't necessarily anticipate these sorts of problems arising. And so I think that some of it happens because employers, uh, think they're doing the right thing and they think, Oh, this person just had a baby. I'm going to give them some love. I'm going to give them less work. I'm going to steer them towards this set of tasks that I think will be more conducive to their mothering and that those tasks end up having less room for promotion and that sort of thing. So I think you can maybe preemptively have some conversations with your employer about whether that's something that you want or not. I think some women might appreciate that others might not.

Speaker 1:

And so I think that sometimes those assumptions are shaping, you know, the choices that people are making without necessarily having conversations behind that. So I think just having awareness around this issue and knowing what's coming and, and what might be a potential roadblock is important for women. Yeah. I mean, I would emphasize the, the, the social networks, you know, finding other people who've gone before you and done it before you in your workplace is, is a pattern that we've both seen in our research. But, um, it's the only one that I've seen really that, that makes a strong difference with the exception of, you know, um, leadership. So that's the other one, right? That leadership really makes a big difference particularly, or kind of who your immediate supervisor is. Um, so,

Speaker 3:

you know, for, um, women in academia, if they had a chair who was really supportive, um, and really encourage them to take leave and really inform them of their rights and was informed themselves of their rights, um, the women in those contexts fell a lot more, a lot more supportive. And a lot more empowered to kind of take, take what they were entitled to and then could come back and sort of come back to, you know, where they wanted to be in their career track. Um, and similarly, um, with folks in the military that I spoke with, if they had, you know, kind of an, uh, an immediate supervisor, um, commanding officer who again was sort of aware of what they were entitled to and you know, sort of stood up for them to get those things, um, then that made a real difference. And I think those are sort of hard conversations to have just because they're often about bodies and we're not used to talking about bodies.

Speaker 3:

Um, I think that's another aspect of the ideal worker is that your physical body doesn't really come into the conversation. And so I know that many of the women I talked to, um, spoke about just the sort of social norm breaking that you're doing when you have to talk about your vaginal delivery or your breastfeeding barrier, you know, barriers to breastfeeding and um, pumping and problems that can happen as you don't, you know, if you don't pump often enough and mastitis, you know, so there, there's having to sort of bring this bodily conversation into a workplace that, that doesn't normally do that. And so I think those are interesting things that we don't really think about in terms of having these official policies on the books about we're proba breastfeeding. Um, and not necessarily thinking about, well, what does that actually mean when you have breast milk in the shared fridge?

Speaker 3:

And it's hard to put it all on women that it's like, this is the thing that you can do to, you know, to make this all work. Because I mean, that's pretty much what the policies do, right? As they say, like, well, here, have this, have these few weeks off, great. Have a little bit of, of, you know, compensation for that. That's wonderful. That's better than, no, none. But, um, you know, ultimately I think many women just sort of feel alone. I know I did in trying to navigate this, um, yourself. And so for example, at UDaB Tacoma, um, we have, you know, we have two lactation rooms on campus, which is just great. I mean, it's, I think it's wonderful that we have lactation rooms on campus. I think it's great for students in particular, um, and staff who don't have private offices, but we also simultaneously have this policy where when offices get refreshed, if you have a private office, you no longer can have blinds or anything covering your windows in your office.

Speaker 3:

I think it's about sunlight. But the problem is we have a lot of faculty and staff who have private offices that would like to pump or express their milk in their own offices and aren't able to do that, um, or they're violating the sort of sunlight policy when they put up their own, um, sheets and things like that. So it's wonderful that we have lactation rooms. It's wonderful that we have policies that allow people to do this. But simultaneously you have an environment that just doesn't think about bodies. It doesn't think about, you know, you know, women are 50% of the population, mothers are decent chunk of the population. I know you probably have a four out of five women become lifestyle. Okay. So we're a huge portion of the population and, and yet it's so abnormal that we don't even think about, you know, blinds in our offices for being able to express breast milk as a normal thing, as a thing that we might want to accommodate pretty regularly.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. And just the idea of having to leave your, you know, leave your office or you know, in the middle of the day to disrupt your day to go to the times. Yeah. So now I'm saying yup. And go sit in a room by yourself in the dark or some places in a closet or you know, in a bathroom and

Speaker 3:

Oh, the places I've pumped the place. Airport bathrooms, airports do not have lactation rooms. They do, but they're like always in like four terminals away.

Speaker 4:

Sarah talked a little bit about your personal experience of how motherhood impacted your, you know, your career choices. What about you Natalie? Can you talk about that a little bit?

Speaker 1:

Sure. I was going to talk a little bit about, um, just the way that being a mother has made me more aware of how motherhood impacts people's lives in all sorts of ways. And I think, um, for a society that celebrates motherhood on the surface so much, we really don't do very much to support mothers. It's sort of like you have your day in may. What else? What else could you possibly need? And so to keep sort of digging at these questions has been really interesting, particularly with my students to have conversations about these issues so that they're more prepared as they go out into the workforce or as they're already in the workforce to navigate these issues and recognize it not as a personal mistake that they've made in their career. And you know, Oh, my boss doesn't like me or I did something wrong. And that's why I feel like pushed out of my current job. Or I feel like I'm not getting promoted, but to have some sort of language to be able to talk about what's going on so that you see this as a social problem so that we can get momentum around issues like paid family leave and pro breastfeeding work environments. Because I think that, you know, we're just starting to get to critical mass around recognizing that these issues are a social problem and not necessarily just something we do for a few women here and there.

Speaker 3:

So let's switch gears for a sec here. One, one thing I definitely want to talk about is that Virginia just ratified the equal rights amendment. Can either of you talk about the amendment and its chance of being added to the constitution? Sure.

Speaker 1:

Can you talk a little bit about, uh, where we're at, where we've come from, where we're at? But, so this, uh, amendment was proposed to the constitution but never ratified. It would have been the 27th amendment and the goal was to use it to invalidate state laws that would have been discriminatory against women. And so it was introduced all the way back in 1923 so yeah, it's interesting because it's sort of traces the trajectory of women's activism over the last century. So that was right after women had gotten the vote. And we usually refer to that as sort of the first wave of women's activism around suffrage, around getting the vote in the, in the 19 teens in 1920. It started then and then it sort of languished for 50 years. Um, and then was approved by the Senate in 1972 so 50 years later, which was really when the sort of the second wave of women's activism started bubbling up.

Speaker 1:

And so you saw a lot of activism and energy around social and economic issues during that time, uh, but it never did get the votes that it needed. And Virginia was always a hold out. And so now they've done that. And I think maybe Sarah you can talk more about the, how a bill becomes a law. I just keep thinking of that school house rock. Um, but, uh, I think there's just general confusion about what that means right now and is it too late? Does it matter? Other States have pulled out since since that they, they, I don't know what the technical term was unratified but, uh, I think just more generally it points to this broad recognition of gender inequality right now and trying to use all the tools that we have to address it. So through policy, through workplace changes, through interpersonal changes. And so I think it's just indicative of, of maybe you know, where we're moving in terms of trying to address, uh, gender inequality.

Speaker 3:

And it also kind of comes out of a a time period where thinking about equality between women and men really was thinking about kind of how we're going to treat them the same. Whereas I think various forms of feminism that have emerged since the popularity of the equal rights amendment are really pushing for, again, a more critical look at, you know, how is treating women and men the same? Also maybe sometimes problematic for actually women substantively experiencing equality. So I think probably family leave is kind of a good example of this, um, where you have paid. So this will be one of my critiques of the PO, the new policy. It's great. It's great that we have paid family leave in Washington state. I am thrilled. I am not in any way criticizing that we have that, but I would say it's going to be problematic.

Speaker 3:

I'm going to go ahead and forecast it will be problematic because we don't have any kind of mechanism that pushes men to take the leave at the same rate as women. And so, you know, it's, it's, it's possible for, you know, a man to take, you know, if you have a, you know, heterosexual couple and sort of in the traditional mold and one of them, you know, the, the female gives birth, the male is also entitled to this policy. I would be shocked if you had anywhere near the equivalency of men taking up this policy is women taking up this policy. Um, and I know this because that's the case in Sweden where both men and women again have access to lots and lots of paid leave. Sweden recently had to implement a mandatory two months, um, where men would actually get fined. They would get penalized if they didn't take two of those months cause they could take up to five years between them and, but they weren't, men weren't taking it up at the same rate that women were. And, um, so obviously that was causing for all of the reasons around ideal workers that we've been talking about causing, um, discriminatory, um, outcomes for women. And so, okay, we're going to force men to take the two months again. We still, I mean, it really only just bumped it up a little bit. Sweden is only slightly ahead of us in terms of how often men take these policies that women, I mean, they are ahead of us. Women's participation in the workforce is higher, but w it's still not

Speaker 1:

perfect. Yeah. I just read a study that found that, um, men who took even one week of paid leave were 30% less likely to eventually get divorced. Um, so maybe, maybe there's research coming to show that you better take your leaf because, but I do think that it's, it is important for men to take that leave because particularly a first time child, how the day to day schedule gets set up and if it is just women taking leave, how that sort of foreshadows the full responsibilities of caregiving just defaults to her. And so that if you have a pair working even in that first couple of weeks, that sense of shared responsibility then carries out beyond that particular moment in time. So that the work of caregiving is seen as a shared responsibility. And here we're, we're

Speaker 3:

indicating with this policy that we value your time as a worker, right? And we're going to give you this time off so that you can come back and be a good worker. That's what this policy indicates. It doesn't indicate that we value your time as a caregiver. I understand that. It seems like that's what we're valuing, but it really isn't what we're valuing. This is about you coming back and being a worker when you're done with this whole caregiving thing for 12 weeks. And we don't as a society value the caregiving, right? So that that is a choice that we as a society see as valuable. Right? Who does most of the caregiving? It's still the marginalized, right? In this society. It's, it's women, it's people of color who are doing caregiving. And until that value is flipped, right? You as a producer, as a kind of, um, part of the commodification process, um, you as a producer are the same value as me as a carer, as someone who looks after people in this society who are, you know, future members of the society, future taxpayers, um, or you know, previous taxpayers, if it's elder care, until we kind of flip that value, it, it's, I just think that we're always going to be chasing this, what, what are you like in the workplace?

Speaker 3:

And, and it's always going to be about what do you choose to do or not choose to do about your work, about your job?

Speaker 1:

I think it's, it's one of those sticky, tricky questions because there is a biological reality to having a child that requires, you know, longer periods of leave and a closer investment of time and physicality, um, in those early years with, with an infant that I think it's hard to talk about both difference and sameness. Um, in this particular example, because we do have these different bodies that are doing different things. And, um, yet we do have expectations of being treated equally at work. And so I think what we're experiencing is really sort of a tension between those two kind of competing stories about how this should look.

Speaker 2:

Thank you to our guests and thank you for listening. Be sure to like and subscribe. You can find us on Spotify, Google podcasts, PocketCasts, Stitcher and Apple podcasts.