From Anna Davies at New York Post:
I want all the perks of maternity leave — without having any kids
Meghann Foye, 38, was jealous of co-workers clocking out for maternity leave, and decided she needed a break of her own. Here, the author of the novel “Meternity” (Mira, out now), tells The Post’s Anna Davies why she believes every woman deserves mandated “me time.”
I was 31 years old in 2009, and I loved my career. As an editor at a popular magazine, I got to work on big stories, attend cool events, and meet famous celebs all the time.
And yet, after 10 years of working in a job where I was always on deadline, I couldn’t help but feel envious when parents on staff left the office at 6 p.m. to tend to their children, while it was assumed co-workers without kids would stay behind to pick up the slack.
“You know, I need a maternity leave!” I told one of my pregnant friends. She laughed, and we spent the afternoon plotting my escape from my 10-hour days, fake baby bump and all.
Of course, that didn’t happen. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to believe in the value of a “meternity” leave — which is, to me, a sabbatical-like break that allows women and, to a lesser degree, men to shift their focus to the part of their lives that doesn’t revolve around their jobs. More.
Reality check: This is happening because, on the eve of automation, most of the people who want the leave are not needed anyway, but society is not prepared to confront the implications of that fact. If Foye’s popular magazine disappeared into the Wayback machine this evening, how many would notice or care?
Note: Maternity leave dates back to the days when women WERE needed in the work force, and accommodations for childbearing were needed. In the same spirit, free daycare was available for women who were replacing men overseas during World War II. Days long gone.
Snippets from conversation with friend who sent the link:
Him: The next step for hard-pressed small business owners, after “maternity leave” for men?
Me: I don’t mind men having maternity leave, if they are willing to undergo the epesiotomy. 😉
Epesiotomy: episiotomy is a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus (the area called the perineum) made just before delivery to enlarge the vaginal opening 😉
Him: Oh, dear. I think not. But I can always just declare I’m a woman, and take my me-ternity leave.
Much less painful that way.
Me: These days, you could just declare yourself a cat and take your meow-ternity leave. 😉 –
This is why many are thinking seriously of the mincome.
More later but, in the meantime, pretending that the me-ternity people are really needed can lead to social assumptions and legislation that is senseless and unjust. Better bite the bullet.
See also: Meow!! Born In The Wrong Species?