Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Journalism! Oh well. Part 2.

I'm going to assume that Time magazine has gone to some kind of vanity press model where you can publish anything you want on Time.com as long as you pay them enough because that's the only rational explanation I can come up with for this sub-Debra-J-Saunders pile of drivel.  Or maybe it's just a naked, trolling pageview gambit because if any editor at Time thought this piece had any more journalistic worth than Weekly World News filler, journalism really is dead and US Weekly is our new New York Times.

The piece I am referring to, of course, is "Netflix’s New Parental Leave Policy Could Make Things Worse for Women," by one "Suzanne Venker."  It begins thusly:
No doubt people are dancing a jig with Netflix’s announcement Tuesday that the tech company will allow its employees to take unlimited maternity or paternity leave during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption—while earning their normal pay.
I'm dancing a jig!  No, I'm not, because I don't work at Netflix.  Also, who has used the term "dancing a jig" since FDR's fireside chats?  "Twenty-three skidoo, Ethel, I'm dancing a jig over the new warshing mechanism!  What's a Netflix?"

Suzanne Venker darkly sees many problems with Netflix's fantastic and generous policy that is a great benefit to employees and which I desperately wish my wife's company had:

First, offering an unlimited leave policy in the first year to new moms and dads means the remaining employees who don’t fit the bill will be left to pick up the slack. This will likely, in turn, strain relations among co-workers and make the workplace environment less effective.

[citation needed]  It will likely strain relations among co-workers!  This sounds serious!  I'm sure this is a well-documented problem that Suzanne Venker can support with studies and research.  Oh, when it's "likely" you don't need evidence.  This is the equivalent of Ancient Aliens' common use of the term "Isn't it possible that.....," as in "Isn't it possible that the stones used to build the Great Wall were quarried by ruby lasers attached to the foreheads of barely-sentient orgone slaves imported from Io?"  You can get away with anything like that!  Sure, Suzanne, it's likely!

Second, it isn’t fair to babies. By encouraging mothers, who are the still the primary parent at home, to bond with their baby for a long period of time with the expectation they’ll return to work at the end of the year means the baby will become even more attached to his mother, and separation may become intolerable.

Suzanne Venker is on much firmer ground here, because a vast amount of research supports the notion that separation may become intolerable when a mother returns to work after a year.  Oh no, wait, it's exactly the opposite!  I suppose it "may" become intolerable, sure.  If even one baby has trouble adjusting, we shouldn't do it at all!  Good thinking, Suzanne!

Offering new parents full pay for up to one year is akin to putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. The needs of children are huge, and they do not end at one year. On the contrary, they just begin. Taking a year off of work to meet those needs merely scratches the surface.

Get the message, Mom?  NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD'S SIGHT, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND.  Any absence creates a "gaping wound."  Hope your college fund is for 2, because you're going with him/her!

It goes on and on in this vein, trying to shame women into staying at home instead of going to work.  Which, if you can do it and that's your choice, fine, but a lot of women either can't or don't want to and that's fine too and the last thing we need is Suzanne Venker trying to make someone feel bad with completely fabricated arguments supported by zero evidence.

We will later learn, although it is not disclosed anywhere in the article or the author's note, that Suzanne Venker is the kind of person who tweets things like "The war on men is real. And it has only just begun" or "Feminism is evil in disguise" so I'm starting to get the sense that Suzanne Venker isn't a 100% neutral source on this topic.

Fuck's sake, Time magazine.

1 comment:

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