Where are the men’s rights activists when Daniel Murphy, the New York Mets player who took paternity leave on opening day, needs them? Well, he may not need them, but it seems like they would want to be all over people like Boomer Esiason and other jocks who don’t love that a guy took 3 days off from work to be with his newborn baby. Shouldn’t this be a perfect moment to advance their cause? Or were they just blowing smoke?
I’ve seen feminists defend his decision and rant about the ignorance of the people who are so pissed about that decision, but no MRAs, no anti-feminists. Where’s the support of your fellow Y-chromosomed person? Where’s the defense of how he deserves to be given the same level of respect for wanting to spend time with his kid as a woman would be given? Oh, it isn’t there.
philosopher comedian Jon Stewart once said, “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.” I think that may be true for the Men’s Rights Movement. This is a movement that loves to talk about the rights of fathers, but it doesn’t seem to be doing anything for someone who is invoking his right as a father. Daniel Murphy, just like almost all1 new fathers, deserves to spend time with his kid.
Studies have shown that paternity leave is actually good for children. Children of fathers who take paternity leave end up having more paternal involvement throughout their lives. These children also do better in cognitive development tests and are more prepared to enter school. It can also improve health of those kids as they grow up and lead to lower rates of obesity, allergies, and other health conditions. Why aren’t the MRAs screaming bloody murder at the ignorance of people who are criticizing Murphy for this? If this is what is best for a child, then shouldn’t they be happy? Shouldn’t they be promoting this idea and demanding that it happen more often? If they really want men to have the opportunity for equal involvement in their kids’ lives, then they need to get up off their asses and tell the media, lobbyists, and politicians that paternity leave is a right that men deserve. When it comes to defending a man’s actual rights, MRAs either need to put up or shut up.
Obviously, fathers who are abusive or rapist or have some other quality that could endanger the child’s life don’t deserve that time. Just like mothers who have those qualities don’t deserve the time either. ↩