Family Policy Can’t Be Gender Neutral

For Mother’s Day, I wrote for Deseret on why gender neutral family policy tends to shortchange mothers.

In an uneventful pregnancy, a mother will still have a harder timechan than her partner as she navigates fatigue, nausea and pain. Drawing attention to these difficulties can feel like letting other women down — if women carry heavier burdens as parents, admitting to them gives employers an excuse to prefer men. But women aren’t helped by pretending to an equivalency that doesn’t exist.  

Pregnancy, birth and recovery are not gender-neutral processes. Women need time to heal and financial cushions to care for their children. Mothers and fathers have unique responsibilities and gifts. Mothers carry the greater physical burden by nature; good fathers are distinguished by the way they choose to carry weight for their partner and their children. Mother’s Day is a fitting time to remember that if our family policy is just, it will not treat parents as interchangeable.

Read the rest at Deseret

I also commented on family leave for a round up of pro-life, whole-life policy asks for Tish Harrison Warren’s column at the New York Times.