National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Daddy Duty

Fact of Life

BY The Editors

October 10-23, 2010 Issue | Posted 10/1/10 at 12:44 PM


“With the passage of paid-leave laws in Britain (where Prime Minister David Cameron took several weeks off to care for his infant daughter) and Australia (which is hardly a dandified nation), the U.S. is now the only wealthy country that doesn’t bankroll a bonding period for either parent,” reported Newsweek in a recent cover article about “men’s lib.”

“In California, the first U.S. state to fund leave (six weeks of it) for both parents, only 26% of men seize the opportunity, compared with 73% of women. All told, most new fathers take off two weeks or less for a new child, no matter what. Baby time is simply not seen as masculine. The only way that perception will fade is if men who are already living double lives as dedicated professionals and parents ‘come out’ and start writing their senators and petitioning their HR departments. The motivation is certainly there; over the last 35 years, the number of employed fathers in dual-earner families who say they suffer work-family conflict has risen from 35% to 59%, according to Joan Williams [author of Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter].”