"Pro-Life" Men Hate You

Meet the influential conservatives who think involved fatherhood is for "pussies"

1Last week, several conservative men decided to go after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for taking two months of paternity leave to care for his two (two!) newborn babies. “Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went,” went the mockery from Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

“The thing about paternity leave is there isn't much for dad to do when the baby is a newborn, especially if mom is breastfeeding,” tweeted Matt Walsh. “His main role is to take care of mom as she recovers but of course that doesn't apply to Buttigieg so I'm not sure why he needs paternity leave at all.”

“Men and women are different. Little babies need their mothers—for food, for comfort, for the nurturing that mothers uniquely provide,” tweeted Michael Knowles. “Babies also need their fathers, but in different ways—not the least of which is to bring home the bacon. The notion that men should sit around the house for weeks or even months to change diapers or ‘chest feed’ or whatever is risible.”

And Steven Crowder, who has 1.3 million Twitter followers, really got to the heart of it, writing, “Paternity leave is for pussies.”

Yeah, these guys are bad fathers. Yes, they clearly have some daddy issues. But what I really want the wives of these men to understand — and what I want the wives of all of the men who follow them, agree with them, read them, and listen to them to understand — is this:

These men hate you. They hate you.

They’ll talk a big game about chivalry and the importance of traditional marriage. They’ll claim that it’s liberals who disrespect motherhood and caregiving. They’ll say that as men, their job is to cherish, protect, and provide for women and girls. They’ll call themselves “pro-life.”

Nah. They hate you.

I’m not trying to sound hyperbolic. But this is what is behind so much of “traditional family” conservatism: the belief that the work women have traditionally done for men is also beneath men; the belief that women are naturally destined to serve, while men are destined to own and to lead. The belief that women, simply, are lesser creatures, and that any man who takes on traditionally female duties is therefore debasing himself.

Is there any other way to interpret what these men are saying? Is there any way to read “paternity leave is for pussies” other than: These men hate women, they disrespect the work women do, and they find the very idea of being compared to a woman to be among the grossest possible insults?

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