Blame women for dodgy employers

Time to saddle up my favourite hobby horse. (Actually, can you say ‘favourite hobby horse’ since hobby horse is ‘a favourite topic of conversation’? Hmm.)

Anyway, Adele Horin has things around the wrong way in today’s Sydney Morning Herald: Downside seen in parental leave:

WOMEN workers are likely to suffer discrimination as a result of new workplace rights that enable them to take two years of unpaid parental leave instead of 12 months, according to a prominent feminist academic.

Ok, so let’s look at what this really means: Employers are likely to discriminate against women who use their workplace rights to take unpaid parental leave. By making the sentence about women, as Horin did, it becomes “a female problem”. Being denied your workplace rights? Here, take a Naprogesic, that’ll sort those cramps out.

And why is “Marian Baird, associate professor in work and organisational studies at the University of Sydney” called a “prominent feminist academic”? She may well be a feminist, but because so many people roll their eyes at the f-word, putting it in the first sentence implies it’s not something that you have to take seriously – it’s just those pesky feminists again, rather than dodgy employers denying workplace rights.

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