Ridiculous, right? According to an article on CNN, Spanish men will get breastfeeding leave equivalent to that of women:
The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that working fathers in Spain have the same right to breastfeeding leave as do moms.
Thursday’s ruling grants Spanish dads the same rights as the mother of their child to leave work up to twice a day for a total of an hour or to shorten their workday by 30 minutes for the first nine months of the baby’s life.
Guess what? I’m all for it. By the way, this workplace benefit is part of Israel’s law too. I don’t know if the European court’s ruling will affect it.
The article doesn’t make it clear, but “breastfeeding leave” has nothing to do with breastfeeding. It once did, but all moms get the hour of leave whether they are breastfeeding or not. As long as moms still get the leave (as opposed to canceling it altogether), or the parents can choose which one gets it (with nursing moms getting priority in case of a dispute) it’s okay with me.
If we don’t want women to be discriminated against because of biology, we shouldn’t allow special privileges either. When women are kicked out of stores and cafes because of breastfeeding, it’s gender discrimination. When young moms aren’t able participate in the public discourse because they are moms, our society suffers. Even though technically breastfeeding in public isn’t illegal anywhere in the US or Israel, it’s not protected everywhere either. When it comes up in court, judges mistakenly consider it an obscenity issue.
When they start kicking fathers caring for their children out of public places, we’ll know there’s no issue of gender discrimination.