Yesterday, I noted that former Vice-Presidential candidate and zombie-eyed granny starver Paul Ryan would deign to be the next Speaker of the House, as long as members of his party meet a few conditions, one of which was maintaining lots of time with his family: "I cannot and will not give up my family time."
Today, this came to my attention, care of Spudsy:
First of all, just as a general suggestion, anytime someone gets the idea to write the words "Feminists should," maybe take a breath and reconsider.
Secondly, fuck that.
Supporting work-life balance means shit coming from a dude who doesn't support pay equality or control over one's reproduction.
Ryan supports pregnant people having to take multiple days off work to drive hundreds of miles for abortions. Work-life balance my fat ass.
Ryan doesn't support parental leave, socialized childcare, universal healthcare, a real social safety net. Work-life balance my fat ass.
Ryan supports empowering corporations to exploit workers in every conceivable way, including and especially long unpaid hours. Work-life balance my fat ass.
Let's ask Paul Ryan's low-level staffers how supportive of work-life balance he is for other people.
Ryan doesn't give an infinitesimal fuck about work-life balance for anyone but his own damn self. I don't owe him gratitude for selfishness.
I don't believe in trickle-down economics, and I don't believe in trickle-down work-life balance.
* * *
I once worked at a place where one of the vice-presidents was known as Mr. Family Man. He looooooved to leave work early to spend time with his family. Son's got a soccer game? He's outta there. Daughter's got a dance recital? He's outta there.
And that was great. For him. And for his family.
But did he extend that same luxury to the moms who wanted time off to spend with their kids, or who needed time off to take their kids to the doctor?
Hell no he didn't.
Mr. Family Man threatened to fire me for taking time off to attend my grandmother's funeral.
Certainly there are men in positions of power who value work-life balance for themselves and also grant it to their employees. But that is not the norm. How it typically plays out is that a man in a position of power trades on the feminist/womanist-driven narratives that work-life balance, particularly centered around family, is important, but only to justify his own desire for a better work-life balance, as though he is entitled to it by virtue of his position, while denying the same opportunities for better work-life balance to his subordinates.
And specifically his female subordinates. Because a dad who wants to go to his son's game may be given leave (and Great Dad cookies), while a mom who must attend to her child's needs should keep her private life out of the office.
Feminists don't owe Ryan shit. Ryan owes us for giving him the words he's appropriating to improve his own life, while denying the same to all the rest of us.