Pete Buttigieg Joins the Parental Leave Debate this is Work.

Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten adopted twins in August, and since then he has been on paid parental leave.

The Transportation Secretary’s political opponents have found new methods to attack him for taking time off to care for his newborn twins. Here are some of their worst criticisms:

Pete Buttigieg Joins the Parental Leave Debate this is Work.

1: Paid Time off to Care for a Child or Children is not Considered Employment.

Any parent who has recently become a parent and hasn’t had time to sleep or take a shower will laugh at you if you make this claim (then probably cry).

It’s essentially a full-time job with some of the worst hours imaginable. Buttigieg has spent the weekend reminding everyone that paternity leave is not a holiday.

To operate in this way is a source of great happiness. This is fantastic work. But make no mistake; there is work involved.

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2: Dads Shouldn’t Take Time off to Care for their Newborns.

Candace Owens, a right-wing provocateur, branded Buttigieg’s decision to take two months off during a national transportation crisis “sickeningly pitiful.”

These privileged times have given rise to some of the most feckless men in U.S. history. With the hashtag #BringBackManlyMen, she pleaded for the removal of this “little boy” from office.

Some people reacted to the incident by mentioning Buttieg’s six years in the Navy Reserve and deployment to Afghanistan, including Joy Behar, a co-host on The View. But let’s call Owens’ way of thought for what it is: a bigoted, horribly outmoded view of what it means to be a “man.”

3: Nonetheless, He can Avoid Breastfeeding if he Chooses.

“Dads take paternity leave while they research breastfeeding options. There’s been “absolutely no information on how that happened,” as Tucker Carlson of Fox News put it.

As a matter of fact, not all mothers breastfeed, thus there’s news for the father of four: Even so, expectant mothers and fathers still get up about every three hours to feed their infants.

A parent’s job during leave isn’t limited to feeding the child; it also includes providing the nurturing environment necessary for the child’s healthy growth and development.

4: It’s not Appropriate for Powerful People to Take Time off to Raise a Family.

Senator Todd Young argued on a local Indiana television station that some folks are just too crucial to allow to take time off.

The Republican lawmaker argued that paternity leave was something that the community had opted to support. “At the same time,” he continued, “I think if you’re at the top position in government, people expect you to be on the beat during an economic and public health crisis.”

Nevertheless, he argued, setting a good example for junior employees and society at large by taking advantage of parental leave policies is crucially important.

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5: If You’re not on Vacation, You’re Available to Prevent Disasters.

To hear Republicans tell it, Buttigieg shouldn’t be in public while the world is in the midst of a supply chain catastrophe.

I mean, is the idea here that the new parent could have prevented a large issue in the first place, even putting aside the reality that lots of other skilled individuals should be in place to solve crises big and small?

It is absurd to think that one person, like Buttigieg, can affect such a wide-ranging global problem as the pandemic consequences from decreased manufacturing of commodities and labour shortages.