When she stopped by Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live on Wednesday night, Meghan McCain was extremely annoyed by a viewer question asking if she will be returning to The View after she has her baby. The short answer is yes. The long answer, as she posted to Twitter on Thursday, is why aren’t people asking this sort of “back-to-work” question of expecting dads?
“Super jealous no one is grilling my husband if he plans on continuing to work after our child is born,” McCain tweeted. Her husband is Ben Domenech, a cofounder of the conservative news site The Federalist.
Like her father, the late Sen. John McCain, the conservative talk-show host has been known to cross over to the other side for certain issues. Still, we are pleasantly surprised to see a woman from the right complain about the double standards all women endure, especially when we become mothers. Not that the people of Twitter were ready to go easy on her for this comment.
She had critics on the traditional side:
“Social science shows kids do much better when mom is at home,” wrote Connie Morgan, failing to cite where this dubitable “science” comes from. “Particularly until age 3 but all ages benefit. Dads need to be parenting too of course but it’s not as beneficial for them to stay at home. I think you know this though. Just looking for likes.”
Several insisted that it’s possible to take time off for kids, return to work later, and be successful, which we think is entirely missing the point. Also, given the fact that McCain suffered a miscarriage before this pregnancy, all the people trying to convince her how precious motherhood is need to sit down.
There were men who took the route of suggesting staying at home with kids is really fun and easy: “Super jealous of my wife who stopped working and could spend time with the kids after she had them while I continued to bust my ass 50+ hours a week to provide for my family,” tweeted DolphinsRule4.
People on the left reminded her that arguing for equal treatment is usually their domain.
“This is why so many people hated Hillary in the ’90s,” Nester’s Angry Mother wrote. “She was a modern woman who didn’t want or need a traditional wife role.”
This is why so many people hated Hillary in the 90s. She was a modern woman who didn’t want or need a traditional wife role.
— Nester’s Angry Mother 🇺🇸🥁 (@ursomoneyhoney) August 7, 2020
And this is a political matter, as Rachel Dillin pointed out: “Perhaps if the U.S. had a strong parental leave policy for both the mom and dad, it might ease up a bit, and families could afford a decent length of leave the way they do elsewhere.”
They also took this as an opportunity to swipe at Domenech: “I think they assume The Federalist won’t be around after the election,” Linda Childers replied.
A few reminded McCain that her complaint is coming from a place of enormous privilege.
“Super jealous that that’s your problem,” MyWitsEndWithU wrote. “My husband, a frontline doctor, missed the first 4 months of our daughter’s life because we’re surrounded by Covid deniers who think The Preamble grants them the right to life, liberty, and pursuits of masklessness. But do go on…”
No one asks me that but then again im not rich haha. Most ppl both parents have to work due to income. My husband would like to stay home n id be fine with it but we cant afford that.
— Kim (@kabanger) August 7, 2020
“No one asks me that, but then again I’m not rich, haha,” Kim said. “Most ppl both parents have to work due to income. My husband would like to stay home, and I’d be fine with it, but we can’t afford that.”
But, OK, there were lots of women who sympathized with the mom to be, sharing their stories of coworkers being surprised by their return to work, job interviewers asking them where their kids were, and husbands being praised for “babysitting.”
“Anyone who says that there is no unequal treatment of women by our society never had a child,” Gayanna Gilbraith summed it up. “Right or wrong, I believe the majority of people still assume child rearing is predominately a woman’s responsibility.”
The more we see people of all political persuasions calling out this discriminatory attitude, the closer we’ll get to changing it.
We also need more moms who “have it all” to be honest about the help they get, the way these celebrity parents talk about their nannies.