Monday, January 17, 2011
Why Toby Young is an idiot
I am so rubbish at updating my blog. It isn't likely to get any better either. However...
Toby Young was on PM on Radio 4 today, commenting on the forthcoming changes to maternity leave. He is a father of four and said that most men wouldn't want to take more paternity leave as they were desperate to get back to work. He said he had felt useless at home and that his wife was glad for him to go back to work (if I was married to him I'd be glad for him to go back to work too). This, apparently, is because women intrinsically know what to do with babies, whereas men are too stupid to work it out. Or something.
I had to keep reminding myself that my one-year-old was sitting at the table with me to stop myself shouting "bollocks!" and "bastard!" repeatedly. So women intrinsically know how to look after a baby, do they? I certainly didn't. And it's still guesswork a lot of the time. I hated the first part of my maternity leave - when Phoebe was 5 months old I decided to go back to work earlier than I'd planned because I was so bored. Small babies are really dull. They just cry and need their nappy changing and need feeding. After 6 months they start getting interesting, and by 9 months Phoebe was a joy to be with (sometimes).
This idea some men have they they shouldn't have to care for babies because they find it boring and menial and tedious and they aren't very good at it is predicated on the lie that women find nappy changing fascinating and love walking around patting a small person's back to get wind up (winding a baby is the least rewarding activity ever. Is there no wind coming up because you need to keep going? Or because it's all out? No idea. Better keep going just in case). Seriously, babies are not stimulating company for anyone. That's not based on gender, that's based on having a brain.