Maternity Leave: Your Free Nipple-Sucking Holiday

Following the Queen’s Speech which outlined recommendations on making maternity leave more flexible for both partners - essentially reducing the amount of leave that women will take in most cases - Liz Jones of the Daily Fail responded in characteristically nonsensical manner, with ‘Good women bosses should be worn out by work... not babies.’ A poisonously sexist breakdown of Rebekah Brooks’ enquiry at Leveson follows, noting that ‘her performance was entirely female (simpering, placatory)’ and digging at old Beks for wearing her hair curly (something that I’m pretty sure is genetic.)

Now I know, I know, that Liz Jones is actually a machine the Daily Fail keeps in their storage cupboard that churns out randomly assembled controversial phrases for the purposes of ramping up their internet presence. But she invoked ‘the feminist cause’ here, and I’m going to have to take issue with it. ‘It wasn’t looking good for the feminist cause,’ Liz says of the Leveson Inquiry, which everyone knows is all about feminism. ‘Perhaps her head was full of shopping lists, things to get fixed around the house, that order that needed placing for more horse feed[.]’ Cool, so thank God Liz is on the case to guard the feminist cause for us when the Leveson Inquiry Into Feminism makes us despair.

Lest I get carried away by her introductory bear-poking, Liz moves on to maternity leave - which she went on This Morning to interview with Holly Willoughby over, then came onto the Fail website and twice in one article referred to her interviewer as fat - stating: ‘I was on the programme to say that 12 months’ maternity leave is a very long time, and the least a new mum could do during that time would be to phone in every once in a while.’ This statement is so vomit-inducingly ridiculous that I might have actually just KO’d my gag reflex (pause for the inevitable ‘good news, boys!’ comment.) Of course it totally ignores the fact that actual changes came in to make 12 months flexible between two partners, as well as the hardly difficult idea that people are actually employed to cover maternity leave. Which is good for other people’s job experiences, good for the economy, and means that, believe it or not, companies do not grind to a halt and inundate women in labour with urgent Blackberry updates as soon as their waters break. If only women had picked up their phones and paid a little more attention while they were selfishly continuing the human race, then we wouldn’t have ended up with the Leveson Inquiry Into Feminism! If only there was a wider talent pool than a 1:1 ratio of ability for each job in the UK, then something could have been done! IF ONLY WOMEN DIDN’T SELFISHLY GET PREGNANT ALL ON THEIR OWN JUST TO INCONVENIENCE MEN!

Jonesy plays down what she said on This Morning and gets in the ‘Holly Willoughby is fat’ lols for convenience, but I haven’t forgotten the article she wrote back in 2011 entitled ‘Maternity leave? It’s just another word for a holiday.’ Essentially, that article does what it says on the tin: trashes women for maternity leave, describes one woman she met as ‘weak’ for taking a sick day (despite writing extensively on her own periodic inability to function from crippling depression), describes another as ‘quite stupid’ because she hadn’t read up enough on Liz Jones’ past career, and pulls to a wonderfully rounded-off conclusion that suggests young women shouldn’t expect employment because they’re just going to take days off when they’re sick and get pregnant while they’re fertile. ‘No wonder the number of women who are unemployed is rocketing,’ she rails. ‘If ever I employ a woman again, I’ll make jolly sure she’ll have already gone through the menopause.’

And with all those young women clamouring for you to be their mentor too, eh, Liz? Guess I’ll just have to go with my second choice - Cinderella’s stepmother - to indoctrinate me into Evil Prejudice 101 instead. Sigh @ first world problems.