The United States Navy has just increased maternity leave for female sailors and Marines from 6 weeks to 18 weeks. This applies to current active duty personnel and all incoming personnel in an effort to increase its ranks of women.
Naval Chief of Naval Personnel spokesman Commander Chris Servello said that the benefit will not extend to adoptive parents or new fathers.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said: “Meaningful maternity leave when it matters most is one of the best ways that we can support the women who serve our county. When the women in our Navy and Marine Corps answer the call to serve, they are making the difficult choice to be away from their children—sometimes for prolonged periods of time—so that they can do the demanding jobs that we ask them to do, with increased maternity leave, we can demonstrate the commitment of the Navy and Marine Corps to the women who are committed to serve.”
The Navy has indicated that there will be no significant cost associated with this new policy, but commenters have other opinions. Apparently, there is no information as to who will fill in those spots when a female takes 18 weeks off to care for a newborn.
A number of news articles and press releases have been issued with many comments by readers. As the articles reveal, there are both positive comments and negative comments regarding this policy, but of course in common sense terms, this is in fact a discriminatory policy. While many tout the benefits of the time to nurture newborns by their mothers, there does not seem to be the same concern of the nurturing effects from fathers.
Many of the articles cite and claim that due to duty considerations, female military members suffer from time away from their newborns, and this policy will help to bridge that gap.
I guess it doesn’t matter about the amount of time fathers have to be away from their children while on duty assignments away from their home bases or on deployment to combat areas. I guess none of the Marines who fought in Battle of Fallujah, of which nearly 100 died, were surveyed about this proposal.
Commentor JrocGnomeSayin states:
“I didn’t say women make the choice purely for the time off. I am however pointing out the inequality between men and women service members. This is just another push to keep women feminazis who already have it made even happier in the military.”
Regardless of the apparent goal of retaining and recruiting more females in the Navy and Marines, we have yet another example of preferences and benefits that are afforded to females and not to males.
Perhaps a compromised proposal would have been more equal such as an increase in family leave time to be used equally by both parents, but that of course would have been viewed as misogynistic.