Anger as tech executive calls Pete Buttigieg a ‘loser' for taking paternity leave

Asia's Tech News Daily

Anger as tech executive calls Pete Buttigieg a ‘loser’ for taking paternity leave
© REUTERS

US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

– REUTERS

A technology executive and investor sparked furore on Twitter for referring to men in “important positions” who take paternity leave as “losers”.

Joe Lonsdale, the founder of Palantir Technologies, tweeted on Wednesday that “any man in an important position who takes six months of leave for a newborn is a loser.”

“In the old days men had babies and worked harder to provide for their future — that’s the correct masculine response.”

He had been replying to a tweet about US transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg, who took paternity leave last month following the birth of his newborn twins — amid criticism from the Right.

“That’s something that the president believes in and has proposed. It’s something I believe,” Mr Buttigeig told The View in an interview last week. “Every American ought to be able to get paid parental leave”. 

On Twitter, many accused Mr Londsdale of sexism, with CBC News correspondent Carolyn Dunn writing: “1952 called and it would very much like its definition of ‘masculine response’ back.”

Figures from technology and investing also weighed-in, with Initialised Capital founder Garry Tan arguing that “being a Dad is awesome”, [but] “there is more to life than work and money.”

He also highlighted that his venture capital firm allowed all employees to take four months paid leave, and that he had himself.

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian meanwhile wrote: “The correct masculine response is to do whatever it takes for your family and newborn. No one should have to choose between the ICU/NICU and keeping their job.”

Initialized has 4 months leave, and I took all 4 months to make sure everyone at Initialized felt like they could do it.

Respect that people have different choices, but being a dad is awesome and there is more to life than work and money.

— garrytan.eth 陈嘉兴 🔺🌐 (@garrytan) October 27, 2021

Reddit has also introduced paid leave for its employees.

According to Fortune, Mr Lonsdale later apologised for calling Mr Buttigeig a “loser”.

Anybody who qualifies for paternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act can take time off to care for a newborn but it is not always paid.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson attacked Mr Buttigeig for taking paid paternity leave in the face of US president Joe Biden’s attempts to pass his Build Back Better act — and an unfolding supply chain crisis.

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