He Fought for Paternity Leave. We All Won.

How one man’s fight for fathers’ rights did a service to women, too.

Vanessa Torre
Jun 8, 2019 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Steven Van Loy via Unsplash

Derek Rotondo is a new father. His company, JP Morgan Chase, gives 16 weeks paid leave to the primary caregiver after the birth of child. He was denied the leave. They assumed his wife would be the primary caregiver.

It’s a reality slap in the face that reminds us that we still have long way to go in the fight for equal rights. It’s amazing that in 2019, a company as large as JP Morgan Chase is so far far behind.

I feel the need to clarify something. When I speak of equal rights, I mean equal rights for everyone.

Being a feminist, people frequently confuse my desire for equality with the desire to see someone else squashed flat.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Picsea via Unsplash

Women have long been pigeonholed into the primary caregiver role. We have been made to feel shame if we step back from it.

I remember, after the birth of my daughter, being routinely asked by neighborhood women if I was going back to work. When I told them I was not, they asked me why I didn’t want to raise my daughter myself.

No one ever asked my husband at the time if he was going to go back to work or not. It was a given. If there was a parent staying home to care for a child, it would be the mother.

What does this do to further the idea that vulnerability is an acceptable trait in men? Not a damn thing. And frankly, we need that from men.

Dads are more than a paycheck and it’s about time that we made them feel like there was more that they bring to the table.

According to the PEW Research Center, 27% of women are stay-at-home moms as opposed to only 7% of men. Interestingly, this number has not changed much over the last 25 years. So, basically, stay at home dads have gained no ground.

This lawsuit is the game changer.

If we’re going to level a playing field, sand has to be poured into spots where we may not be standing. Derek Rotondo, we have more than enough sand to steady the ground you’re standing on.

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories…

Vanessa Torre

Written by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories, and share our lives together. We will not be silenced. We will be fearless. And we will write.

Vanessa Torre

Written by

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. vanessaltorre@gmail.com IG: vanessaltorre

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories, and share our lives together. We will not be silenced. We will be fearless. And we will write.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store