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Women are sharing their own stories of pregnancy discrimination after conservative media outlets attempted to discredit presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass) claim that she faced pregnancy discrimination.
Warren maintains that she was fired from a teaching job in the 1970s because she was pregnant. However, media outlets are starting to contest her account because of how she previously described these events.
NBC News verified that Warren’s resignation was “accepted with regret” around her sixth month of pregnancy.
After I became visibly pregnant, I was told that the job I'd been promised for next year would go to someone else. Pregnancy discrimination is real, and it still happens today—but telling our stories is one way we can fight back. Here are some of your stories that I heard today. pic.twitter.com/x1pe2ikzTr— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) October 9, 2019
Women are tweeting their stories of pregnancy discrimination to show that this is still a problem many women in the workforce face.
If you have trouble believing that Elizabeth Warren experienced pregnancy discrimination because no one wrote down "Fired because pregnant," you are going to be floored when you learn about the experiences of.... any other human woman you know.— Alyssa Leader (@alittleleader) October 8, 2019
Women are speaking out about how they were fired, passed over for promotions, or had offers rescinded allegedly due to pregnancy.
I once applied for a job while VERY pregnant and was told that I might not be a good fit because I had "other priorities" and a gesture was made to my stomach and that was in 2013 so yeah, I believe Warren on this one— Lyz a real sweetheart (@lyzl) October 8, 2019
When I was 7 months pregnant in 2012, my boss hauled me into his office and chewed me out for “putting [him] in a real bind by going on maternity leave.” That’s a quote. He then demanded I return after six weeks and immediately start working 60-hour weeks.— Amy King (@AmyRhody) October 8, 2019
I was warned to never reveal anything about my personal life in job interviews, because interviewers would infer that I might be pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Laughable really, since media jobs also don’t offer health insurance if they can help it.— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) October 8, 2019
I shared my mother's story yesterday, but it turned out I got it a little backwards. She wasn't fired for being visibly pregnant, she HID her pregnancy to AVOID being fired.— Go_Cougars (@design__hole) October 8, 2019
Here it is in her own words: pic.twitter.com/iRgU5k5mMs
A post from Ask A Manager just last week went viral when the employer asked if they could fire a new hire because she was pregnant.
Many economic and gender studies experts agree that the wage gap in America largely stems from the “motherhood penalty.” The motherhood penalty refers to the implicit and explicit biases mothers in the workforce face.
While it is illegal to fire a woman for being pregnant, it can still happen under other pretenses. Additionally, the time women take off of work during pregnancy can result in a skill and experience gap that puts them behind men of the same age. Women may also choose lower-paying jobs if it means they get more flexibility with their schedule.
Motherhood puts women in a bind. Even if employers are accepting and do not formally penalize women for pregnancy, there is still social stigmas working mothers face and many women still take on more household responsibilities than their husbands whether they work full-time or not.
Since we're talking about pregnancy discrimination today, let's discuss the fact that it continues well into motherhood. Women are paid less as soon as they become mothers; men are paid more as soon as they become fathers. https://t.co/kG9E3mIpDk— Claire Cain Miller (@clairecm) October 8, 2019
It is easy to see why so many women are speaking up.
Esther Bell is a writer for the Daily Dot. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism, and her work has appeared in Bustle and Teen Vogue.