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On April 28, the New York Post published an interview with author Meghann Foye, who claimed that all women were entitled to what she called a “meternity” leave. She told the Post:
It seemed that parenthood was the only path that provided a modicum of flexibility. There’s something about saying, “I need to go pick up my child” as a reason to leave the office on time that has far more gravitas than, say, “My best friend just got ghosted by her OkCupid date and needs a margarita”—but both sides are valid.
In response, moms took to social media to momsplain what maternity leave really means.
The article was also heavily annotated on Genius, with users disagreeing with the very premise of Foye’s article. Jennifer Rice Epstein commented:
I would love to meet a friend out for a margarita some work night—I literally cannot remember the last time I met a friend for a drink or dinner, midweek. And my reason for leaving on time (or my husband leaving on time, when I’m working late nights) does have gravitas: if I don’t pick my kids up by 6:30, I am fined BY THE MINUTE.
Foye is the author of a new novel titled Meternity, in which the main character fakes a pregnancy for some mandated time off from her high-pressure job. In the wake of the backlash, Foye canceled an appearance on Good Morning America.
Some have come to various levels of her defense, pointing out that sabbaticals are cool, but they’re not necessarily in the same realm as maternity leave:
Perhaps we can just call it catchy but pretty inappropriate term.
Lyz Lenz is currently the managing editor of the Rumpus. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Jezebel, the Columbia Journalism Review, and Mashable.