Quote Originally Posted by Crea View Post
There will always be counter examples to this; I have a friend who is a male midwife. Most women do not want a male midwife. Many women will quietly put up with having one. A significant minority will refuse and demand another. He accepts this as a consequence of being a statistical outlier, though it frustrates and impedes his training. How can you solve one discrimination (rejecting a midwife based on gender) by imposing another (rejecting the right to see a medical professional of your own gender when dealing with sensitive areas?)? Ultimately, you can't. So people muddle through.
As a male RN I've had similar cases but here's the thing - I don't have an issue with patients refusing care from me as a male RN. Yes, I find it ridiculous that I could put on a paramedic uniform and they'd have no objections, but the patient always has the right to refuse. They can refuse for the most ridiculous reasons if they like, so long as they understand that delaying that ECG while they're clearly having a myocardial infarction may be to their own detriment, then they can refuse as much as they like. In health care we have our own little world which while it is shaped by society still has its on insular little values and issues. There are plenty of valid cultural reasons to refuse a male carer, which is fine. The issue that I've seen (for myself and some other male RNs) comes in the profession itself perpetuating discrimination. As an example, a patient (an 80YOF) gave full content for me to undertake an ECG on her as a student... but I was refused because a female RN (who wasn't even supervising me and had nothing to do with the patient) objected. So despite having the patient's full consent, I was stopped from performing it (which I was supposed to be assessed on) because another RN refused. And then they were going to fail me for not doing an ECG... until a male patient faked chest pain to get me out of trouble (and told the other RN to politely piss off).

Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
As the Sweden example brings up, at present we're essentially asking women to choose between kids or a career. In an ideal world of course there wouldn't need to be a choice, but since this isn't an ideal world we owe it to ourselves to mitigate that somewhat. Sure, having the father stay at home may not be optimal or desirable in all circumstances, but at least you're leaving the choice to the couple in question rather than forcing their hand.
The thing with paid parental leave is that while I can totally understand its benefits, I can also understand how frustrating it must be from a business perspective. Here in Australia we also had a "baby bonus" which was a payment made to the parents (or single parent) when they had a child, along with various paid maternity leave deals (not sure what they are). They did this because... I don't know why. A lot of small businesses didn't like the paid maternity leave scheme or the bonus encouraging more people to get down to making babies because it was making it even more difficult for them to operate. They'd have to find staff to cover during that period, and then get rid of them when the mother came back to work. A massive company with money pouring out of every orifice might be able to handle it, but for small businesses it's not ideal.

There are only so many hours in a day so unfortunately for some people the choice will always be between having a strong family connection or having a career. Even if you strip away artificial constructs it all comes down to resources which lies at the heart of everything. Until resources are abundant and robots are doing the majority of the work, we're going to have trouble finding that work-life balance. Putting in places paid parental leave is always going to be difficult to manage.