Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is sharing her story about how getting pregnant incited an onslaught of workplace discrimination. Parents everywhere, of all genders, know what she’s talking about. Warren is saying pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is real, and she could not be more right.
On Wednesday, Elizabeth Warren posted a video to Twitter in which she talks about the discrimination she faced because she was pregnant. Basically, her job was taken away from her because she chose to have children. And though the 70-year-old Warren was just 22 when this happened, tragically, not much has changed today.
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
Warren starts her story off by saying “When I was 22 years old, I had an experience that a lot of women will recognize…” She goes on to describe being offered a job only to have it taken away because she became a parent. Warren says she thinks this best way to fight back against pregnancy discrimination is for people to share their stories, so she read some of the messages she’d received from women who have experienced the exact same thing in the 21st century.
Warren says that this is an experience that women will recognize, but fathers know she’s right too. In fact, fathers everywhere are also keenly aware of how badly this kind of terrible prejudice can impact the mothers of their children. Warren is right to call out the nonsense that is pregnancy discrimination, but she’s also shining a light on the discrimination parents face in the workplace in general.
It’s been a while since a presidential candidate talked so openly and honestly about how hard it is to be a parent and hold down a job (or three). Most of the time, it seems like politicians act as though having a family is just something that happens and that Americans muscle through. But Warren seems to be trying to change the conversation. Mothers are actively discriminated against in the workplace, and by extension, so are all parents everywhere. Dads don’t have it as bad as women. Not by a long shot. But if we’re being smart and honest, we know this is true. Warren’s comments and the stories should give us pause and make us demand that more political leaders talk more honestly about the thing that matters the most in our worlds: raising our kids and being able to hold down jobs that allow us to do so.