I Can Haz Childcare?

Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They'll do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own.
-George Carlin

Not in France.

You know, there are myriad reasons why I have no desire to reproduce. I'm not really into the prospect of swollen ankles, an aching back, and all of the farting that comes with gestation. But I also know that where we are in this country is not conducive to my having a child, because, no matter how far we've come, the impetus to give up stuff for the sake of the child, namely a career and a life, is still placed squarely on the woman.

Honestly, we live in a country where more companies than not are still hostile to the idea of giving a new mother someplace to pump breast milk at work.

Not in France.

"If I had been obliged to choose between working and having children, I probably would have chosen children," Guiraud-Chaumeil said in an interview at city hall. "But I didn't have to choose."

The family-friendly measures -- including long maternity leaves, child-support payments, public schooling for toddlers and even nanny subsidies -- have become a heavy burden on the French budget as they have expanded over the years. They have grown increasingly expensive for businesses as well. But even in this time of financial crisis and economic slump, when deficits are growing and leaders are looking for cuts everywhere, no one in France, from the left or the right, has proposed reducing government expenditures to promote childbearing.

When the Socialist mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, recently suggested that President Nicolas Sarkozy's government might consider a reduction in government spending on day-care centers for children younger than 3, conservative Education Minister Xavier Darcos responded, "That's an absurdity and a gross distortion of the truth."

You want me to reconsider popping out a baby?

Subsidize my child care and don't make me sacrifice my brain for my uterus and maybe I'll reconsider.

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