Lyanna Stark

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


1 Follower

About Lyanna Stark

  • Rank
    My spite was sharp as broken glass
  • Birthday 07/02/1976

Contact Methods

  • AIM
  • MSN

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    IKEA Empire
  • Interests
    Just for the record, I would like to crush some rumours and state once and for all: no, I don't drink left over wine in the morning. At that time of day I prefer my alcohol clear.

Recent Profile Visitors

15,722 profile views
  1. My favourite dwarf, spot on as always. Between moving house and changing jobs, my time to read has been SHOT since before the end of 2016. Have manage to finish 1984 in original language (yay), a shitty thriller and a pirate romance that was kinda meh. Almost done with an awesome and yuge non-fiction about the later 17th and early 18th century west Sweden, when it transitioned from Danish to Swedish ownership, dealing with everything from warfare, trade, agriculture, taxes, justice system and much, much more. It's very interesting but very, very dense. Almost done with it now and sort of flip-floping on what to continue with. Any takers?
  2. Yeah, I'm just doing a drive by and I totally agree with this sentiment anyway. Shocking, I tell you, shocking!
  3. Since I'm the slowest of the Slow, I am looking into getting a membership soon, but have no idea where to stay. Someone mentioned BWB-houses and Facebook groups oh my and this sounds great, but I see nothing on FB so if some kind soul could message me the details later I would be forever happy and tyvm etc.
  4. In certain server cases of breakfast failure, no mercy is the correct way to go. Harsh, but fair. Randyll Tarly would approve and you know it, Ser Scot!
  5. Ah, I see. I guess this is what I get for barely ever watching TV and only reading news: I miss out on all the silly pop-culture. From what I have read tho, her influence is just currently nothing to write home about, and she is being left in the dust even by popular icons like Emma Watson. Laurie Penny I have followed for a while though, and she is quite good. @karaddin I remember that panel debate from somewhere in Australia featuring among others Celeste Liddle, Roxane Gay, Anita Sarkeesian and Germaine Greer, and it was obvious how the others just felt "Eerrrrrh" about her, but still tried to be polite. Greer hasn't contributed anything useful to feminist discourse for well over 25 years since I don't consider "general trolling" to be contributing anything.
  6. I don't get this at all. I lived in the UK for five years, I still follow UK major news outlets, and my impression isn't at all that Greer is the single most famous feminist. That would most likely be Steinem, Wolfe, bell hooks or Butler, with Faludi, Ngozi Adichie, Serano, Roxane Gay and Sarkeesian added to that list as well as "currently more influential feminists than Greer". At the very least. I mean the only thing you hear about Greer is that she insulted someone. She doesn't actually contribute to feminist discussion a lot. And when she participates, it's mostly a mess since she makes little sense. @Lily Valley Yay, I am so glad you got a good copy of Sexing the Body, and YES it is dense, and I must admit to skipping some of the rat diagrams (this will make sense later, I promise ) but yes, it extremely useful read.
  7. This is important to remember, and also what TP is saying that if there is some backlash from the dominant cultural group, that is not a sign of failure, but one of success. That said, feminists and feminism often get portrayed as ugly, unhappy, angry, bra-burning man-haters by popular culture, and it scares away women who are not actually disinclined to the feminist cause, they just feel they are not "that" type of woman (even if they probably are). The fact that basically every feminist I know arrived at the conclusion that they needed to become feminists from a background of actual life experience is disregarded, as if our lives don't matter, and "other women are quite happy, why can't you be, too?". Pointing out injustices in the system is seen as a character flaw. Further, as you also stated, the Second Wave feminists and their focus on women getting into traditionally male environments, like board rooms, STEM, engineering, etc. missed out on something important, and that is that on their way to do this, they often sacrificed femininity and femaleness in their pursuit. This is also why I keep bringing up Serano, since she puts the spotlight on this in a fantastic way. It is now acceptable for women to work in traditionally male lines of work, to make a lot of money, to get educated, to take seats in the government, women can wear trousers, both figuratively and literally. However, the opposite is not true. Men cannot wear skirts, not figuratively and not literally. This is what Serano points out in "Whipping Girl" as well, that we still have a long way to go before femaleness and femininity are equally valued as maleness and masculinity. It's probably also one of the reasons why many women have felt alienated by the feminist movement, although the stereotype that feminists are all basically angry butch women is definitely a media construct and far less truthful than many seem inclined to believe. However, even so, if you ask feminine women (or for that matter, feminine men), even among the "practitioners", femininity is generally seen as artificial, constructed, only surface deep, and not as *real* or natural as masculinity. Serano writes: If we put this side by side with toxic masculinity, I think a pattern appears of how these things fit together. On the one hand you have a straightjacket of often harmful restrictions on what it means to be masculine (and for most men this would be equaled with "what it means to be a man") and then on the other hand, you have women now being more or less allowed to fit into a man's world and take up spaces traditionally reserved for men, but at the same time, this enormous elephant in the room of negative views towards femininity and femaleness still very much exist. This is true regardless if it comes to women's physical bodies (seen as flawed next to a man's) or a feminine gender expression. The reason this is extra visible when it comes to transwomen, I think, is that they have literally done the "reverse" journey from what people expect you would want: from privilege to a position far less privileged, and this threatens the very foundations of the assumptions around male privilege, patriarchy and masculinity as superior to femininity. In short, women can be allowed equality on men's terms, as long as they don't make noise about their female bodies, and don't insist on femininity being equally valued to masculinity. But in my view, and many others', this is in no way true equality. It's a faux state of women (of all kinds, and also people who don't fit the binary gender norms, and feminine men) being shoehorned into an existing "men's club" on men's terms, with only a few concessions made to placate and to make it seem like this is the real thing. To quote Audre Lorde on this: As long as there is a strong disdain for femininity, as long as it is so strongly devalued, ridiculed and scorned, then equity cannot be reached. For one, it clearly impacts how people view women as less trustworthy, less worthy of being listened to or believed. As we have seen in this thread, too. If only our tone were nicer, if we only addressed people more politely, if we could just be a bit more understanding, as if our experiences, our hurt, our anger, our fears are something we ought to suppress, again and again, constantly, to be more pleasing, to be more caring, more altruistic, more feminine. Only then are we acceptable as women and as feminists.
  8. Thank you for bringing these issues up, Maithanet, brook and zabzie. The intersection class/feminism was one @butterbumps! and I wanted to discuss originally, and domestic violence is certainly something that is can be impacted by class. To respond to the above by @Mlle. Zabzie (because the formatting is not playing ball with me) Yes, I think this is key. It will very likely be hard to consider a life with a significantly lower standard of living, with perhaps far smaller support network to call on when issues arise (and as we know, they always do). While working class women may in some regard have an easier time leaving abusive relationship since the drop in standard of living isn't may not be significantly lower, I wonder if it really is simpler in practice since at least here (as in Sydney) I believe shelters have waiting lists. With regards to the "it doesn't happen to our kind of people", I think that is a HUGE issue, both with domestic violence and psychological abuse, and perhaps especially in middle class families and higher. I was surprised how easily the domestic violence issue was discussed among my working class friends, and how it was seen as fairly non-dramatic. "Oh he punched her from behind so she fell to the floor, so now she kicked him out finally" as a sort of sidenote during a dinner party. I must admit I was 0.o, but at the same time, it was sort of treated as a "these things happen, you deal, you move on" and the discussion was more on "don't let him move back in, we have your back". Refreshing in its simplicity, and this was from a group of women who all worked in care (minus myself) or were semi-retired due to medical issues. I know more than one person who didn't suffer domestic violence, but who stay in horrible relationships because of standard of living issues. This is definitely an issue with a large impact on people's decision making, especially if there are children involved, and you feel splitting up would make them materially worse off.
  9. The way I read it was that this is a world where a certain class of well off women/women who have husbands raking home big cash have the opportunity to work outside the home, so they have already reached the level of "feminism" they require, sort of. (Again, like Xray said, correct me if I am wrong Zabzie.) I don't think Kellyanne Conway is even promoting it as feminism to be honest, and there are lots of issues with what she is saying (for instance, Trump's cabinet seems pretty woman unfriendly, but I digress) If for the sake of discussion we assume she's discussing feminist issues, then it's a type of feminism that is very exclusionary. It seems to me what Kellyanne Conway is talking about here is (with a VERY generous interpretation) a feminism that is strongly irrelevant to working class women, or even to middle class women, since it only caters to women in very specific circumstances. It's also, I think, one of the reasons why feminism can sometimes be seen as an elite pursuit, since women in positions of power focus on things like somewhat more flexible working hours, or more women in the board rooms, or equal pay for equal work, which often equals equal pay for equal white collar work, for white, straight women. That's not to say the issues aren't important (they are, and I feel women in positions of power, in board rooms, in government etc. is an *extremely* important issue), but to many women it feels very far removed from their everyday lives and exclusionary. Especially since it gets juxtaposed against the Trump cabinets extremely woman (and minority and LGBTQ) hostile policy suggestions. I'd say that is an issue in quite a few places, that weaker groups, or groups with fewer people speaking for them, often get sidelined. This is (in my experience) often working class women, who just feel feminism is something for the well educated women in the big cities and it has no relevance in their lives. Since I live in Redneckville and my circle of friends involve a lot of women working care work, I can of course see that feminism would benefit them *a lot*, and that it has (subsidised child care, parental leave etc) but that there is also a long way to go, and that a lot of these women have nobody, or very few people, speaking on their behalf. If you work night-shift changing dirty diapers on dementia patients, board rooms probably feel a million miles away, and flexible working hours, or working from home isn't really a Thing either. Higher salaries, more people on each shift to prevent heavy lifting and simple wearing out from too many "efficiency savings", etc. would help tho, as would a better social safety network for elderly people since women, and especially lower paid women, often end up as carers for elderly relatives on top of the work they already need to do. And the childcare they also need to do. It's doubtful that Kellyanne Conway and her mates will ever do anything for these women, but then I think they feel let down by "mainstream" feminists as well, who are discussing things far away from their everyday lives. If we're then looking at mainstream feminism, it is my firm belief we need to look more at the intersection of class and feminism, so that working class women get a stronger voice. More well off feminists can't leave their poorer or less well off sisters behind in this. It will come back to hurt us all, in the end.
  10. Hmm, I don't understand what you are after. Why do you keep mentioning hard science as an opposite to "language" as if you think "words" have no meaning? Words do have meanings, and this is what we rely on to communicate. If you are using the wrong terminology, i.e. "the wrong words" to describe something, that is by its very nature incorrect. It cannot be correct, because you used the wrong words. Unless you mean to say that I should understand you anyway although you are in fact using the wrong words. Have to disappoint you there unfortunately, my telepathy skills are sorely lacking. Besides, in the area of academic feminism, using at least approximately correct terminology and fairly accurate descriptions of theoretical frameworks are needed, since otherwise we cannot hold any sort of reasonable discussion. It will end up being a discussion of apples and oranges. Hence: words, they have meaning and are important. Well Greer is a well known TERF too, and not a great feminist to look to if you have an issue with transphobia, to be sure. She's also terrible and have been discussed in these threads before. I'm unsure why you think that was in bad faith. She's been extremely controversial in feminist circles during the last, oh, 5-6 years or so. "Wild Swans" on google gets a hit on "Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China" which is a novel. Is this the correct work? Feel free. As English is my second language, I am always looking to improve. I guess this is where, I think, a lot of us posting here differ from you. For me, reading de Beauvioir wasn't so much "I have never thought of this before" as instant recognition. She described my lived experience. I had thought of a lot of these things, but never put them in context, or I didn't have the terminology to express what I felt and thought properly. Reading feminist text over two decades has given me the tools, the theoretical framework and the context to properly articulate my own life, and self actualisation. I has taught me that my gut feeling and/or reactions like "this is not reasonable", or that something was unfair and I could not articulate wasn't wrong, there is a reason for it, and research supports this. This is also something to consider when posting here, and when you get upset in how people are not respecting your feelings on this matter. You are coming up hard against women who've spent over 20 years battling sexism in the work place, as parents and just as people. You are asking us to take *you* seriously and your views seriously, but consider our side. What, in what you have said, should recommend your view to us over our own experiences across decades, the reading we have done, the articles we have poured over.
  11. Hard science? You want to discuss Mathematics, Physics and Engineering? Thing is, the way you are debating and your choice of words reveal that you lack up to date knowledge. Your terminology is wrong, your reasoning is not logical and your dismissal of trans-women show your views of feminism are outdated. Yes, it does. I am also unsure why you are namedropping Greer when I specifically said she is terrible (including the Female Eunuch, which btw was written in 1970 and hasn't aged well). Three Swans I have never heard of, and it turns up nothing on google apart from a pub. Regardless of what the wiki says, Serano is immediately accessible, and I say this as a second language speaker. English is my second language, yet it gave me no trouble at all. I assume English is your first language, so it should give you less. On the contrary, I've read a lot of books on this subject that changed my viewpoint. Serano's "Whipping Girl" being one of them. It's concise, angry, well argued and completely on point, while being backed up by research, as Serano is a biologist. I guess it's "what you heard" vs "what I've read over 20 years". Well are you talking about gender constructivism (not constructive, that is a different word, and means something else), since you previously argued that in the "nature vs nurture" debate, @TerraPrime was disregarding that biology played a role. You specifically stated that: " I definitely agree with all of that, I don't if I gave the impression otherwise, but that's how I feel too. Except I'm asking the question the other way around, because people on here don't seem to think that, they think the opposite, than none of it is natural, and that is is all cultural emforcement. " Which is again, not even quite what Butler meant, and it also misrepresents what people are arguing: I would be surprised if anyone here was ever arguing that biology and body play no part (in fact that was refuted as a non-issue of de Beauvoir already in 1949 in I believe the first or second chapter, and again in the section on "Biology" and its conclusion, which I assume from your referencing her you should know quite well). You claim to have studied de Beauvoir? Good. Which is your favourite part of "The Second Sex" and why? How did you feel about her negativity about the female bodied experience? The stereotyped female bodies linked to immanence and preventing women from gaining transcendence via physically grasping the world through means of the body? Or her take on Freudian psychology in it? Agree or disagree? This is no joke, very few people read and appreciate de Bauvoir these days, I'd be happy to talk about it.
  12. @TerraPrime Have you by chance read Fausto-Sterling's "Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality"? It was actually sologdin who recommended it to me, and it has some extremely interesting information on this type of question, and bias within the scientific community when carrying out this sort of research. Since it is far, far closer to your area of expertise, I imagine you'd get more out of it than I did, but I still found it very informative and interesting.
  13. No, I am not misrepresenting anything, and no, you are not explaining anything to me. Your anecdata suggest strongly that you lack knowledge to put it into perspective. I pointed this out and added recommended reading for it. That is not "not liking" that is simpy pointing out that you are wrong. I'm also somewhat bemused that you are a. arguing feminism with me but b. think the books I read on the subject seem too difficult? c. yet you think I'm arguing in in bad faith and that you are being open minded? In any case, I suggest you keep reading, since I put something down you might find useful. No, that is a complete misunderstanding. Hence why I recommended something for you to read, because it explains it in detail. In short: A. Gender essentialists believe that sex and gender are the same, and that gender derives completely from binary sex, that each gender has naturally inborn traits (note: gender, and that they equal sex with gender, important). The last time feminism of this kind was really "hip" was probably in the 70s and maybe 80s, with attempts to try and put more value in traditionally feminine pursuits, but above all they claimed that there is something uniquely female, tied to the female body (I am using "female" here for this particular context, sidenote). Some were just honestly trying to promote traditional women's pursuits like child rearing or knitting, while others used it as a "separate but equal" argument. From the stuff I've read they also seem to have a somewhat unhealthy fascination with Mother Goddesses. As for feminists in this category, I sort of consider Germaine Greer to be in this category, although she sometimes claims to be a constructivist, but eh, I'll call it like I see it. Apart from that, a lot of socially conservative women (especially politicians, see Paula Bieler for an example of this) who want to be taken seriously as "feminists" generally adopt gender essentialism as it is extremely nonthreatening to the social conservative men. After all, it can be used to justify women working part time, doing all the child care work, being the gatekeepers of sex and just generally altruistic and whatever you want, since you can just link all sorts of hodge podge you feel like and claim "it's in our biology!". B. Gender constructivists see gender as something that is constructed in a cultural setting, a society, where the cultural setting dictates how gender is going to be expressed. Gender constructivists see sex and gender as separate entities, where sex is the biological part (somewhat simplified) while gender consists of all the cultural, social stuff, how we interact, how we are experienced by other people, etc. This divide between essentialists and constructivists really took shape during the early 90s, even if it existed before, with most feminist scholars from de Beauvoir and onwards focusing on how a woman's body should not stand in her way of self-realisation. Consider de Beauvoir's famous quote "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman". FYI she wrote "The Second Sex" in 1949, do this analysis has been knocking around for well over 60 years now. Further, (and this will be a bit rough and brief since we are not entering a more complex territory) the constructivists can be broken down in the more Butler leaning ones, which claim that gender is only performative, and that gender can only exist as performative action. Hence according to these theories we constantly create gender by performing it, hence gender is an actively created entity, one might say. More or less. Her "Gender Trouble" from 1990 was extremely influential at the time, but has since lost some of its luster, I think. (I am no super fan of Butler.) Then on the somewhat other side of constructivism we have feminists like Serano, who has created a far more, to me at least, complex but also better model of understanding the interplay between sex and gender, where she also posits that we have what she labels "brain sex" since it is what we *know* ourself to be (which can also end up on a non-binary spectrum), in addition to our biological bodies and our genders. She uses "gender expression" which I think is a useful terminology, as the way we express our brain sex via our bodies, and our gender expression is what people "read" when they encounter us. In some ways you could say this is performative, but Serano argues (if I understood it correctly, I am sure @karaddin can correct me) that our gender and how we express it has strong and complex ties to our brain sex and how all these three things: body, brain sex and gender interplay, so to simply see it as performance is to deny that complexity. PS. If you claim I argue in bad faith again, just consider how I basically abbreviated some of the most important feminist works in the last 100 years in about 5 paragraphs so you don't have to actually read them.
  14. There are lots of stuff written on this, but what you really should read is Whipping Girl by Julia Serano. It explains what you are after in detail. I might add as well that Serano is trans, so she has direct and relevant experiences which are highly applicable. I mean no offence, but a lot of the stuff you bring up can easily be explained or understood with a bit of reading up on the subject, and I find it helpful to read since I assume everyone here is a reader.
  15. Well no, put this in reverse. While there are single women having children, and single mothers, most parents are in some way or another around the time the child is born, actually a couple. That means that the child is both parents' responsibility. Often the pregnancy was planned, so this huge risk is generally not really a risk, at least not in most of the USA and in Western Europe (minus Ireland and Poland). As for having to quit work when you are pregnant, no, you don't. As someone who has worked up near delivery date both times, this is generally not the case in the UK (where I had child #1, worked up to around ten days before delivery date, wish I had worked longer) and definitely not the case in Sweden (where I had child #2, worked up until two days before delivery date, and baby was on time, too). The only time you get time off during pregnancy, as a rule, is if you are experiencing some severe medical issues, which can happen, but isn't too common. Pregnancy is not a disease. You are still a functioning human being during it, albeit somewhat heavier. Regarding the bolded, may I present Scandinavia to you, where both women and men are encouraged to take parental leave, and lookie there, none of those economies have collapsed because parents take parental leave, which also includes those in important positions, for instance the Government (yes, a Government minister took parental leave, the country did not collapse either). This whole thinking that nobody is replaceable generally means the organisation has weaknesses that need to be addressed, since nobody in their right mind would encourage a business or organisation to set itself up in such a way where someone is absolutely irreplaceable. People switch jobs, and that is a constant hazard to any employer of somewhat competent staff in this day and age. Sure, client relationships are important, but then they need to be handled anyway so that they are not vulnerable enough that should one person leave, the company takes a huge hit. That is simply not sensible business practice. Similarly, if someone is responsible for a certain unique set of tasks, requiring special skills, it is often a very good idea to try and document this, train some additional staff to take over at least the every day running of this, because believe it or not, people go on holiday, the have accidents, they retire, or they switch jobs. Again, sensible business practice that you plan for these things. Pregnancy and parental leave are not different, and as long as they are seen as a natural part of someone's life, they will be incorporated in this planning process. It happens in Scandinavia as a matter of course, and as stated, so far none of the countries are anywhere near collapse because of issues surrounding parental leave.*** Further, as people are well aware of the parental leave system here, and that both mothers and fathers do take parental leave, then it's generally frowned upon for the employer to be caught out and without a plan for that. After all, people generally give notice at least 6 months in advance that they are having a child, and can draw up an outline of a plan (expected late march, woman takes first 9 months off, man next 9 months off etc) so the employer can have a chance of either re-allocating resources, hire replacements, or otherwise plan accordingly. This is no different from other "life events" in people's lives, and to somehow view pregnancy and children as something SO ALIEN that it falls completely outside the scope of "things that can happen during your work life" means an implicit bias is already at hand: in that work and family life cannot, and should not be combined. This is a faulty presumption. If we examine that faulty presumption for a moment, it is easily discernible that it means child rearing needs to be done as a separate thing, and again we end up with one parent removing themselves from the workplace in order to read children and take the primary responsibility as the care giver. This almost always defaults upon the woman. So this presumption leads to its logical conclusion in that "women must remove themselves from the work place in order to have children". It's a cyclical argument. Children can't be combined with the workplace, and then you must remove yourself from the workplace to have children, because children cannot be combined with the workplace, ad infinitum. "We are told" that women are just as good, you write. Would you care to clarify what you mean by that? "We are told" is a passive way of creating a sentence, and it attempts to relieve you of any sort of responsibility, because someone else told you so. However, what are you own views? Are women just as good as men? You clearly seem to imply that a. women are paid less and b. then companies should hire more women IF they are as good, yet that doesn't happen and c. that the implication that companies are sexist and stupid seems too unlikely to be true. The end point of this argument you pose is, put more simply and in less opaque language than you did: women aren't as good as men. OR companies are stupid and sexist. You cannot have it both ways I am afraid. The Myth of the Great Mother Now this is something that I find extremely harmful. "Mums can do everything", "My dad could never have done what my mother did", "Mothers are better in the position of <X, Y and Z> by virtue of being mothers". No. There is no magical essence of Motherhood that turns you from a normal woman into some sort of Inner Goddess or a multitasking automaton. This doesn't happen. What does happen is that gradually, gradually you are weighed down by more responsibility, more work, more organising, and you just adapt, and learn to live with it. Just like organisations slimming down to become more "efficient" and its workers more unhappy since they are always super stressed, so it goes with mothers. It's a gradual slide down the slope, both due to social pressures of how a mother is supposed to be, but also because of the gradual piling on of stuff. Here is an article dealing with this particular myth, and why it is so harmful. This myth also hurts women since we are just assumed to BE better, take more responsibility, multitask like a beast and worst of all? We're supposed to like it. If we don't, we are unnatural and bad mothers. As for whether I found work or child rearing more relaxing: I have a good education and an interesting job, I love my children, but if you asked me how I'd prefer to spend my day - going to playgrounds, driving to various events, cooking, cleaning, washing etc. or working an intellectually stimulating job, then the choice is easy. Luckily for me, my kids have always loved their daycare and have had amazing teachers. I loved going to daycare myself, because my mother made the same choice of working a fulfilling job, full time, since I was small. To me, this is natural and I admire her for it. Funnily, very few people would ask a man whether he found work or child rearing more relaxing or rewarding. That would be nearly an unthinkable question to ask. Same as "Do you find it hard to combine work with fatherhood?" since it's implied in there that only mothers have that problem. Only mothers have the moral obligation to both take the larger responsibility and if we don't the moral obligation to feel bad about it. Further, it devalues men's capabilities as parents, as if there is some magic female essence that is needed to figure out holiday plans, whether or not it is time to bring out the winter boots and the mittens, how to book and appointment with the pediatrician, or how to go to parents' meetings at school. This thought that there is a magical motherhood essence is brutal, and it devalues men as parents, turning them into glorified babysitters. There is no inborn capability to figure out if it's mitten weather, or not. There is no magic in booking an appointment with the pediatrician. There is no magical motherhood essence, but practice and patience involved consoling a crying child (and sometimes even that won't help and you have to resort to bribery). *** As a sidenote, having worked both in the UK and in Scandinavia as a parent, I found the UK system extremely inflexible, backwards, formal and more difficult to work with. My employer seemed somewhat surprised that I would come back after I became a parent, and there was absolutely zero flexibility with regards to dropping off/fetching children at childcare, or taking care of sick kids, working from home, or anything. The Swedish system has a far larger degree of flexibility, childcare is heavily subsidised, here flexitime is the norm so I don't need to get stuck in the school rush every day, taking care of sick kids is a non-issue and men taking parental leave is totally natural. It assumes that people are willing and able to reschedule, have phone conferences and in general have a more flexible attitude, which I find as being a great relief. Not everyone is the same and can fit into a rigid system of 9AM - 5.30PM, and that is taken into account.