The recent Senate rule change to allow babies on the Senate floor, prompted by the recent birth of Senator Tammy Duckworth’s second child, has caused a minor stir. Duckworth herself pushed for the proposed rule change.  Wednesday night, the Senate voted unanimously to implement it.

“By ensuring that no Senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies,” Duckworth said in a statement after the vote.

The Daily Dot took the opportunity to bash Republican men for their reaction to the news. (This despite the fact that Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar worked with Republican Senator (and Rules Committee Chair) Roy Blunt to get the proposal to the floor. And, as noted above, the rule passed unanimously.)

The Dot took issue with Senator Orrin Hatch’s initial response, which reportedly was, “But what if there are 10 babies on the floor of the Senate?” Senator Hatch’s office later tweeted:

And later:

But this portion of the Daily Dot’s coverage stood out to me as…a bit odd:

In better news, Duckworth also worded the proposal with gender-neutral terminology. That means gay male senators have room to take care of their children in the Senate chamber as well, assuring LGBTQ families aren’t left out from the change.

No — it isn’t odd to me that gay male Senators might wish to care for their young children in the Senate chamber. I think that’s fine — just as I applaud the rule change itself — and congratulate Senator Duckworth on the new addition to her family. What’s odd to me is that the observation implies that only gay male Senators might wish to do so. Straight male Senators wouldn’t want to care for their kids, too?  Only women and gay men take care of their children? That seems rather sexist. And heterophobic.

 

 

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