Alison Asks: Is This Story Sexist? : The Bryant Park Project Alison asks: Is this story sexist?
NPR logo Alison Asks: Is This Story Sexist?

Alison Asks: Is This Story Sexist?

Day 8: I was reading an article in the Sunday New York Times about public radio trying to energize its listenership. As a working woman, soon to be working mother, one paragraph grabbed me, for all the wrong reasons.

"The [Bryant Park Project] had a tough start. One host, Luke Burbank, quit just before the first day, Oct. 1, although he didn't leave until mid-December. The remaining host, Alison Stewart, is on maternity leave. "

Do we still live in a time when maternity leave is seen as a negative, a problem, a hurdle — something that creates a "tough" situation for co-workers? I've heard of women who hide their pregnancies or don't tell their bosses. When I read this piece, it struck me this paragraph fed into the idea that having a baby is a liability for women in the workplace. Didn't the governor of Alaska just give birth?

I have to admit I was initially kind of nervous to tell my bosses that Bill and I had been overachievers in the baby making department. We were shooting for post-election — TMI, I know.

For the record NPR has been nothing short of AWESOME about the first BPP baby. My exec producer and BPPeeps are incredibly supportive and frankly, if I can reach around and pat myself on the back, more than once I did the show shortly after barfing in the bathroom 10 minutes before airtime.

So a tough start for us because of a pregnancy and maternity leave? Was that a sexist paragraph in the Times or a grim reality? Just curious what our BPP community thinks. Disagreeing is heartily welcomed.