Tech entrepreneur stirs debate after calling men who take 6 months paternity leave ‘losers’

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A prominent investor and entrepreneur stirred online debate Wednesday after calling fathers with important jobs "losers" if they take six months of paternity leave for a newborn.

Jon Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir Technologies and general partner at 8VC, made it clear in his post that he thinks it is "great" for fathers to spend time with their families and support new moms, "but any man in an important position who takes 6 months of leave for a newborn is a loser."

"In the old days men had babies and worked harder to provide for their future—that’s the correct masculine response," he posted. 

Lonsdale’s post was in response to a critic of Joe Rogan, the podcast host, who discussed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s recent time off with his husband and two newborns. Rogan was critical of the former presidential candidate because of the port congestion and shipping delays that emerged across the country, adding strain to the supply chain.

Pete Buttigieg, secretary of transportation, speaks during a news conference in Westfield, New Jersey, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rogan asked his guest if paternity leave only applied to the person who actually gave birth, according to Mediaite. The website pointed out that paternity leave is mandated in five states. 

Lonsdale engaged with many commenters who said the shift in society should be embraced and not criticized.

Palantir did not immediately respond to an email from Fox News. Bloomberg reported that Lonsdale has been a vocal critic of "woke" politics, but he clarified his post later and said using the word "loser" was uncalled for. He also said he was for some paternity leave, but called six months "silly."

Buttigieg, for his part, said he was "blessed" to have the time with his family and praised the Biden administration for attempting to make it the national standard for any parent, the Washington Post reported. He pointed out in a subsequent interview that—even while on leave—he was "available 24/7 on issues that can’t wait."

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