Men who look after their children and treat women as equals have “more cojones”, Miriam González Durántez, the wife of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said.
Interrupting a speech about fatherhood by her husband on Wednesday, Mrs González Durántez , a lawyer who is involved in a role-model organisation called Inspiring Women Network, said there were “dinosaurs” who thought that a father who looked after his children was “less of a man”.
But she insisted that the reverse was in fact true.
Mr Clegg was speaking to an audience of working parents in London, explaining that he and his wife had both taken time off following the births of their three sons, Antonio, Alberto and Miguel.
He stressed that fathers should not see themselves solely as breadwinners and said changes to parental leave rules would help change this Edwardian attitude.
At that point, Mrs González Durántez asked to speak and took the microphone to talk about the “issue of attitudes”.
“There are many, many dinosaurs, not here but out there, who still think that if a man takes care of his own children, he is less of a man,” she said, according to The Guardian.
“If you and other modern working fathers start saying, not only loudly but also proudly, that taking care of your own children and being responsible for your children does not affect your level of testosterone – and that those men who actually treat women as equals are the ones with most cojones.”
Mr Clegg laughed and added: “Of course I agree with you. I always do. The idea that it is not manly to care is as absurd as to say that it is not womanly to work.
“Just turn it on its head. It is an absurd proposition, this informal gender stereotyping about those that take up caring professions.”