(KTVI) — A prominent tech investor and entrepreneur sparked an online debate after calling dads “losers” if they take six months of paternity leave.
Joe Lonsdale, the co-founder of software company Palantir, made the comment Wednesday in response to a tweet about U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg taking time off to care for his twin newborns.
Lonsdale said that he thinks it’s “great” for fathers to spend time with their kids, “but any man in an important position who takes six 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 said.
Though Buttigieg only took two months off, not six, several people tweeted that society should embrace the shift to longer paternity leaves.
“I proudly took my full paternity leave and would do it again. Turns out it helped me win even more,” Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian tweeted in response to Lonsdale. Reddit offers four months of paternity leave.
Garry Tan, the co-founder of Initialized Capital, also defended his firm’s four-month paternity leave policy.
“Respect that people have different choices, but being a dad is awesome, and there is more to life than work and money,” Tan tweeted.
Lonsdale, a father of three, later said using the word “loser” was “unnecessary” and that he should not have been “so harsh.” However, he doubled down on his stance supporting traditional gender roles.