A Silicon Valley venture capitalist says that men who take six months of paternity leave are ‘losers’ and that ‘in the old days men had babies and worked harder to provide for their future’ which was ‘the correct masculine response.’

Joe Lonsdale weighed into the raging debate sparked by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s decision to take paternity leave after he and his husband, Chasten, welcomed adopted twins into their family.

Buttigieg was criticized for taking paid time off while the country continues to suffer from the effects of a major logjam at ports that has exacerbated the supply chain crisis.

Buttigieg, 39, has been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his family. 

Joe Lonsdale
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale (left) weighed into the raging debate sparked by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s (right) decision to take paternity leave after he and his husband, Chasten, welcomed adopted twins into their family

Buttigieg, 39, and his husband Chasten, 32, have recently adopted twins, Joseph and Penelope, which they officially announced on September 4. Earlier this month, it was learned that Pete Buttigieg was on paid paternity leave

Buttigieg, 39, and his husband Chasten, 32, have recently adopted twins, Joseph and Penelope, which they officially announced on September 4. Earlier this month, it was learned that Pete Buttigieg was on paid paternity leave

Lonsdale says that men who take six months of paternity leave are ‘losers’ and that ‘in the old days men had babies and worked harder to provide for their future’ which was ‘the correct masculine response.’

Lonsdale says that men who take six months of paternity leave are ‘losers’ and that ‘in the old days men had babies and worked harder to provide for their future’ which was ‘the correct masculine response.’

Lonsdale, a co-founder of global software giant Palantir Technologies and current managing partner of 8VC, was reacting on Wednesday to a segment on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is streamed daily on Spotify.

Rogan agreed with Lonsdale’s view that men should not be entitled to paid time off to spend with their newborn children.


His guest, stand-up comic Bridget Phetasy, disagreed.

'This idea that both parents should get maternity and paternity leave at the same time is a little weird,' Rogan, the host of the popular Spotify podcast, said.

Phetasy disagreed, saying that her relatives in Germany were given significant time off to spend with their newborn.

'That's great. You wanna live in Germany? Because in America you gotta work,' Rogan replied.

Joe Rogan
Bridget Phetasy

Lonsdale, a co-founder of global software giant Palantir Technologies and current managing partner of 8VC, was reacting on Wednesday to a segment on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is streamed daily on Spotify. Rogan (left) agreed with Lonsdale’s view that men should not be entitled to paid time off to spend with their newborn children. His guest, stand-up comic Bridget Phetasy (right), disagreed

Joe Rogan criticizes Pete Buttigieg for going on paternity leave
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Rogan also noted that small business owners do not have the luxury of taking paternity leave since they're required to keep running their business.

He said that while fathers should play a role in raising children, that doesn't mean they should be allowed paternity leave.

Phetasy pushed back, saying: 'It's not just about the baby, the mom needs support in the aftermath of giving birth. It's not just to bond with the kid.'

She added: 'It feels like we don’t have to same social cohesion and family structures that we used to have.'

Phetasy lamented that families and extended families no longer live near each other, making it harder to support young mothers who give birth.

Rogan added: 'We're not in Europe, this is better. This is America.

'We're not in Europe, and for America, this is a new concept … When someone in government, who is a man, who didn't give birth, and there is two of them, and they both are off work and they get free money or what happens?'

The exchange between Rogan and Phetasy was reported by Mediaite

Lonsdale's tweet provoked several reactions, including one from fellow tech mogul Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and the husband of tennis legend Serena Williams.

Lonsdale's tweet provoked several reactions, including one from fellow tech mogul Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and the husband of tennis legend Serena Williams. Ohanian responded to Lonsdale by linking to a news story about the benefits he gained from his paternity leave

Lonsdale's tweet provoked several reactions, including one from fellow tech mogul Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit and the husband of tennis legend Serena Williams. Ohanian responded to Lonsdale by linking to a news story about the benefits he gained from his paternity leave

Ohanian responded to Lonsdale by linking to a news story about the benefits he gained from his paternity leave.

'The correct masculine response is to do whatever it takes for your family + newborn,' he wrote.

'No one should have to choose between the ICU/NICU and keeping their job.' 

Garry Tan, the co-founder of tech firm Initialized Capital, agreed with Ohanian, tweeting: ‘Initialized has 4 months leave, and I took all 4 months to make sure everyone at Initialized felt like they could do it.

‘Respect that people have different choices, but being a dad is awesome and there is more to life than work and money.’

Garry Tan, the co-founder of tech firm Initialized Capital, agreed with Ohanian, tweeting: ‘Initialized has 4 months leave, and I took all 4 months to make sure everyone at Initialized felt like they could do it.

‘Respect that people have different choices, but being a dad is awesome and there is more to life than work and money.’

Lonsdale responded to Tan, writing: 'Did you really take it 100% off cold turkey or did you work part time and stay in touch like a responsible leader of your firm as I’d assume?'

Garry Tan, the co-founder of tech firm Initialized Capital, agreed with Ohanian, tweeting: ‘Initialized has 4 months leave, and I took all 4 months to make sure everyone at Initialized felt like they could do it. Respect that people have different choices, but being a dad is awesome and there is more to life than work and money.’

Garry Tan, the co-founder of tech firm Initialized Capital, agreed with Ohanian, tweeting: ‘Initialized has 4 months leave, and I took all 4 months to make sure everyone at Initialized felt like they could do it. Respect that people have different choices, but being a dad is awesome and there is more to life than work and money.’

Lonsdale responded to Tan, writing: 'Did you really take it 100% off cold turkey or did you work part time and stay in touch like a responsible leader of your firm as I’d assume?'

Lonsdale responded to Tan, writing: 'Did you really take it 100% off cold turkey or did you work part time and stay in touch like a responsible leader of your firm as I’d assume?'

Tan replied: 'Can never disappear but I took most of it in one block and we have a strong investment team that handled it very well...Glad to be not a solo capitalist.' Lonsdale appeared to soften his initial stance, tweeting: 'Cool. I should not have written “loser” and appreciate the pushback.'

Tan replied: 'Can never disappear but I took most of it in one block and we have a strong investment team that handled it very well...Glad to be not a solo capitalist.' Lonsdale appeared to soften his initial stance, tweeting: 'Cool. I should not have written “loser” and appreciate the pushback.'

One Twitter user accused Lonsdale of 'loving work more than your kid'

One Twitter user accused Lonsdale of 'loving work more than your kid'

Other Twitter users responded to Lonsdale, taking him to task for his tweet. 'The first months and years are *crucial* for child development and for us to excel as a nation we need to start valuing them,' wrote one Twitter user who supported paternity leave.

Other Twitter users responded to Lonsdale, taking him to task for his tweet. 'The first months and years are *crucial* for child development and for us to excel as a nation we need to start valuing them,' wrote one Twitter user who supported paternity leave.

'If the standard is women will take off more than men, then there will be some discrimination against women in the top ranks, because many of their bosses will know that's coming,' wrote another Twitter commenter. 'Both should get equal time. That way no one gets judged.'

'If the standard is women will take off more than men, then there will be some discrimination against women in the top ranks, because many of their bosses will know that's coming,' wrote another Twitter commenter. 'Both should get equal time. That way no one gets judged.'

Tan replied: 'Can never disappear but I took most of it in one block and we have a strong investment team that handled it very well...Glad to be not a solo capitalist.'

Lonsdale appeared to soften his initial stance, tweeting: 'Cool. I should not have written “loser” and appreciate the pushback.

'In more intense operational contexts, losing key leaders cold turkey for six months seems unnecessary but I respect your different take here.'

Other Twitter users responded to Lonsdale, taking him to task for his tweet.

'The first months and years are *crucial* for child development and for us to excel as a nation we need to start valuing them,' wrote one Twitter user who supported paternity leave.

Another Twitter user wrote: 'Imagine loving work more than your kid.'

'If the standard is women will take off more than men, then there will be some discrimination against women in the top ranks, because many of their bosses will know that's coming,' wrote another Twitter commenter. 

'Both should get equal time. That way no one gets judged.'

Lonsdale, whose net worth is valued at some $425million, made news last year after he relocated his company from the San Francisco Bay Area to Austin, Texas.

'Bad policies discourage business and innovation, stifle opportunity and make life in major cities ugly and unpleasant,' Lonsdale wrote in The Wall Street Journal of his decision to relocate, blaming the political leadership in San Francisco. 

Lonsdale and Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel are among the few high-profile tech moguls in deep-blue Silicon Valley whose politics skew to the right. 

He joined other conservatives who criticized Buttigieg for taking paternity leave during a severe supply chain crisis.

Tucker Carlson of Fox News mocked Buttigieg, suggesting he was 'trying to figure out how to breastfeed'. 

But since then blockages in ports and a truck driver crisis have caused major issues in the supply chain, leaving shelves empty and causing shipping coasts to soar. 

Buttigieg is tasked with coordinating with private companies to alleviate the traffic jams at U.S. ports amid warnings of goods shortages. The Port of Los Angeles (pictured), which accounts for half of all shipping containers entering the U.S., is experience severe delays as trucks aren't arriving to take the containers

Buttigieg is tasked with coordinating with private companies to alleviate the traffic jams at U.S. ports amid warnings of goods shortages. The Port of Los Angeles (pictured), which accounts for half of all shipping containers entering the U.S., is experience severe delays as trucks aren't arriving to take the containers

Carlson said: 'As just about every sane person has acknowledged, inflation is rising because the government has devalued the US dollar by making too many US dollars.

'They're like sand now, they're not worth much. But still the White House does not seem concerned.

'Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child – paternity leave, they call it – trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went.

'But now he's back in office as the Transportation Secretary and he's deeply amused, he says, to see that dozens of container ships can't get into this country.' 

The comments attracted criticism online, with some accusing Carlson of homophobia.

Since joining the administration, Buttigieg has largely steered clear of scrutiny, which changed as supply chains backed up as companies and Americans attempt to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

'Pete Buttigieg is completely unqualified to handle the supply chain crisis,' Republican Senator Tom Cotton tweeted.

'The only reason he's the Secretary of Transportation is because he endorsed Joe Biden,' the frequent Biden critic continued. 'Even Pete knows it.'

Buttigieg, 39, and his husband Chasten, 32, have recently adopted twins, Joseph and Penelope, which they officially announced on September 4. 

Cotton added on his official congressional Twitter: 'Pete Buttigieg couldn't organize a one car funeral—he's not going to organize our ports, railroads, highways, and airports.  

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