It's the news story of New Zealand at the moment that the Labour party's leader, a woman, keeps getting asked what her baby plans are. The election is in September.
I've got a thought or two on this.
Some people are making a point that such a question matters. If she becomes the Prime Minister and then decides to have a baby, it's going to impact the country's governance. It's an important to ask her that question, they say, because it affects us all. It's okay to ask.
At the moment, if a company is recruiting for staff and it turns out that an applicant is planning to very shortly become a mother and take maternity leave, it impacts the prospects of the company and it certainly impacts that applicant's chances of becoming an employee.
Some people even go as far as to say, why should a company bear the burden of not knowing what people's family plans are and then having to look for new, temporary employees whilst people take parental leave?
Sure, okay, I get that. When people leave to take parental leave, it costs companies money.
But why should women bear the burden?
If it were legal to ask that question during a job interview, and a woman kept being rejected from a job after job after job because she answered honestly that, yes, she would like to become a mother, thanks - then it would be the woman taking that burden. And that burden's not pretty, because being jobless and on welfare is not pretty, especially given the poor quality of housing stock and a lack of state housing.
The reason it's not okay to ask that question is NOT because it doesn't affect companies and governments - of course it does - but because asking that question puts undue and unfair pressure on people who happen to have wombs inside their abdomens, and ovaries.
When New Zealand becomes a place where a woman has decent chances regardless of what her family plans are, it will become okay to ask her that question.
Until then - no, it's not okay to ask.