When I interviewed for my first job with The Post at age 25, I wore an oversized jacket in hopes of concealing the fact that I was pregnant. (The ruse failed to fool any of the seasoned journalists who interviewed me.) I knew that it is technically illegal to discriminate against pregnant women in hiring, and I knew that it happens anyway. A trove of pregnancy-obscuring wardrobe advice posts scattered across mom forums suggests that plenty of women find themselves facing the same dilemma: When you’re badly in need of a job, why add one more downside for potential employers?
Bootstraps-minded persons are likely thinking at this point in this column: If you really needed a job, you shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. But when lots and lots of millennials factor in that same reasoning and elect to put off marriage and parenthood in hopes of getting into a reasonably decent financial position beforehand, their individual choices apparently constitute a societal crisis.
Efforts to puzzle out why younger Americans might be putting off the traditional milestones of adulthood — most notably marriage and parenthood — make up a significant portion of the entries in the wildly popular millennial panic genre of commentaries. Arguments that this dawdling could be a major problem for our generation, the ones above ours and the ones that follow practically constitute their own sub-industry.