Do Women want Menstrual Leave?

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I know a few people will be like “Please not another discussion about periods” but wait, just bear with me.

I came across a post that received tremendous applause and she said

“stop bragging about periods and labour. We are designed this way just deal with it. Men also suffer in many ways. Let us discuss women who suffer instead of getting inside this loophole”

So now this woman want to measure and compare pain but on what parameter? The three subjects she stated are completely different scenarios. Imagine being in labour and your husband says “damn it! deal with it woman, you are designed this way, my mom and my grandmother never complained“. Then he continues with his video game. ‘Never complained‘ is only partially true but did they not suffer will be a myth. Do men also suffer? Okay discuss, raise your voice, take your stand like we have been doing and about bragging as if men do not brag. Yesterday I heard my drunk neighbour screaming at his wife “this is my house, I earn money and I will decide what to do with my money I do not need your opinion

Of course, she is a housewife and housewives only eat and sleep but in reality, they have 24×7 job, not 9to5 job which also includes pleasuring her husband at night(Sometimes she wants sometimes it is forced)

Anyways, regarding the periods leave, a lot of men and even women are objecting that how can we possibly want periods to leave and talk about equal rights.

Now I will get a bit personal here. I am not a working woman and I exactly do not know about the leave system in the working sector but as a student, I can state many real incidents.

During periods many of us get serious cramps, headache, nausea, migraine, back pain, mood swings. Yes, period jokes are dark humour. I had 9 to 5 college schedule, after lunch break I had lab work which means standing and walking continuously from 2 pm to 5 pm, it was painful to even in non-period days and even for boys just imagine what would have been my condition during period days and also add 35-degree centigrade temperature with casual jeans-top outfit and shoes(safety for lab). With sweat, back pain, migraine and a long walk through campus to department led to many mannerless fights with friends, family, shopkeepers, autowala etc. But somehow I managed. All of us manage. Our mothers and grandmothers also managed. But if we look carefully, traditionally women were given menstrual leave. They were asked to rest and not to do any domestic chores for 7 days. People still follow this tradition for the sake of tradition, not for the sake of offering comfort to women.

I recall one time the cramp was too severe so I decided to bunk a class and hugging the hot water bag I slept till late in the afternoon. It was evening soon and my friends got back from the class, banged my door and advised me to go get some fresh air as I was a mess. So I did. From my way back I decided to get Choco Minis and not surprisingly crossed path with my teacher who snidely quipped “I thought you said you were sick and now you are out in market buying chocolate“. I could have said something but I didn’t because society didn’t normalize talking about periods to men. I was frantic with stress and pimples instead.

One time I was texting a guy and he was talking about his crush being rude to him. I said that could be due to PMS, then he said that he doesn’t know what PMS was and I asked him to Google. He came back saying “oh actually I don’t have an interest in knowing such things“. My subconscious was like did he think that not knowing about periods made him a gentleman?

My friend has been diagnosed with PCOD. One time she got her periods during lab hours, she always had spare pads in her backpack but that day she was out of luck. But luckily we had lady-menstruation-version ‘Pablo Escobar’, she whispered me the road to her bag back and I smuggled ‘whisper’ pad from her bag. Through human chain, we delivered it to my friend escaping the eyes of male elements.

One time I had urgent travelling to do by train although it was AC compartment with a limited passenger it was so dirty, I can’t express and yes I had women-complain-about-periods-so-much thingy. I couldn’t just use the bathroom fearing infection, so I drank minimum water and tried to sleep but I couldn’t and my doctor to befriend left a text saying “you know! not drinking water will give urinary tract infection”. I was at despair, travelling alone and waiting for a major station so that I can get down and get things done. After that, I was constantly haunted by Japanese product named menstrual cup. I was discussing the issue to a friend. She said that if we keep demanding things companies may not hire women anymore. They rather not have women staff then build hygienic period friendly bathrooms. Furthermore, we are already given maternity leave and also share universal leave system with men. Men do not demand fraternity leave. See I don’t want to whine about it too much and yes we managed. Many sportswomen like Serena Williams managed it as well and about fraternity leave, if men want to stay home and look after their baby then they are welcome to raise the issue.

If the government can endorse minimum menstrual leave for the women in the working sector as well as in the academic sector then why not? Some have also argued that that will be a huge loss in the working sector but one thing that CoVID-19 pandemic taught us is some things can be better effectively managed from home. So minimum relaxation will be much appreciated. Of course, there are many pros and cons. Some people might take advantage of it and yes soliciting must be checked.

Some feminists and activists are debating that endorsement of menstrual leave will portray women to be weak and having low pain threshold. Well yes, we are not biologically similar to men. We want equal rights but we can never be biologically equal. These type of debates are just foolish. Also, I have witnessed many men amongst my acquaintances who care. Nice people exist and I just want to say that endless points can be made but it is us who decides. Lastly I only recently came to know that trans men also get periods. So if someone wants to speak about it are welcome.

So what do you think?

Yay or nay?


1 thought on “Do Women want Menstrual Leave?

  1. Finally, a topic on which I was thinking to write but couldn’t due to personal problems. With that kept aside, I seriously support this as I have been suffering from PCOS from the past 3 years and it feels like hell working or even doing some regular chores..leave aside the 9 to 5 jobs or college hours. Ancient people knew the facts about periods and it’s relation with the body and mind and later decided the rituals. But nowadays people have changed them into superstitions and myths by following them without knowing the scientific cause. Those who follow these are told as uneducated. Hoping to see the change soon or may be “be the change” should imply more here.

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