Putting a Period to Menstrual Leave
Should men have a say about menstrual leave?
In my opinion, the answer is definitely a big fat YES.
This whole “no uterus, no opinion” argument really gets my tits in all kind of a tizzy.
The thing is that no one minds if men talk about women’s issues so long as men agree.
Well – too bad.
If you want men to give men a voice on issues like abortion and sexual assault – you can’t tell them to shut up the second they disagree.
With that said, let’s dive straight in, shall we?
Period leave – do women need it?
Periods. Most women in the world have them and man – they can be painful. But is menstrual leave really necessary to uphold women’s rights?
Most women in the world have them.
Boy oh boy, can they be painful. I know, after all I am a woman.
I get my time of the month just like most other women. Sometimes it’s so bad I can’t sleep.
It does suck. No argument there.
I am lucky enough to be among the women who can take a pain killer and get on with their day. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people with endometriosis. Or ovarian cysts. The pain must be unbearable.
You know what else is unbearable though?
Living with no kidneys and having waste build up in your body all day until you can do dialysis.
Diabetes is also pretty inconvenient.
Allergies suck too. Some people can’t even be in the same room as the substance they’re allergic to.
So, tell me, why is it that people with asthma, diabetes, allergies and no kidney’s aren’t being offered kidney, asthma, diabetes and allergy leave?
What was that? Did you say that’s what sick days are for?
Yeah, I agree. That is what sick days are for.
The only reason I bring this up is that women in certain countries and maybe even one day Australia, are being offered twelve extra days off a year.
Why? For menstrual leave.
Yeah, you heard right. I just said menstrual leave.
Feminism and menstrual leave – do they line up?
As a woman, I am honestly offended by the notion that I might need a different set of rules than a man to succeed.
If you call yourself a feminist and you believe in menstrual leave, you might want to look up the definition of feminism.
the political, social and economic equality of the sexes
Now tell me this. How is advocating for a set of rules that make it easier for women to get by than men equality?
Aside from the fact that this type of rule implies that women are weaker than men, it shits in the face of women who fought so damn hard for women to be a part of the workforce.
Logically, do you think small business owners are going to want to hire women if they’ll be taking one day off a month? That’s in combination with sick days, holidays and registered days off.
Some businesses just can’t afford that and they will hire men over women as a result. Then you’ll say women are being discriminated against in job interviews.
Well…if you don’t bring in the stupid law we won’t have a problem, will we?
Honestly, are these women planning on going to work at all? Or would you just like to be paid to breathe.
Sorry, did that offend the delicate snowflake your ovaries turned you into?
I don’t care.
You know why? Because women are not delicate snowflakes. Women have been defying the stereotype that we are weaker or less capable than men for years now.
Ronda Rousey kicks some serious ass and she’s a woman. In fact, I’ll bet she had her period all through her incredible career. I don’t believe it stopped her from slaying.
It didn’t stop Hillary Clinton, Julia Gillard, Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou or Gina Rinehart. All incredibly successful women in their field and they did it all while having their period.
Even Beyonce. Yep – that’s right. The Queen herself gets her period.
You’d think women were powerful forces to be reckoned with whether or not they had their period. You know why you’d think that? Cause they are.
Now I want to put all this rubbish about me being anti-feminist or unkind to rest.
I do not endorse the pain of women. I do not endorse the pain of anyone.
Which is exactly why I disagree with giving women twelve days off a year for their period.
Imagine this for me. A guy in the office comes down with glandular fever. Nasty stuff. He calls in sick to work and his boss says ‘Sorry mate, two of the girls called in sick today. Menstrual leave. I really need you to come in.’
Now before you tell me that would never happen, just zone back into reality for me.
It’s 100% possible. Don’t think so? Prove me wrong – seriously. Do it.
Period leave is a metaphorical step ladder that people are suggesting we provide to only women, in order to get over the same hurdle as a man.
But don’t women with endometriosis actually need period leave?
Now I know what you’re thinking. What about endometriosis?
Women who suffer from it have unbearable amounts of pain.
I know they do. I have friends who have endometriosis. I hate seeing them in pain.
Here’s the thing though. For a long time, they didn’t know they had endometriosis. They just thought having periods that painful was normal.
It’s actually not normal to have periods so bad that you can’t function. Particularly if pain killers aren’t helping. Bringing in menstrual leave endorses the idea that periods that painful are normal and they’re just not.
So many people already go un-diagnosed for endometriosis. Bringing in menstrual leave is going to raise that number because it will create the illusion that menstrual cycles that leave you curled up on the floor is totally normal.
Even though endometriosis is awful, and I do agree that it is, it’s not grounds for bringing in menstrual leave.
Women should be allowed to have time off for endo but endo and periods are not the same thing.
One in ten women have endometriosis. That means nine out of ten women don’t need time off for their periods. And nine out of ten women are going to be offered it anyway.
Are you starting to hear the same alarm bells that I hear? God, I hope so.
I mean, how do you tell if someone is on their period anyway?
Are women going to be asked to bring their bloodied tampons and pads into work as proof?
Are they going to be subjected to embarrassing, invasive examinations for the sake of one day off a month?
If you think that is ludicrous and that it would never happen, guess again. There are already cases of such things taking place in the world.
So, will you then argue that women should just be taken at their word? Will you allow women who have gone through menopause to cash in on the same benefits as women who still get their period?
If that is what you are suggesting, you are not asking for period leave. You are asking for woman leave.
Which I might add, is possibly one of the most offensive concepts I have ever heard of. After all, you need a doctor’s certificate for sick leave. Why then should a woman be given period leave because she claims to have her period?
I’m a feminist and I don’t endorse period leave. Period.
I knew this blog was going to anger people, before I wrote it.
I knew my blog on political correctness was going to anger people, before I wrote it.
Like I said in that blog, I am not here to make you feel comfortable. I am here to arm you with the weapon of truth. The truth as I see it.
Now you can tell I am wrong, that’s okay. More than okay. See at sixteen I might not have liked being proven wrong but at twenty nothing thrills me more.
I don’t arrive at these conclusions willy nilly. A lot of thought and conversation goes into them.
My mind is always open to new ideas. So, if you plan to tell me I am wrong – good. I look forward to it but you’ll need a better argument than, ‘it’s right because I feel it’s right’.
Hitler felt that the persecution of the Jews was right. Lenin felt that the slaughter of the Bourgeois was right.
It doesn’t mean that it was.
You may feel that one set of standards for women and one set of standards for men is right, but that doesn’t mean it is.
Feminism was not designed to remove women from oppression and replace them with men.
I know, I know! Men are not oppressed. Not yet but don’t forget, the road to a bloody and authoritarian dictatorship started with genuinely communist ideals.
So, don’t stop talking and better yet, don’t stop listening. On that note, sure as hell don’t forget that not once did Wonder Woman ever asked for menstrual leave.
Be kind, my loves.