I dunno about this menstrual leave thing

Let’s be clear: removing stigma around a normal bodily function should be celebrated. Proposals to end the tampon tax, distribution of free sanitary products, better education for boys as well as girls, and the introduction of menstrual leave are all positive moves towards ensuring women are not held back by their periods.

The thought that people should need leave for normal and predictable bodily functions might grate a little. As might also the idea that men won’t get such leave – further in creasing the work hours gap and thus the gender pay gap.

But rather more importantly, a century back we were all being told that women couldn’t possibly be doing the important jobs because their hormones sent them mad once a month. The entirety of society – eventually – shouting this idea down. Now, having got to the point of having access to all the important jobs the demand is that women go mad once a month therefore they should have extra time off?

Err, no. One or the other. Periods are just one of those mundane things that happen, everyone gets on with it. Or they’re special and in need of special treatment. Which is it?

This though is great fun:

Menstruation can, however, exacerbate incapacitating physical or mental health problems including endometriosis and depression; it can also be distressing or problematic for people with gender dysphoria.

So birds who think they’re blokes are pissed off by having periods? Who would have guessed? Nature’s such a bitch with this evidence stuff, ain’t she?

13 thoughts on “I dunno about this menstrual leave thing”

  1. “Burd”, not “bird”. Burd is Anglo-Saxon for a young female who is sexually mature. A useful word lost in the illiteracy of modern English usage.

  2. Doublethink. They truly believe it is both a hindrance requiring time off and insignificant simultaneously, deploying each to suit the tactical necessities of the moment.

  3. “I prefer the more diverse Arabic ‘bint’ (princess).”
    Sort of.
    There was an Osama bin Laden. But if he defined as female he could become Jasmine bint Laden.

  4. In my experience it varies. Some women do have painful periods (cure: get pregnant) some do not. Obvs unfair on the ones that don’t because they don’t get the days off.

  5. “…the introduction of menstrual leave are all positive moves towards ensuring women are not held back by their periods”

    Actually a pretty good article information wise, which just fell into the trap assuming a benefit doesn’t have a hidden cost. In this case “take more leave” doesn’t usually equate to “make more progress” in work.
    And that’s a problem that we see time and again. Arguing for privileges assuming someone else pays for them. Might well be true, not equality though is it? and then there’s also what if its you that are paying for the privilege, surely that’s the most equal of outcomes.

  6. You misunderstand, Tim. They want to work fewer hours than people without periods, yet still be paid the same.

  7. A more pragmatic solution might be extended use of flexitime so hours can be made up on other days, but that doesn’t work in all jobs/indistries.

  8. “. . . women are not held back by their periods.”

    We don’t have any of that and I’ve never met a woman ‘held back by her period’. I’ve never even met any low-performing women who blamed even part of their low-perfomance on their period.

    We all accept that for some women there can be enough discomfort to prevent working on occasion. Here’s the thing though, your boss – even if xe’s a he, even if he’s an *old white male* – understands what’s going on. If you’re *productive* arrangements will be made (in so far as the work allows). They won’t hold you needing a personal day or two every month. If you’re not, they won’t care – because the job needs done and if you can’t do it no on cares why you can’t do it.

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