Would You Opt for Paid Menstrual Leave?

Paid menstrual leave

Cramps suck. But unless you’re a teenage girl drowning in crocodile tears while doubled over in pain and hell-bent on skipping gym class, seldom does the world care. Like the rest of us, you dope yourself up on meds, prescribed, borrowed or otherwise, and keep it moving.

In a recent piece titled “Should Paid Menstrual Leave Be a Thing?The Atlantic’s Emily Matchar explores the idea of female workers receiving paid time off due to painful periods.

While it’s not caught on in the states, apparently it’s a somewhat common thing overseas. Japan passed a law in 1947 granting seirikyuuka, or “physiological leave” to women suffering from severe abdominal pains during their period. In Taiwain female workers have three days of menstrual leave a year in addition to the 30 days of half-paid sick leave given to all workers. And in Indonesia, women are allowed to take two days a month of menstrual leave.

Sounds a little much? Well, one Russian lawmaker’s views on how women should address our monthly visitor takes the cake. In a proposed draft law, the lawmaker proposes two days a month off for female workers. He writes:

During that period (of menstruation), most women experience psychological and physiological discomfort. The pain for the fair sex is often so intense that it is necessary to call an ambulance … Strong pain induces heightened fatigue, reduces memory and work-competence and leads to colorful expressions of emotional discomfort.

Thanks, but no thanks guys. It’s bad enough we have to work an 8-hour day while our abdomen writhes in pain, so let’s not make matters worse by announcing to the world that our frequent trips to the restroom with a handbag in tow aren’t actually a means to escape the office purse troll, but rather the result of our bleeding uteruses. Well-intended? Maybe. Reverse sexism at its worst? Definitely.

I also have a big problem with high-powered men shooting the breeze on how us girls should deal with issues pertaining to our bodies. Until a man can take a teleconference call, mentally prepare a grocery store checklist, and brainstorm ways to end world hunger all while being repeatedly punched in the abdomen for 8-10 hours, I think we’ll leave this one to the girls.

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