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.
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.