Holy Hormones Journal: This is an excellent article that not only examines both sides of the menstrual leave issue – but also provides an insight into other countries with this type of leave for women; at the same timing noting that these countries do not have adequate sick leave policies to begin with. Once again, just like with the push to ditch the pill for the IUD, we have to ask is this wise of a guise?
“Ample paid sick leave would seem to take care of the problem just as well without forcing women to share their lunar cycles with their bosses.”
Do you really want to discuss your cycle with your boss? Do you really want the entire office to know you are taking two days off to cramp and bleed?
What would happen if you boss suddenly started calling the shots – and told you to take two days off because of your lack of work productivity and your change in attitude i.e.; PMS at work. In my world PMS is a very powerful time for truth telling and letting go. Completion of projects to move forward. Insight and wisdom understanding the hidden agendas.
What do you think?
Am thinking this is hardly ’emancipation’. I would never want to give my boss the right to tell me to go home for two days because I am menstruating.
Should Paid ‘Menstrual Leave’ Be a Thing?
Some countries mandate a legal right to leave for women during their periods. Is that reverse sexism or the right thing to do?
For most American women beyond the age of high school gym class, “I’ve got my period” isn’t considered much of an excuse for anything. We’re meant to pop an Advil and get on with things, Red Devil be damned. But in several, mostly East Asian, countries, so-called “menstrual leave” is a legally enshrined right for female workers.
However, as these countries attempt to move toward greater gender equality in the workplace, menstrual leave has come under debate. Do these policies simply further the notion that women are weak, hormonally-addled creatures controlled by their uteri? Or do they encourage more equality by accommodating female workers’ biological demands, much as maternity leave does?
The issue turns out to be surprisingly complicated, with complex historical roots and supporters on both sides of the liberal-conservative divide.
Japan has had menstrual leave since just after World War II. According to the 1947 Labor Standards Law, any women suffering from painful periods or whose job might exacerbate period pain are allowed seirikyuuka (literally “physiological leave”). At the time the law was written, women were entering the workforce in record numbers, and workplaces like factories, mines and bus stations had little by way of sanitary facilities.
The new law, writes researcher Alice J. Dan, was “a symbol for women’s emancipation. It represented their ability to speak openly about their bodies, and to gain social recognition for their role as workers.”