My friend and colleague Danielle reached out to me last week and asked my thoughts about paid menstrual leave. We have been conversing for awhile on PMDD and women’s health in the larger context of the status of women in our culture. Danielle has eloquently combined her thoughts and perceptions into the article below.
My emotions on paid menstrual leave? Fear. Are women unknowingly being undermined and confined? Suppressed? Paid to menstruate or blackmailed?
My thoughts? Up until the Suffragist the women’s movement in the 1960’s women were relegated to their homes one to two weeks a month. The reason? Lack of adequate fem care products. Think about it. Women could be active and involved for what two to three weeks out of the month… and then started to menstruate and were forced to hide behind menstrual bleeding and Victorian skirts to hide leaking discharge. This has gone on for centuries and still continues in many countries around the world where girls stay home from school because of inadequate or unavailable fem care when they menstruate.
Fem Care Changed the Course of Women’s History
Albeit in this day and age those hygiene products are toxic and may indeed by causing the inflammatory and abnormal cellular response to sex hormones causing PMDD and premenstrual discomfort, depression and anxiety. Not to mention endometriosis, PCOS, breast cancer and a host of emerging gynecological cancers.
Now we are looking at chemically induced PMDD and endocrine system breakdown due to environmental endocrine disruptors – including more and more research coming out about the dangers of synthetic hormonal birth control and their effect on the neurological-endocrine and immune system.
Bottom line is if we take the paid leave to menstruate are we falling into the misogynistic trap that we are indeed the weaker sex instead of understanding our mind, mood and hormone cycle – and becoming accountable for our health?
14 Reasons For And Against Paid Menstrual Leave
April 7, 2017
For centuries, women have waged the monthly war against their bodies. We’ve fought to grab a hold of rights that made us more equal to men and to retain those rights while the world around us constantly tries to revoke them. We want rights over our bodies and what we do with them. After all, it is we that must endure the after effects.
Whether our line of thinking falls to Greek goddesses, archetypes or the tale of Adam and Eve, we all tend to agree on one thing: the menstrual cycle is vastly misunderstood. It’s not just men, though. There are plenty of women out there who know nothing about their cycles beyond what period week means for them.
They don’t know the terminology that is used to describe the phases of their cycle, and much less the pattern to which it follows the moon.
Since the beginning of time, the feminine divine has been a closely held secret. It was only when man came upon the menstrual cycle that things changed. Initially, women fled their homes during their moon week to be in the company of other women and channel all that energy into something positive.
With the demands that man has placed on women in years gone by, the menstrual cycle has become a thing of negative energy — and women have bought into it.
We’ve become a product of society. We are women who dread our own personal hell week. For some of us, we’ve even played into the idea that our periods should be classified as a mental disorder that requires psychotherapeutic drugs just to make us seem normal.
The truth is, what women need during their cycles is understanding, knowledge, empowerment and perhaps, a little time off to cultivate all that energy back into something positive again.
Share your thoughts.