As I was watching the jewel that is Australian brekky television, a discussion around “period leave” was on; that businesses should have an additional 12 days leave a year for women to take. When I first saw the headline across the bottom of the screen I initially thought “hmm, why not?” However, as I started to listen to the arguments presented by the hosts I soon began finding myself going “um, actually no. Women don’t need that.” Before everyone ovary-acts, hear me out.
The argument that I agreed with was: why can’t women be able to take it as sick leave and not feel ashamed that period cramps is the reason? YES! 100% YES! Why is the topic of menstruation so taboo that it leaves young girls and women feeling ashamed of a natural function that their bodies complete every month?
The pain can be excruciating, debilitating, SHIT! Some of us can barely move for the first two days. Yet, those same people will tend to fight through it as they feel like they can’t use this as a legitimate enough reason to for a sick day.
I don’t want an extra 12 days “period leave” added to my salary every year. I want to be able to say to my boss “hey, I won’t be in today as it’s that time of the month and I can barely move. I’ll put in my sick leave when I’m back in the office tomorrow.” How easy would that be?
We get moody. We get cranky. We get hungry. We become all of the above! Another brilliant argument to let us have a sick day without judgement (trust me, you don’t want our inner gremlins running loose in the office).
Mmmm soft pretzels… Oops, where was I?
My ex-boyfriend was so petrified of CLEAN, PACKAGED TAMPONS. No, these weren’t used tampons. These were fresh out of the supermarket….. (I’ll let that one sink in for you). I would accidently leave one in the car and he would get so freaking awkward about it, asking me to remove it immediately.
How as a society have we continued to allow this environment to breed shame around a normal, womanly function? I won’t disregard that the world has come a long way since the 1950s however women can’t continue to let society oppress this issue. Yes, we are seeing colourful tampon advertisements that are being broadcasted through television (which is awesome!) but we still have young men who cringe at the sight of one. Please don’t confuse me with saying everyone needs a uterus hung over their desks at work like a Christmas mistletoe but we do need to wash away the stigma around women who, in my eyes, are being congratulated for practicing safe sex (yay!).