Welcome to my health series: Period Blues
How it all started: The Poll
IS THIS ABOUT EQUALITY AND A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO EQUAL PAY? IS IT ABOUT INTOLERANCE? IS IT ABOUT FEAR? IS IT ABOUT THE ENDLESS STRUGGLE TO BE SEEN AS EQUALS IN THE WORKPLACE? IS IT ABOUT EDUCATION?
While reading the 465 comments posted in the poll Should we get paid leave for periods?on Eve., I was so saddened to read, over and over again, the opinion that giving someone a break to cope with their pain is anti-feminist or taking us back in huge steps in our fight for equality. They were focusing these opinions on equal pay and businesses refraining to hire women if they had to pay them special period time.
Here’s why I think these commenters are misled: The point of having paid time off for periods is not so that women can slack off and cost businesses thousands of dollars or get women paid less than men (they already are) or give companies a reason not to hire women at all. It’s to bring attention to the fact that women and young females (including children; we start periods as early as 10 years old) are in pain and they need help. Their quality of life is suffereing. They can’t exercise because this pain is often chronic, lasting months, but in smaller amounts when they don’t have their cycles. Then they gain weight. The treatment options play with their hormones, more weight gain, more depression, more heart attacks. We are one whole vessel. What we do to one part of our body effects the whole thing. That takes a toll on society. Because we become just a bunch of sad sheep sitting in a field and not pursuing our dreams. And most importantly this negatively impacts our fight for equality and peace because it takes the fight out of us.
Receiving paid time for ill-health is a topic of equality regardless the cause of the health issue. But the truth is males do not have the same reproductive systems. We can use our brains and our hearts and the rest of our systems equally, but we will never be biologically the same. Hence, those females with monthly symptoms that cause extreme pain should be alotted more sick days, or the freedom to take unpaid time with out penalty of losing our jobs or the respect of our employers.