Welcome to my health series: Period Blues
How it all started: The Poll
I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR
Many women who were unsupportive or unsure of having paid-period days kept repeating that women are really strong. They stated, just be strong and take an OTC and suck it up. It’s true, women are unbelievably strong. But this strength should not mean we have to suffer.
I am happy for those women who wrote in to say they just take an OTC pain reliever and move forward with their day. However, using equal rights as a shield for ego, callousness and ignorance to what’s really happening in women’s health today should be called out. This is about pain and loss of quality of life.
Maybe we could fight for paid period days as another battle-of-the-sexes. But I am tired of fighting because I am different. I just want to be strong and not be taken advantage of by my health care system. If you have a uterus and ovaries and you menstruate then periods are part of your life. Until doctors figure out what it is in our environment that’s causing these severe health issues, I plan on fighting and bringing these issues to light. That’s why I am writing such a personal article, trying not to hold anything back. I am not defined by my period or my uterus but they’re part of my body right now. The pain has made my roar pretty quiet, but it’s still a roar.
Perhaps it is businesses, money, traditional values, and men’s values and ideals that are driving this “suck it up” attitude, but what I see is a big wedge driven into the center of what equality and women’s rights could be if we all were able to be as strong as what is “expected” of us every month in immobilizing pain. What defines strength? Are these women who doll out this advice stronger than me because they can just take a Midol and go? Yes. Physically, they are much stronger. Yes, mentally, they are stronger because they don’t have this particular monthly or chronic pain effecting the brain.
Do I think these women are better than me? Do they deserve their jobs more than I deserve mine? Do they deserve higher pay because their uterus is not impacted the same way? Does a man because he doesn’t have a uterus? No. We’re still equal, we are all different and no one deserves anything more than anyone else, yet here we have it, a world that never deals the same hand to anyone. We each have very different experiences to share.