Doctor Wants Us to Stay Home From Work During Our Periods

woman on her period

Ladies, finally someone understands how hard we have it when we're on our period. In fact, he thinks we should get a day off from work when Aunt Flo is visiting -- a paid day off. A doctor is urging companies to offer their female employees paid menstrual leave. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. But here's why I think it's a terrible idea.


British doctor Gedis Grudzinskas justifies paid menstrual leave thusly to the Daily Mail:

Some women feel really grotty when menstruating. Coming into work is a struggle and they feel lousy. When you feel like that, it's harder to take pride in your work or perform as well. This is about employers being sensible and aware.

Grotty? Let's talk grotty. This is me on my period.

the shining elevators

My favorite period was the time I was on day four, and I thought I was done, and then on the train ride into the office, I started bleeding like I had an extra uterus or something and I actually had to buy a new pair of pants. It was that bad. (Yes, I've seen a doctor.)

More from The Stir: 13 Period Disasters & How to Handle Them

Anyway, I say this not to gross you out but to emphasize: I get it. Most women have manageable periods. But for a lucky few of us, all hell breaks loose every three to four weeks. (I'm often on a 21-day cycle because I JUST LOVES ME SOME MENSTRUATION.) Would I love to stay home all day and still get paid? Oh yes. Very much yes, thank you.

But I still think it's a harmful idea.

Dr. Grudzinskas says, "It would be one to three days each month, separate to sick leave entitlement -- it is not sickness, after all." And he's right -- menstruation isn't an illness. (Excessive menstruation is another thing, though.) Menstruation leave is already happening in some Asian countries.

But there's a flip side to this special treatment: It could be used to discriminate against women. Once you say we women can't perform professionally when we're on our periods, you open the door to saying women are less qualified for work because we menstruate.

And what about stay-at-home moms? What mother gets to take the day off because she's on her period?!? "Hon, I need you to stay home with the kids today because I'm on the rag." Yeah, right.

You know what? If you're having ordinary, average periods, this is all irrelevant anyway. You wear tampons, you take some pain relievers, you do some breathing exercises and some yoga. And it's fine. If your periods are so severe they get in the way of your work, that actually IS a medical condition worthy of sick leave.

So none of your condescending paid menstrual leave. I will not have it. Menstruation isn't SO debilitating that we can't still feel pride in our work. If anything, getting through the day and performing well in spite of our periods actually instills a greater sense of pride in a lot of us.

What do you think about the idea of paid menstrual leave?


Image via 9nong/Shutterstock

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