Simple yet thought provoking!
How do you identify as a woman? Breasts and periods. The two things that have intrigued the other genders for generations, for centuries or rather since the beginning of the time.
I am a proud woman. I take pride in my breasts, my buttocks, my PMS, my mood swings, my periods, well everything that comes with it!
But it was a journey to reach this point. Nobody encouraged me to take pride in my womanhood, I just had to. I had to, to understand my place in this world, in this evolution.
We women have been working since the beginning of the time. We have been a part of the “workforce” for decades now. We have come a long way from fighting for restrooms and changing rooms for women, to talking about period leave.
When we started joining the workforce, we were primarily joining “men’s world” the rules we accordingly. Rarely were we encouraged, rather we were always made to feel out of place. We were constantly reminded that our place is in the house, taking care of children and family, you know the “womanly” duties. Many of us obliged, working women, ambitious women were looked down upon, their husbands and partners were looked down upon. They became the source of gossip!
We challenged all of that, persevered it all, broke glass ceilings as they say! Now, there is no field of work where women do not excel.
But, all of that came with a price, a price of us WOMEN. We wanted to make our place, be equal to men and in the fight of it all we forgot being us, being women.
We forgot our bodies have certain needs. We forgot to take time for ourselves between work, ambition and family.
A lot of times we had to delay motherhood, as maternity leave would cost us an important project, a promotion and what not. Women in their 20s constantly faced the questions of marriage and motherhood during the interviews. And somehow it was all considered normal. We were still playing by the men’s rules. We were trying to be them.
We tried doing it all, taking pride in the being “super woman”, we have worked hard, very hard to become the perfect mother, wife and daughter, all just to abide by the rules.
All just to please others, we ourselves have set impossible standards.
But in all of this, nobody would talk about periods, the pain, the PMS nothing! Pop a pill, she would say and move on. We have all done the same!
Companies are making money developing drugs to numb the PMS pain, to facilitate bleeding, to postpone or prepone bleeding and let’s not forget the herbal teas, pain oils, aroma therapy and what not.
Ever wondered why do these pills and potions exist? Why do we have so many jokes and memes on women and PMS? Because it is real.
Periods is our body trying to reset. Any gynecologist, oh forget them, talk to your granny, she will tell you how important it is to have a healthy period cycle. We are seeing a constant increase in conditions like PCOS and PCOD, 4 out 10 women are affected by mensuration issues.
I went from a young woman with healthy period cycle to a woman in her thirties with PCOS and extremely painful PMS.
Period experience is different for each woman, just like pregnancy. When we can understand that and debate on pregnancy and maternity leave. Why not for periods? Not all women can travel for hours and sit at workstation for hours during menses. Then need to rest, a woman’s body for that one day atleast needs to rest.
We are a major part of workforce and we need to introduce the debate for period leave.
If you think that a period leave will affect us negatively, will increase inequality, will be misused, will make us look weaker, will increase the taboo, then you are part of the problem.
Period leave will let you talk about periods, it will educate other genders about it, it will reduce the taboo and maybe more washrooms will have sanitary pads available. And nobody will have to be hush hush about it.
Periods still are a taboo because we are making it a taboo. We are perceived to be weak because we are letting them think that.
I have a few questions for women here –
- If you have a pain free period, and your friend has a painful period, do you not think a period leave will help? Do you want to help your friend?
- If you have a painful period and so does our colleague, she asks you to take over her shift and fly her plane, would you not do that? Would you not expect the same?
- How many more years do we need to pop pills and push through?
- Why can we not take that one day and reset ourselves?
- Do you think periods make us weak?
- Do you not think #womensupportingwomen is needed here?
- Why do we not have empathy and understanding for our own gender?
Here are my answers (I hope it urges you to think) –
- It stops now!
- Well, we should, but that somehow is considered a luxury.
- No, never, and anybody who says that to me, I will punch them in the face!
- Yes absolutely
- I have no idea, I wish we had more empathy, love and support for each other.
Let us encourage this discussion, we need to stop being men, we need to be us, we need to be women!
“I will be your light, always by your side, if you treat me right!”
Let us introduce our rules into the game, shall we? And this applies to all women, in all fields of work, rich and poor. Never forget that!
All images are from google.