Welcome to a compiled potpourri of arbitrary aggressive words thrown together by yet another one of those privileged on-her-period-woman feminazis who vent onto a word document, all while polishing off a Nutella jar and listening to some good old U2. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)
Now that it’s established that the entire piece is going to be a child of catastrophization of how bleeding women endure a multitude of problems I would like to apologize ahead of time for not using the intellectualized term for this situation- ‘menstruation’ and instead use words like shark week. I’m going to wash my tongue with soap later.
The first case of exaggeration is encountered when women try to sell off the blue liquid they discharge as blood. It’s almost hysterical calling it blood just for the sake of being taken seriously. Any sane human can see through that façade. Thank you, Whisper for getting the truth out in the open.
Then comes the much-yowled sitch of hormonal imbalance. The only data worth presenting is that of how much complaining these women do instead of irrelevant data representing that globally, almost three-quarters (71%) of adolescents and women under 25 reported having period pain and those non-steroidal anti-inflammatories to a minor extent oral contraceptive pills even though are found to be effectual, carry the risk of threatening side effects or that female workforce participation rate in the country has declined from 36% in 2005-06 to 24% in 2015-16.
Speaking of hormones, women have always been accused of being “hormonal” for a long time. Some men have even equated our feelings to hysteria, almost portraying it as an illness and rightly so because obviously hormones are only availed by the consumer having a vagina. They come as a ‘buy one, get stuck with another for free’ offer. Men whereas, being the loftier section instead of hormones have efficiency inducing protein shakes which is what gives them the edge to be superior. Obviously.
Further, there have been many attempts from men to try induced period pain just to know the amount of deltorphin actually experience by the exaggerating women because let’s be honest, it’s not like the pain is equivalent to that of a heart attack or anything.
In India, the country of belief, belief itself is torn, geographically. The north very wisely dictates women who have contracted the girl flu to not touch pious entities translating to food, men or God himself (I would’ve said herself, but whom are we kidding). It’s almost as God himself needs protecting from something he created. Whereas in the south, the visit from Aunt Flo is celebrated by presenting the girl with gold. Festivals of the south like ‘Raja/Rajas’ have been known to come to life commemorating menstruation as a yearly celebration of womanhood. Women are known to be given three days off from their daily routine and the men of the house ensure taking care of the women including serving them food (because women need reminding that men are better than them, even as chefs).
On a local scale, Bihar stood as the only state to provide two days of special leave every month to its female employees without having to provide any justification since 1992. But holistically, the first case for the recognition of relief for menstruating women came in 2017 when Indian digital company Culture Machine introduced paid menstrual leave for the female employees of the company. This started a buzzed which was resonated by companies like Magzter, Mathrumbi, Gozoop and FlyMyBiz by introducing policies promoting work-from-home or fully paid menstrual policies.
Following this, a private member’s bill called the ‘menstruation Benefit Bill, 2017’ was moved by Ninong Ering, a member of parliament from Arunachal Pradesh which aspired to introduce two days of paid menstrual leave every month for women workforce in public and private sectors. The bill further proposed adequate and necessary rest facilities at workplaces for menstruating women.
It was in 2018 that yet another private member’s bill titled ‘The Women’s Sexual, Reproductive and Menstrual Rights Bill’ was introduced by Dr Shashi Tharoor, MP for Thiruvananthapuram to put emphasis on promoting and ensuring menstrual equity for all women by the State.
People have contented this notion of supporting movements for ushering in menstrual flexibility in India by putting forth the erudite argument of taking into account Article 15 of the Indian constitution which prohibits the state from discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth etc.
Some women on the other hand as a force of their annoying habit, while looking for minute details in the same article have discovered that in actuality, the article is divided into four sub-sections. Further, they had the nerve to contradict the entire stance with part (3) of the 15thThe article which chiselled out an exception to the part (1) and accredits the State to make special provision for women and children, all of which is complete hokum. Like, every learned person knows that only the first part holds any significance.
Further, Constitutional obligation under Article 42 of the Constitution which requires to ensure just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief for women should be efficiently ignored like the myriad bill of menstrual instruments that a woman buys in her lifetime or like the legion of women who don’t have access or the resources to access the essential equipment. Same thing, really.
Ignoring India’s elite retardation, several other countries have recognized menstrual leave in their laws, with Japan being one of the first to do so in 1947. Asian countries such as Indonesia, China, Zambia, South Korea, Philippines and Taiwan have also introduced menstrual leave provisions. In Zambia, talking about periods is taboo but such taboos do not prevent the nation from granting one day of menstrual leave every year as ‘Mother’s Day’.
Delving into the details of how 97% of India’s working women are employed in the unorganized sector or addressing the concerns of the lack of affordable menstrual products, especially in public spaces is not even significant because the ‘learned’ intellectuals ruling our country have not thought twice before ignoring it altogether so why should we bother.
As a society, we have been hanging from the cliff on dealing with issues of recognizing menstruation as a natural phenomenon for women (ignoring the rural women especially because obviously menstruation is an elite women’s problem) and it is utterly disheartening to realize the extent of the crippled cognition of shark week by the government. All we can hope is that they too use a tampon to plug in the bleeding conundrum of menstruation and condition of menstruating women in the society. Gloria Steinem said that if men experienced periods, they would brag about ‘how long and how much’ and here we can’t even afford the basic recognition of rights. We are in dire need of having gender-inclusive workplaces in India. Women deserve to be allowed to rest without having to suffer economically. Change is what we all need. Change is all we’re hoping for.
This reminds me of a change for me as well after bleeding excessively in the past few hours. Onto my word document, through my vagina and within my heart. I apologize if through words I have curdled milk, ruined pickles or made men bleed too.
Nevertheless, signing out with bloody hands. Period.
 Mike Armour, Christine Curry & Freya Macmillian, ‘Study Finally Shows How Disruptive Period Pain Really Is, And We Need to Talk About It’Science Alert, June 29 (2019) https://www.sciencealert.com/period-pain-is-probably-causing-days-of-lost-productivity-each-year
 Sudheesh Venkatesh, ‘Let’s bring women back into workforce’ Deccan Herald, Nov 26 (2018) https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/edit-page/let-s-bring-women-back-705101.html
 Christal Yuen and Chaunie Brusie, ‘8 Period Myths We Need to Set Straight’ Healthline, Apr 15 (2019) https://www.healthline.com/health/womens-health/period-myths#6
 Olivia Goldhill, ‘Period pain can be “almost as bad as a heart attack.” Why aren’t we researching how to treat it?’ Quartz, Feb 15 (2016) https://qz.com/611774/period-pain-can-be-as-bad-as-a-heart-attack-so-why-arent-we-researching-how-to-treat-it/s
 The Women’s Sexual, Reproductive and Menstrual Rights Bill, 2018 http://220.127.116.11/billstexts/lsbilltexts/asintroduced/2271as.pdf
 Rathi R, ‘The case for menstrual leave’, Period! June 7 (2020), https://www.period.media/quotes/the-case-for-menstrual-leave/
 Dr Diptirekha Mohapatra, ‘Female Workers in the Unorganised Sector
in India’ International Conference on Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences (ICSHSS’15), July 29-30 (2015), http://icehm.org/upload/6334ED715042.pdf
 Gloria Steinem, ‘If Men Could Menstruate’ http://ww3.haverford.edu/psychology/ddavis/p109g/steinem.menstruate.html