Friday, March 4, 2016

Legalizing Menstrual Leave

"Menstrual leave has been a legal right for Japanese women since 1947, but fear of social stigma means many will not take it."

I just read an interesting article about the possibility of instituting Menstrual Leave a.k.a period policy in the U.S. I actually chuckled at first, thinking it was surely a joke. Turns out, this was a real thing and something that's already legal in many Asian countries.

To me, I don't consider this a need. Women who've had such a perk don't seem to want to use it anyway. I get their concerns of being stigmatized for having to be off for this instead of just taking a 'sick day' similar their male counterparts. I get it and it sucks. They get a perk, they don't even get to use. On the flip side, there's a firm in the UK who adopted this policy for female employees and claims they're trying to be as sensitive as possible in the process to avoid social stigma.

I thought about my own preference and immediately concluded "no way." I wouldn't offer this in my own office, period. I understand the social stigma women in Asia fear since they're having to be perceived as 'incapable' during this time of the month. Women having periods is nothing new and I fear time-off labels it almost as a handicap or disability. Sure it's uncomfortable and even painful, but working through the pain is a part of a woman's life regardless of work responsibilities. Some may disagree with me, but I am not in the market for additional societal double standards. Women are already paid less than men in 20-freaking-16. To think we might have to one day hear... "well at least you get time off, that I don't being a man." As if time of is a consolation for double standards in the work place.

Obviously, I vote no on instituting menstrual period time off, how about you?

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