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The noise over the new paid period leave policy by Zomato, even from women, is nothing but internalised misogyny, and ensuring equity should be the aim.
If it was cis men who menstruated and had to suffer unbearable pain every first or second day of a 5-7 day period every month for 30 to 40 years of their lives, do you think we would even be having this debate?
Please be clear that this is not about taking taking leave when you have your period. It is about taking leave because of unbearable PAIN during your period.
Girls/women have still gone to school/college/work all these years even with pain or taken leave under other categories. Housewives have worked through the pain all these years without letting anyone know.
This is not just any pain, but the kind of pain that makes it impossible for you to even walk.
Which brings me to this: I recently found out the difference between equality and equity. ”Although both promote fairness, equality achieves this through treating everyone the same regardless of need, while equity achieves this through treating people differently dependent on need.”
I think the feminism that is fighting for equality, or ”fighting hard not to be gendered” (as Barkha Dutt put it) may be missing the point. We should be fighting for EQUITY.
Because it is a fact that women have different bodies and different biological processes, but that does not make us inferior to men. Addressing and meeting those needs should not be taken as treating us inferiorly or setting us back. Why can’t it be just taken as empathy?
Here, the challenges faced by women who struggle with dysmenorrhea, PCOS/D, or endometriosis should be taken into account. Not every woman’s body is the same.
Even though I have none of the conditions mentioned above, ever since I got my period at the age of 10, I have been unable to even get out of bed without the help of painkillers on the first day of my period. That is how I have gone to school, college, and work till now, every month for 30 years.
At my current workplace, we used to get one WFH a month. I used to apply for that on my first day but still there were days that even with painkillers I could not even sit to work, so I had to apply for casual leave. That is 12 casual leaves a year if you are a person who is in debilitating pain the first day of every period. Multiply that by so many more if you have pain on other days too.
~ Why can’t it be normal to give women rest if they have pain?
~ How is it ‘being superior’ if we grin and bear it and work?
~ How is it ‘being inferior’ if we just want to stay in bed and rest?
Those who say that women were given these 5 days off in ancient days, please remember that it was not given them for rest but to ostracize them as they were thought to be impure during their periods.
I have had women tell me not to take painkillers (which were prescribed by my gynecologist mom herself) and refuse to take painkillers themselves, choosing to grin and bear the pain, because they were afraid it would affect the cycle and even worse, they believed that pain is a part of being a woman.
Why should you live with pain just because you have a uterus? Isn’t that also a patriarchal glorification? Putting women on a pedestal who hide or ignore the needs of their body and and go to work bravely even in the midst of debilitating pain? Who benefits from this? Whom are we impressing?
Why should employers start discriminating against women by not hiring them because of this? Aren’t my brains, hard work, and talent the rest of the year enough to compensate for the meager 10 days of menstrual leave given to me every year, that I may or may not take?
Not every menstruating person needs it or will take it and some may even ”misuse it.” That isn’t a reason to deny it to those who really need it. Maybe add it to the sick leave quota specifically for menstruating people so that it doesn’t have to be specifically known as period leave if that is nobody’s business but yours.
If men are saying that they will have to do extra work every month if women take this leave, I want to ask, do your women colleagues do extra work when you take your casual leave/annual leave, and if they did, did you have a problem with that? If people have taken all other kinds of leave till now without anyone else being bothered, why is only this a problem?
It’s high time we started asking for equity as womxn, and know that we still deserve to be treated as equal to men.
Image source: pixabay
Karishma has been writing short stories since she was 8 and poetry since she was 12. She ended up studying Zoology, then Montessori, and then psychology, always feeling ‘’something was missing’. She worked in the read more...
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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