A Toast To The Thoughtful Men Who Have Sympathised With My Period Woes!

When men show compassion and understanding toward period pain, it makes for a more comfortable working environment for everyone.

Back then, I had just completed my engineering and was working with a multinational company. It was one such day when Miss P decided to visit me in the early morning hours at the office. Though I was prepared for it, I still panicked. Because I knew my body very well.

The first day is unbearable with an excruciating pain that is sometimes followed by vomiting and loose motion. And it has always been like this for me; ever since I started bleeding. Home treatments like hot water bottles or any other nuskhas never worked for me. Only medication as advised by doctors has been my savior.

Anyway, without wasting a single moment I quickly popped a painkiller in my mouth and got back to work. But medicines take time to produce the desired results. As the cramps intensified, I could hardly sit straight. Plopping my head down on the desk, I closed my eyes. My female colleague, who too was a fresher like me and shared my cabin, looked at me sympathetically.

My boss saw me ‘not working’…

A few moments later, there was sound of heavy footsteps. My boss! I heard him approach my desk, pause, and then leave. I could hardly lift my head let alone speak with him.

I don’t know for how long I sat there in such a state. Finally when the pain began to subside, I lifted my head and looked around. Everything was as it should be. My colleague was working on her computer. I could hear my boss speaking with someone on the phone in the next cabin.

As I came back to my senses, my heart started beating faster. Oh my God! What did the Boss think? Will he ask for an explanation or would he give me a poor rating in the appraisal? Anxiously, I got back to work expecting him to call me any moment.

… but never said anything to me!

But to my surprise, he didn’t! Not only that day but all the other days that I worked for him. Nor did he spoil my appraisal. In fact, he often advised me about future career goals. The matter of my behavior that day was never brought up. I feel so grateful to him for showing me that basic compassion, and respecting my privacy and dignity.

I knew he had a mother, wife, and sister in his family, and no doubt he must be aware of periods and period-related discomforts. The way he understood my needs, I felt comfortable, and not guilty or ashamed.

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Thank you, Sir!

This was not the only incident a man showed compassion

This brings to mind a similar incident that happened to me when I was studying in ninth grade. I remember our Geometry Sir was teaching a difficult equation while I sat writhing in pain. After some time when I was unable to bear the torture anymore, I just put my head down on the desk. Honestly, I wasn’t in a position to even care about any punishment or scolding. But I was worried that any moment now Sir would call my name and ask why I was sleeping and not paying attention in class. But he didn’t.

The bell rang and he left the class without casting a second glance in my direction. I was completely flabbergasted. Hadn’t he noticed me? Everyone else had. After all, I was sitting on the second bench. Then why didn’t he?

The answer is simple. He had respected my needs and spared me the embarrassment of explaining myself in front of the whole class. Oh, I forgot to mention that it was a co-ed school, so we had teenage boys in our class. They must have guessed but thankfully, no one approached me nor did anyone make fun of it. And all because of my dear Sir!

Unfortunately, women shame period pain

I think I am indeed very fortunate to have encountered such thoughtful men in my life. More than what I can say about my female counterparts. Most of them have berated me or even accused me of not being able to bear the pain. I have heard statements like,

You are a woman. You should be able to bear the pain.

Why take a medicine? It’s not good for your health! ( Let me clarify something here. I took medications on the advice of some prominent gynaecologists.)

A good excuse to ditch all work and spend the day in bed!

Yeh to chalta rahega. Work shouldn’t stop because of it.

It doesn’t need reminding that every menstruating body is different

Why do we fail to understand that each woman is different and so are their bodies? The symptoms of menstruation, pre-menstruation, and also menopause differ. Some women experience severe cramps in their stomachs while others feel aches in their legs and waist. Some experience mood swings while others breeze through those days without any discomfort.

Men and women both need to be sensitive about the issues related to periods. Though nature has bestowed the process only on us women, no one can deny the impact it has on everyone else around her. So instead of judging or criticizing her, let’s lend a sympathetic ear and try to understand what she needs most at that moment.

Image Source: CanvaPro

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About the Author

Manideepa Lahiri

An avid reader and recently a writer . I like to pen down my thoughts and experience. read more...

9 Posts | 8,975 Views

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