Not the first
While period leave is pretty new to the Western world, many countries in the East already had similar policies in place. Women in Japan have been allowed time off when they’re menstruating for over 50 years! Other countries including South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia also have laws in place granting women time off work when on the bad side of their cycle. A province in China, a country known to be sexist, just instated this as well. Global companies like Nike are also joining in.
Won’t someone think of the men?!
Many men now feel (and are whining!) this is unfair to them as they don’t get special treatment and allowance for extra days off. The company, Coexist, has 31 employees, 7 of whom are male. Understandably, a lot of men have opinions on this subject because of how it does not directly affect them.
Is this policy sexist against men? Perhaps there’s jealousy involved, but it’s not like these women are staying at home playing video games or going out to the bar. Personally, I don’t care when the men think, as they can’t understand what it’s like to try and maintain a normal life when you’re on your period– and it’s different for every woman as well.
While I would never take advantage of this policy because my own menstrual pains aren’t bad, I know women who seek out medical care when their periods become unbearable. Admittedly, that’s not to say there are some women who would take advantage of extra days off. But to take it one step further, it’s not like we choose to menstruate, like how some people choose to get drunk and be hungover and call out sick.
As women, we’ve had to deal with centuries of men presuming that, when inconvenient to THEM, our thoughts, opinions and attitudes are due to our emotions and PMS. And if we’re talking numbers, women across the board are paid less than our male counterparts and the glass ceiling is as present as ever. Is it a little time off for pain too much to ask?
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