I have to love certain things about Gill’s adopted country, Britain. Many things about the place make me rant, shake my head or laugh, but Gill recently pointed out a new reason to love the country from afar.
A company in her city of Bristol is instituting a new policy called a ‘period policy’. It is allowing women to take time off during their periods without being stigmatized– in the hope (and belief) that it will make their workplace more efficient and creative. Well, I’m all for that. Absolutely nothing about a woman gripping her stomach, writhing in pain, and possibly bleeding through her white pants screams :’I want to work harder!’
The manager claims, virtuously, to be attempting to synchronize work with the body’s natural cycles. Well, admirable as it is, good luck with that! As a woman of long standing, I can attest to the fact that one’s body is never in sync with anything — especially when you’re young and have cramps, when you’re menopausal and need strong drugs to keep you and your spouse sane, or when you’re pregnant and act like a crazy, possibly sick person for nine months. If it weren’t, and Gill can vouch for this, for hormone therapy, I would have gone crazy — taking anyone near with me. Nope, if the office manager wants to be truly helpful, he’ll pass out birth control pills to relieve the cramps and hormones to chill out the menopausal women. The pregnant ones are on their own. That ship has sailed. All they have to look forward to is the extreme joy of having to push a watermelon out of a small opening.
This new theory is that, when women have their periods, their bodies are in a ‘winter state’ and need to regroup, keep warm, and nourish their bodies. When the period ends, they’re rarin’ to go, be productive and work extra hard to make their company gobs of money…or something.
In the past, the idea of giving women time off during their periods has met with resistance — from both men and women. There was a stigma attached to it and it was felt they were receiving special treatment. Damned right they are! And they should be! Until men start having babies and undergoing the pain we have to put up with every month, as far as I’m concerned, they can sit down, shut up and pass the cookies and heating pads. But if this idea works, I’m all for it. It’s all about choosing one’s battles.
And just as a side note, I find it interesting that the uterus is finding its way into the news so much lately. One of the oft repeated things I’ve heard said about the Presidential campaign in the U.S. is: “I’m voting my uterus…I’m voting for Hillary.” Nice that the lowly uterus is finally packing some political punch.
Is it obvious I’ve just been to an International Women’s Day dinner ?