14 Reasons For And Against Paid Menstrual Leave

For centuries, women have waged the monthly war against their bodies. We’ve fought to grab ahold of rights that made us more equal to men and to retain those rights while the world around us constantly tries to revoke them. We want rights over our bodies and what we do with them. After all, it is us that must endure the after effects.

Whether our line of thinking falls to Greek goddesses, archetypes or the tale of Adam and Eve, we all tend to agree on one thing: the menstrual cycle is vastly misunderstood. It’s not just men, though. There are plenty of women out there who know nothing about their cycles beyond what period week means for them.

They don’t know the terminology that is used to describe the phases of their cycle, and much less the pattern to which it follows the moon.

Since the beginning of time, the feminine divine has been a closely held secret. It was only when man came upon the menstrual cycle that things changed. Initially, women fled their homes during their moon week to be in the company of other women and channel all that energy into something positive.

With the demands that man has placed on women in years gone by, the menstrual cycle has become a thing of negative energy — and women have bought into it.

We’ve become a product of society. We are women who dread our own personal hell week. For some of us, we’ve even played into the idea that our periods should be classified as a mental disorder that requires psychotherapeutic drugs just to make us seem normal.

The truth is, what women need during their cycles is understanding, knowledge, empowerment and perhaps, a little time off to cultivate all that energy back into something positive again.

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14Against: Women Are More Productive During This Time

A big part of the problem with paid time off for menstruation is the overall idea of it, though. It would allow women to take time off when they’re on their periods. This would actually be a great disservice to a lot of women, because the period during which they are bleeding is one of their most effective periods of performance.

Those women don’t want time off when they’re bleeding. Instead, they need time off in the week or two leading up to menses. That’s when the real symptoms sink in as progesterone starts to decline roughly a week out from the onset of menstruation.

If there were a construct for allowing women time to get away from work and indulge in their natural feminine energies, it would need to come when women most need to embrace that power, and that comes long before her period starts.

13For: Emotional Distress

Speaking of premenstrual symptoms, let’s discuss the effect emotions have on the premenstrual woman. As estrogen, testosterone and progesterone sky-rocket when a woman is fertile, they send her into a world of serenity and physical attraction. She is primed and ready for intimacy at this stage.

Shortly after, if conception fails to take place, she will start to feel the effects of her hormones falling. This decline can cause a myriad of symptoms from depression and anxiety to rage and extreme irritability. Some women are even diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder because they are so keenly sensitive to their hormonal plummets that they cannot emotional withstand the chaos that ensues.

Some of them may become so enraged by partners that they call it quits on their relationships. Others may find it hard to bite their tongue or hand out a simple compliment to a friend. Instead, they’ll appear more critical and moody.

Next 12 Against: Painting Womanhood As A Disability

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