Period Pay…Hot Topic (TMI)

The above image is hilarious, because half the time a woman is suffering—> no one will know. They might suspect, but if you’re top notch at hiding it & your mood doesn’t give you a way, then no one would ever guess.

Whether you are for or against it, I wanted to touch base on this subject just because I have seen a resurgence on this issue as of late.

Articles from CNN, Time & Fortune, amongst others are prompting a rise in this controversial topic. Carinne Chambers-Saini, CEO & Co-Founder of Diva International started offering this benefit for her employees based off personal experience. CTV News did an article on it. I applaud her for advocating for women, I do. I applaud her for going above & beyond for her employees. That is huge. I just do not necessarily feel that I agree.

So, I am a woman, I am a mother, I am a business owner. I have also had my cycle up from I don’t know, lets say 1997 to 2017 when I had to have a full hysterectomy due to ovarian cancer. So, I went from being in the midst of this subject matter to not. However, I still have an opinion, as well you.

I was never a long drawn out menstrual woman, meaning that I didn’t have long winded periods. Due to being an athlete & work-out junkie I had 2-3 days of suffering. I did suffer from some pretty intense cramps, but I always figured that I could deal with it. I mean, what other option did I have? I believe what I could be categorized as would be having Oligomenorrhea. Its when women go more than 35 days with out a period due to certain circumstances. With that said, I never missed classes nor did I call in for work due to them. I worked as a waitress all through college before steadily having full-time employment. I would just take medicine (Midol or Tylenol), psych myself out & get on with my life. I come from a strong line of Hispanic women. Heck my grandmother had 13 kids & if I said I had to call in to work or not go to school, I can not even fathom the ridicule I would have received. I am more then certain I am not alone in this either. I am not disregarding that some individuals suffer from intense issues due in part to their own cycles but I have to say, I don’t agree with this. It is very hard to dictate what is tolerable & what is not. How does an employer know whether you are telling the truth? Slippery slope.

Some women have Dysmmenorrhea, which is exactly what this topic is about, painful periods. Perhaps if you have a written Drs. note excusing you I could argue that it was worth it to have a day or two, to tough it out at home. But if you are home, you should still be able to work IF you have the means to do so. So if you are an employer & you are entertaining this notion, perhaps it could be drafted that the individual in question could have the day but just work from home as oppose to granting them an actual PTO. Thoughts?

I mean, I went to work & was in the process of having a mis-carriage so I know pain. I also know, that people experience pain on different levels. Some people just have a higher pain tolerance, so they can make it through a situation that other wise another less tolerable person could. I read an article on this subject earlier today. Think about it genes, gender, age, expectation, experience, chronic illnesses & even some mental health issues can all have a hand in how we as individuals tolerate pain.

Yes, the time of the month is often filled with groans, biting back, holding our tongues & a lot of pillow time but right now during the time of more hybrid & remote based roles, I don’t necessarily think that we need “Period Time”.

There is also the impression that it leaves to our counterparts, that taking time off because we can’t ‘handle’ the pain denotes us as weaker. During the time of the Me Too movements amongst others, I don’t necessarily think that it makes us weaker but regardless, I still do not want to give anyone the impression that I can not handle myself & my work load. I don’t want to be put in that category, not even for a minute. Then again, perhaps I am the wrong person to ask, I worked while plugged up to my IV getting my chemo treatments. So I guess I don’t necessarily have a lot of sympathy here. Product of my up bringing I would have to say. I can hear the argument being formed against me too, in that people shouldn’t be categorized as weak or strong. That we should be accepting of every person, in every situation. That as well my friend is a slippery slope. If you start to blur out the line where does it stop?

If we push this subject matter to the forefront then we risk going back to our old stereotypical box. We already broke through the female stigma in so many different ways only for it to come back. We are back peddling here guys & gals….I don’t want to be told I can’t because a mood, or a cramp. I am able to do more because I can push through the pain & moods in my opinion. It gives me a little edge, a personal grit in the game.

To my fellow women, would you be in the job you are in now or working on the current project if employers had this in the back of their head? Or would you feel they would have not batted an eye in your direction knowing you’d be out 1-2 days a month every month? Would you get passed up on work trips & certain clients presentations because of this?

Oh, I am sorry we decided to switch you to the other project so Ron could take this one. You requested off on the 19th and 20th for your menstrual leave remember? Ugh, cringe. Absolutely not! Susan can handle it just fine because Susan is a woman & can handle it all!