Menstrual day off…

Menstrual day off…

January 27, 2016

Courtesy: MorgueFile
I am a woman. The type you see in your homes, on streets, at groceries, hospitals, malls, parks…at your workplaces. I am not a superwoman. I do the dishes and laundry on some days, squirm and hoodwink the husband into doing it on other days. I am that woman. A normal, common woman.
I earn my keep with pride like most of my breed. I am dedicated, determined and responsible. I put my head down and work five days a week. Almost. Most of the months. Yes. I miss a day or two depending on when Grand Aunt decides to visit me. If she drops in on the weekends I treat her like The Queen. And she lets go off me like a Princess. 
We don’t need your sympathy or pity. Least of it your understanding
If she arrives on weekdays, I go down on my knees and pray she adjusts. I tell her I am a normal, common woman who needs to get up at dawn to set the day for my child before reporting to work as the sun rises. But she refuses to pay heed. She’s a supernova demanding my undivided attention. A martinet who squeezes my insides oozing the last pint of blood from me. Drains me out exhausted. I lie with a water bag, hands between my legs, curled like a newborn, whining. Not done yet, she decides to pound my back. I roll over wrestling her with pillows. She takes her wrath on me as if she’s long last gotten hold of the most wanted criminal in this galaxy who had been on the run.
Submissive, I accept defeat. That’s the only trick to handle her. Like you would to your boss – ‘Yes boss, yes boss, three bags full boss’. So I pop Ponstan, hold my breath and let her unleash her temper.
Once she makes peace with me, I get up, hug my child and my man and procced to shoo the wolf off my door. I am duty-bound to quantify the leave taken. What do I fill in? A sick leave? I didn’t consult a doc. I wasn’t medically ill. Do I trade in those extra hours I slogged on holidays then? Is that fair? Or do I write-off from the accrued annual leave? Probably compassionate leave? Options are many. I’ll write-off any type of leave and as many a number. Loss of pay? I’m ready for that, too, if only I am allowed to play the submissive prey with peace the following month, without being made to feel guilty of choosing to stay back on a particular day, of not having announced my absence in advance, of not being responsible enough…
Sexism and feminism – a bloody combo deriding womanhood
Listen folks – gentlemen and graceful women [yes, women, too. I’ve had the luck to work with a few holier-than-thou souls] we females menstruate. For some among us it’s crazily painful. We get knocked off our senses. Sadly, we are not blessed with the power to select those days. So if it happens to follow a weekend or a public holiday we are not nursing a hang-over or biting out white lies to go shopping. We are just trying to cope with our biological system. Our life.
We don’t need your sympathy, empathy or pity. Least of it your understanding. For you simply cannot understand. Period. Yes. It’s also called that. The next time you hear this word, remember not to judge the woman who says it.
And you female employees – those of you who manipulate the system in the name of changing sanitary pads – stop it now. NOW. Show some respect to your own selves, if not to your breed.
So how about Menstrual Leave – a viable solution? I can already hear mademoiselles screaming sexism and others feminism – a bloody combo deriding womanhood.
Please, let us just be. Let the common, normal types bleed in peace.
Nisha Sanjeev


  • Suzy
    February 7, 2016

    Very well written. Some organisations here have a comfort day – 1 day in the month when you can just call in and say you are taking a comfort day – no questions asked. It does however need to come off annual or sick leave but at least you have that option.

  • tulika singh
    February 7, 2016

    You said it Nisha. It would be wonderful if there was a day like that – like Suzy said – a day to take leave with no questions asked. Or at least if we could talk about it openly – even that would be a relief.

  • Rubina Ramesh
    February 7, 2016

    Wonderful post Nisha. Recently my daughter had an experience which I was wondering if I should write about and now after seeing this I want to write it. Lovely post.

  • Shilpa Gupte
    February 12, 2016

    Yes, a day when nobody would ask why we are being grumpy or moody or anything at all! Just a day, or two, to live and breathe in peace, no judgements passed!