Giving women the day off for their period is a “stupid idea” that hurts women, a feminist wrote in The Washington Post on Thursday.
The proposal from a digital media company is a “bizarrely paternalistic and silly proposal to further ghettoize us,” Barkha Dutt wrote in an opinion piece. The idea is the “self-indulgent mumbo-jumbo of so-called post-feminists.”
The Indian firm implemented the new “menstrual leave” policy in July, as an attempt to soften taboos and social stigmas associated with menstruation in India. Female employees of the firm can choose to take the first day of their periods off work. (Related: Indian Firm Wants Women To Take Off Work During Their Periods).
Dutt called the policy harebrained and is astounded that at least one U.S. company has adopted the rule.
Period leave “may be dressed up as progressive, but it actually trivializes the feminist agenda for equal opportunity, especially in male-dominated professions,” she wrote. “Worse, it reaffirms that there is a biological determinism to the lives of women, a construct that women of my generation have spent years challenging.”
She maintained that there’s nothing special about getting your period, saying it’s just a bodily function that all women experience. Dutt likens singling women out by giving them days off from work to isolating them in “menstrual huts” in Nepal.
Women’s period might be a little uncomfortable or painful but that certainly doesn’t warrant a day off according to Dutt. Women should just use some Tylenol and hot water if they’re having trouble, she added. Giving women the day off is the ultimate display of spoiled elitist women who want to stay home when they could easily be working and contributing to society instead.
“It’s time for the feminist framework to focus on equality at home as a key component of equality at work … for women to use the fight against menstrual taboos as an excuse for special treatment is a disservice to the seriousness of feminism,” Dutt wrote.
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