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Opinion

Feminists, start asking for paid 'menstrual leave' and see how seriously you're taken

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Ashe Schow,War on Women,Gender Issues,Feminism,The Atlantic

Should women be granted paid menstrual leave? That's the question posed by sometime-Atlantic writer Emily Matchar after what must have been one heck of a clickbait brainstorming session.

Because nothing says “treat me equally” like using Aunt Flo to get out of work.

Matchar notes, however, that up to 20 percent of women do suffer from debilitating menstrual pain, but paid sick leave should take care of that.

But wait, keen observers will scream, the U.S. doesn’t mandate paid sick leave. True, but many states and jurisdictions have been voting for such a mandate in recent years. And thus far in U.S. history, the need for women to take time off every month due to their periods hasn’t seemed to be a problem.

But other countries do it, Matchar explains. Well, yes, but those laws were put in place by men who probably still believe women's periods attract bears. Just look at the reasoning this male Russian lawmaker gave when he drafted legislation that would grant menstrual leave:

“During that period [of menstruation], most women experience psychological and physiological discomfort. The pain for the fair sex is often so intense that it is necessary to call an ambulance … Strong pain induces heightened fatigue, reduces memory and work-competence and leads to colorful expressions of emotional discomfort.”

That guy's married, by the way. Well, at least he was last year when he wrote that on his website. Since then he seems to be focused on limiting the U.S. dollar in Russia, so either his priorities have changed or his wife set him straight. I'm guessing the latter.

Some of the countries that actually do grant menstrual leave don't give much -- Taiwan introduced menstrual leave last year but only grants three days of it a year on top of the mandated 30 days of sick leave. The law originally put those three days in with the mandated 30, but wouldn't you know it, feminists cried discrimination.

But in Indonesia, women are granted two menstrual leave days a month. That's 24 days off a year -- or an entire working month.

Try passing that in America and see how the wage gap widens.

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