So we have yet another raging debate, this time about period leave. And of course I have a take on it. Just that I can’t put it in a story for a website I write for on similar topics. Because my take is a little violent and a little offbeat, given how we seem to think that our employers own our time. They don’t.
Women (and men), if you have cramps, mood swings, even just a not-feeling-upto-it day, I am not sure why you need to wait for a exclusively labelled leave for it. Call in sick! Refuse to turn up. But do a stellar job on days you do turn up. And if someone still calls you out, eat them. Or – and this works better in my experience – explain your stand and be firm. The stakes are almost never as high as authority would make you believe. Trust me. Been there, done that, and all that jazz.
I don’t understand this obsession we have with going to work when not up to it. Why would you not put self care at the very top of your list of priorities? What exactly do you do at work that the world will end if you don’t go for a day? Why are you behaving like you don’t have better options if your employer doesn’t understand the concept of work life balance? Whose standards are you trying to live up to? Don’t.
Tell you what. If you don’t behave like leave and work life balance are rightful entitlements, your employer won’t either. And till the time you are clear about this – and more importantly, united with your peers in this endeavour instead of using whining over Friday drinks as a tool to survive and get along – no business will give it to you. This is India, doston. Even newfangled, gender-neutral leaves like birthdays, adoption, paternity “duvet” days come with hazaar conditions. Your period leave will be no different and trust me, it will not have that much to do with your gender. The solution is not to wait for businesses to one day suddenly start practicing empathy. They won’t till you claim your share and protect it with all you have.