Recently Zomato declared its decision to grant Period Leaves for women that led to a huge furore and debate amidst all sections of the population, even ones with the remotest corporate links. The decision especially angered men. Reasons ranged from hailing the move as ‘unfair’ to ‘privileging’ an already ‘privileged class’. While the reason for men considering women as a privileged class in the corporate sector are really unknown, their reaction comes as no surprise since issues like the wage gap or workplace harassment are nonexistent for them.
What was even more surprising was the reaction of some self proclaimed feminists who condemned the move with intellectualised jargon exposing the hollowness of their ideals for the cause of women’s liberalisation and the sell away of ideological pioneers to corporatisation and capitalism.
Period Leaves are important. They are important not because nature intended for women to be the weaker sex or their physical shaping hinders women from taking on the same chores such as men or because women need to be patronised for their delicate anatomies. They are important because nature intended for women to create, nature intended for women to be the most powerful, it intended for women to be the vessel of all pain and discomfort needed for materializing their power. It was man who got scared of a woman and her powers and created a system that went against nature to create a false consciousness regarding women as the weaker entity, showing their bodies as their weakness while in reality, it is just the reverse. As the world became a patriarchal system where men started to control all economic power, leadership and access to resources, they created a system that disadvantaged women for their natural endowings to access those very resources that they started exercising control over. Hence women’s power became their weakness and patriarchy started profitting.
It would be a true wonder to think how men would deal with five to seven days of bleeding every month accompanied by cramps and pains often as severe as a heart attack. Alongside the starkest mood swings and aches and discomforts all across the body. Menstruation isn’t a unilateral phenomenon. It varies for every single woman. Some have it breezy and light, lasting less that four days. For some painful periods are a genetic inheritance. With our modern day lifestyles, several young women have ovarian or uterine complications like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome that make periods doubly hard and quite irregular. For some heavy flow hinders mobility if they work outdoors. Changing menstrual napkins becomes a huge problem. Not to mention, mental health troubles that hormonal changes during menstrual cycles cause.
Period Leaves are a must. And a much-needed decision that came too late. Patriarchy and capitalism has taught women to inconvenience themselves as the price paid for being productive. It is high time women reclaim their spaces in the domain of the corporate.