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Last Updated Tuesday February 20 2018 01:26 PM IST

Twinkle, wonder what's wrong with period leave?

Jyothisha V J
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Twinkle, wonder what's wrong with period leave?

Twinkle Khanna has come out with a zany promo punch for her new production, Padman. The celebrity socialite, who had unequivocally proclaimed that the taboo associated with menstruation should be erased, has now expressed her disapproval of 'period leave' — a special provision that has been introduced in some organizations recently as an optional day off for women on their first day of periods.

Twinkle, who produced the movie on a rural entrepreneur's struggle to invent low-cost pads, starring her husband Akshay Kumar, hailed an unknown acquaintance who 'resisted' being treated 'unequally' by “running around more on her period day.” Twinkle is of the view that women should avail sick leave, like they have a “stomach pain if the period is so uncomfortable.”

Twinkle seems to be conceptually confused on the subject, considering that she is making a movie that calls for a candid 'conversation' about the taboo embedded with menstruation. By airing such an argument she is demolishing the very purpose of the movie with a misplaced judgment.

Before 'period leave' was introduced, working women everywhere had been using the age-old option — invoking 'stomach/head ache' and leaving the office.

When you claim that day off saying that you are having your menstruation, you are actually leaving no room for 'other' body aches to take over the honor.

Isn't this exactly what we need?

Women must have access to dignified management of their monthly period.

A woman would want to tell her boss that she is bleeding and would like to rest — just as important as period hygiene is the sense of dignity in acknowledging a normal physical activity for what it is. Menstruation and cramps along with it are part of a woman's being.

Women need period leaves because it is an equalizer. They needn't opt for medical leaves for a natural condition which is not an ailment while they can reserve those for real 'illnesses' that affect people irrespective of sexes.

If taking days off for stomach ulcers or a broken limb wouldn’t leave one feeling unequal, why should a period leave do that?

The first thing that warrants a change is perception. We need hygiene, we need pads that don’t pollute the earth — sanitary napkins, as they are produced today, are highly polluting. And women should be able to tell their colleagues: “I should leave, I have period cramps.” Period.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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