Congress Member of Parliament (MP) Shashi Tharoor's tweet, advocating support for menstrual leave for women in public and private workplaces and calling for its support via a petition, has left Twitter divided, with many diverging opinions emerging on the topic.
Do you support Menstrual Leave For Women at Public& Private Workplaces? Join this initiative of @ProfCong by signing this Petition on https://t.co/qC1xqkEyev. Let's create gender inclusive workplaces in India. Sign the Petition: https://t.co/mw6iWjuBmT#WomensDay2020
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 8, 2020
The answer to that, for senior journalist Barkha Dutt, was a firm no.
"NO... menstrual leave ghettoises women, becomes one more excuse to close certain professional doors on women and treats the monthly period as a grand event instead of routine biology," Dutt tweeted with a link of her article on the topic.
NO @ShashiTharoor menstrual leave ghettoises women, becomes one more excuse to close certain professional doors on women and treats the monthly period as a grand event instead of routine biology. Here's a piece I wrote in @washingtonpost on thi this https://t.co/OKqDslqpuZhttps://t.co/f6N6sDS8Lw
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) March 8, 2020
Aditi Singh, a Congress legislator from Raebareli Sadar, said she has won "elections when on my period".
"Here we go again, having men decide what women need. I’ve contested and won elections when on my period. Focus on better infrastructure and cleanliness in public spaces," Singh said.
However, Nandita Chauhan, a netizen replying to Mohamed, said she would "love to have a menstrual leave day".
"Well i as woman would love to have a menstrual leave day, the cramps are unbearable. Men in position of authority should be understanding to offer such leave rest the choice lies with women whether to take or not. There is no denying of biological differences (sic)," Chauhan said in her reply.
Another Twitter user, Prachi, also highlighted that everybody's body is different, and that periods cause "immense hardship to women, though not in the same way for all".
"It honestly baffles me how a feminist can make this argument. Also don't allow maternity leave then? Periods cause immense hardship to women, though not in the same way for all (e.g. it never affected me). Doesnt mean should me denied to all. Never affects men. Pl reconsider (sic)," Prachi said while replying to Dutt's tweet.