One Month of Every Year

By Devina Gunawan

In the moments of painful cramps and death wishes upon oneself, a woman eventually comes to realize what disadvantage she has in the patriarchal society. I’d be damned to keep this to myself. Be damned to say it out. Might as well write it loud.

Every month, I am faced by the death of menstrual cramps. For those who have never had it, it is simply one of the worst things one can experience. And I have it at least for two days a month. If you do the math, that would give me at least 24 days a year. And because this is the least amount, it is safe to say that I have a full month of menstrual cramps in a year.

A month. So I am only fully functional for only 11 months a year. That is not included the days I actually get sick with cold, fever, etc.

Now, if I could trade these days for something valuable, I totally would. Because it’s not like I take paid leave. I certainly do no fly to Hawaii and have the time of my life. I suffer through horrible cramps, and I get paid less than my male coworkers.

How does that sound to you?

If this was some sacrificial ritual in which I sacrificed something for wealth and good lucks, I certainly would not mind. But do not forget that if there was such thing as a reward, it would be my ability to carry a child for nine months in my womb before risking my life later on to give birth.

How does that sound to you?

Women have to suffer through these issues. Monthly period, child bearing and birth, discounted salary, and second shifts.

Don’t even get me started on societal expectations on women.

Someone once told me, “Whatever happens, a man has to be before a woman.” To which, due to her surprise, I responded violently.

Yes, violently.

I have no patience for extreme patriarchy.

Because I have gone through years of menstrual cramps and pain that only women experience. I have heard that women are considered to be disadvantaged biologically. I have suffered through unpaid days that I skip because I simply cannot get up from bed. And not only that, but knowing that despite that, women already make less than men.

I do not think I have enough words to explain how painful it is sometimes.

I never think that a woman has to be in control and come first all the time. I simply want women to be understood and treated fairly. I want men and women to stand as equals, none is paid more or less just because of their sex.

So I do not think I am asking too much. Except that I get a free pass when I have my menstrual cramps because come on! It’s seriously not like I am swimming in a pool of gold and diamonds every month. It is a bloody hell of a pool, and I am not going to be punished for my suffering.

4 thoughts on “One Month of Every Year

  1. I had to have a hysterectomy because of the blood loss and overwhelming cramps. It was like a living hell the 3-5 days of my cycle. So I feel for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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