This week on Girlboss, we're doing a deep dive on the ways that periods bleed into the workplace. Why is walking into a bathroom stall with a tampon shoved up your sleeve still the norm? Why don't we have paid menstrual leave yet? Aunt Flo, the red river, the crimson wave, that time of the month—whatever you call it, we're talking about it. It's about time we all Go With the Flow.
It all started with a stray Instagram comment. "K, but is anyone going mention how different periods are when you WFH?" someone wrote underneath one of our posts. And that got us thinking: Is WFH a blessing to menstruating people everywhere? So, we asked our followers on Instagram, and boy, did you deliver. Finally, we can bleed, cramp, cry and lay down in peace. No more grimacing through a meeting, no strategic pockets for hiding a tampon at the office. It's all pretty great stuff.
On the flip side, though, we can't not mention that while, yes, it's been incredibly freeing to dress how we want and to bust out a heating pad during TTOTM, it might also collectively be setting us back. How? By hiding our periods away from public places, we're removing the onus on employers and bosses to openly support menstruation in the workplace. Basically, it's out of sight, out of mind.
As the comments below demonstrate, we go *through it* during our periods. And yet, we're still expected to be professional, poised and on top of things. And while WFH means that many of us can wear sweatpants, or take a mid-day shower when our menstrual cup lets us down, we still have a long way to go.
We asked, you answered: What's the best part of WFH during your period?
"Heating pad on tummy while at desk. Sweatpants. Eating ice cream at my desk to boost mood. Laying down. Flexible hours. Being able to groan my way through cramps while my team’s audio is silent. Crying if I god damn feel like it." -@le.ford.mum
"The fact that I can actually let my body rest and recover. I don’t understand why it’s NORMAL for us to continue on with life with everything going on." -@pigmentedglow
"Not having to take extra clothes to work in case something happens. Not worrying about leaking during long meetings. Wearing stretchy pants all day so I don’t kill my uterus." -@allisonos
"Not heading off with your tampon in your sleeve and asked to 'jump into a meeting' and having to go back to your desk for your notebook and pen to try to discretelh sliiiide that thing outta there." -@Al185
"Not having to worry about who’s counting bathroom visits!" - @lakshmiichander "Not being expected to dispose of packaging in the overflowing, teensy, communal "feminine hygiene product" bin that no one ever empties." - @katepfeiffercreative " Not having to walk through the hallways like the hunchback of Notre Dame because no number of Midol helps." - @mnavid
"3 words: private period poops. Tmi but it needed to be said." -@demicimiaskaite
"Having everything I need right there! Supplies of all varieties? Yep. Soft and fuzzy blankets? Mhm. Snacks? Of course! My bed? Yess. And the big one—my cat to snuggle me!" -@cathlynmelvin
"Wearing a massive overnight pad when I don't feel like wearing a tampon" -@catherine_4964
"On day two of my period, I was pulling into my parking garage at work, sneezed and ruined my pants. Luckily, there was a Target within walking distance from my job and I had to buy new pants and underwear. It was the worst walk of shame ever. I don't miss those days." -@talyce81