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女性生理期放假,是福利还是逆向歧视?

更新时间:2017-7-26 18:53:39 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

In Some Countries, Women Get Days Off for Period Pain
女性生理期放假,是福利还是逆向歧视?

Recently Akanksha Seda got in her car at 10:30 a.m., as usual, and rode 45 minutes to her company’s office in Mumbai, India. A few hours later, she got her period and, she recalled, “the 18-wheeler truckload of cramps.”

最近的一个早上,阿坎莎·谢达(Akanksha Seda)和平时一样在10点半上了车,45分钟后,她来到公司位于印度孟买的办公室。几个小时后,她发现自己的月经来了,回想起来,她说那是如同“18轮满载货车碾过般的绞痛”。

Rather than popping painkillers and working through it, as she used to, Seda went to her supervisor and informed him she was taking the day off.

不同于往常,谢达并没有服用止痛药设法克服疼痛,而是找到她的主管,告诉他她打算请一天假。

For many Indian women, that would be considered a bold move. Periods are a taboo subject, and discussing cramps with a man can be embarrassing for some, Seda said.

对于许多印度女性来说,这可算是一个大胆的举动。谢达说,月经是个禁忌话题,而且痛经是一些人羞于和男人启齿的话题。

But at Culture Machine, the digital media company where she works, she was entitled to the day off. This month, the company put in place a “menstrual leave policy,” allowing women to take a paid day off during their period without dipping into sick days or vacation time.

但是在她工作的数字媒体公司文化机器(Culture Machine),她有资格因此放一天假。本月,该公司开始实行“月经假政策”,允许来月经的女员工带薪休假一天,而且这不会算进病假或带薪例假内。

It is one of a handful of private Indian companies to have started such policies in recent months. Menstrual leaves are recognized in few other countries, among them Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Zambia.

最近几个月,有几家印度私人公司开始实施类似政策。一些其他国家此前已开始实行月经假,包括日本、印尼、韩国和赞比亚。

The move has set off fierce debate, not just in India but around the world. Experts say the spread of such policies — despite their best intentions — could actually deter women’s progress in the workplace.

这一举措在印度和世界各地都引起了激烈的辩论。专家称,虽然传播这样的政策是出于好意,但实际上可能会让女性在职场的发展受阻。

The additional days off could be used to try to justify lower pay or increase hiring bias against women, critics say. Absences could push women out of decision-making roles and eliminate them from consideration for promotions.

批评者说,额外的假期可能会成为低薪资的理由,也可能会加剧对女性的雇佣偏见。缺席可能会将女性从参与决策的位置上淘汰,还可能会夺走她们升职的机会。

And these policies may play into a decades-old prejudice that menstruation makes women unfit for work.

这些政策还可能会加深老掉牙的偏见,即月经令女性无法胜任工作。

“It suggests women are uniquely handicapped in the workplace by the fact that they have periods,” said Emily Martin, vice president for workplace justice at the National Women’s Law Center.

“政策暗示的信息是,来月经的女性在职场就算是患上了一种独特的生理缺陷,”全国妇女法律中心(National Women's Law Center)负责职场公正待遇的艾米莉·马丁(Emily Martin)说。

A 2012 study found that 20 percent of women experience periods painful enough to interfere with daily activities. While it is important to acknowledge their experiences, Martin said, a menstrual leave policy does more than that: It brands every woman who menstruates as ill.

一项2012年的研究发现,有20%的女性遭受的月经疼痛程度已足够影响日常活动。马丁说,虽然承认她们经历的疼痛很重要,但是月经假这一政策的影响已经远过于此:它将每一名来月经的女性标志为病人。

It would be better, she said, to develop an overall leave policy for men and women to take time off for a host of reasons, including chronic medical conditions.

她说,更好的办法是建立一项男女通用的放假政策,让人们可以以包括慢性病症等一系列因素为由请假。

Periods have long served as an excuse to keep girls out of school and women out of the workforce, said Sharra L. Vostral, associate professor of history at Purdue and author of “Under Wraps: A History of Menstrual Hygiene Technology.”

月经长期以来都成为令女孩们休学、女性脱离职场的理由,普渡大学的历史系副教授夏娃·沃斯特罗(Sharra L. Vostral)说,她也是《包裹之下:经期卫生科技史(Under Wraps: A History of Menstrual Hygiene Technology)》一书的作者。

Female air service pilots during World War II were often barred from flying if they had cramps, she said.

她说,二战时的女性空军飞行员经常因为痛经被禁止飞行。

Carla Pascoe, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said some women were told not to use sewing machines or read novels during their periods because they might overexert themselves.

澳大利亚墨尔本大学的研究员卡拉·帕斯科(Carla Pascoe)说,一些女性被告知在月经期间不能使用缝纫机或看小说,因为她们可能会用力过猛。

“It’s because of this history that I’m wary of returning to an argument that all females are crippled by menstruation — which is what menstrual leave implies to me,” she said. Women with severe period pain should be given time off, she added, but it does not need to be a blanket policy.

“鉴于这样的历史,我担心女性全部会因月经导致缺陷这样的讨论会复燃——在我看来,这就是月经假暗示的信息,”她说。她补充道,要忍受严重经痛的女性应该得到休息的时间,但并不需要制订统一政策。

Japan has offered menstrual leave policies since 1947, when a law was passed allowing any woman with painful periods, or whose job might exacerbate period pain, to take time off.

日本自1947年起就实施了月经假政策,该国通过了一条法案,允许任何遭受经痛的女性、或是从事会加剧经痛工作的女性放假。

A 1986 study of the policy found that the number of women using it declined from 20 percent in 1960 to 13 percent in 1981, largely because of societal pressures that frown upon its use.

1986年,一项对该政策的研究发现,从1960年到1981年,使用月经假的女性从20%降至13%,这主要是因为反对使用该政策的社会压力。

South Korea granted women menstrual leave in 2001, though the policy has since come under fire from men who see it as a form of reverse discrimination. And in Indonesia, women are entitled to two days off a month for period pain, but the policy is poorly enforced.

2001年,韩国开始允许女性放月经假,但是自那时起该政策就受到了男性的攻击,他们将其视为逆向歧视。在印尼,女性可以以经痛为由每月放假两天,但该政策一直执行不力。

The Italian Parliament will soon vote on a bill introduced in March that would require companies to offer three paid days off to women with severe menstrual cramps. Here, too, some worry it will hurt women more than help.

意大利国会不久后就将为三月提出的一项法案投票,该法案要求公司为需要承受剧烈经痛的女性提供三天的带薪假期。在这里,同样也有人担心该政策对女性带来的伤害会比帮助更多。

To Seda at Culture Machine, the debate seems ridiculous. “If the world had no men, if there were only women working, nobody would have been up in arms about a ‘first day of period’ leave,” she said.

对于在文化机器公司工作的谢达来说,这类辩论似乎荒谬可笑。“如果世界上不存在男人,如果只有女人工作,就不会有人竭力反对经期第一天的假期了,”她说。

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