The rule has reached Parliament, finally converted into a political subject. Few topics are as universal and unknown as the menstrual cycle, so much so that science cannot yet certify what is considered "a normal period". Half of the population has lived with it for more than thirty years. As an intimate matter, just like the compresses that will make you fly; an formerly impure affair, halfway between taboo and shame. In the 80s, parents could hardly talk to us about it, expelled from a kind of women's plot, lurid and unbreakable.
More than a decade ago I wrote about a tampon brand survey according to which one in six men believed that menstruation came to all women of childbearing age on the 28th of each month. And now, the perplexity caused by the proposal for sick leave due to incapacitating menstruation shows that the rule is still a boomerang. Better not mention the bicha. Don't stigmatize us. Let no one know that we are staining pads during an intense professional trip. Dress it in euphemisms, even if endometriosis makes you writhe in pain and you take voltarens at the office. It goes in the salary. And when you stop having her, you better shut it up too.
Nadia Calviño, who was against the measure promoted by Irene Montero, again a pioneer, belongs to a generation of women who have endured ovarian pain without dropping the pencil. Not as a pride of Vikings, but to avoid excluding ourselves from the wheel of accelerated capitalism. And this has nothing to do with professional dignity. When the debate was opened, that stale has returned: didn't you want to be the same? No, we celebrate difference –as much as real equality–, but we claim a space that for too long has been a blank page on which the word rule could not be written, for example.