Who knew having your period could lead to meeting with the HR Director?
User “Snuffalo” on the motherhood-focused Mumsnet message board penned a post last week describing a maddening, period-shaming experience. Snuffalo explained that painkillers weren’t helping her cramps, so she filled her hot water bottle and placed it on her lap while she continued working. “My sort-of-supervisor we’ll call ‘Guy’ comes over to talk to me about something, notices the hot water bottle, says ‘there’s no way you’re cold today, are you?’ I say ‘um, no, just for the pain relief.’ He looks confused and then literally horrified and then he walks away.”
If that wasn’t already a ridiculous enough reaction, don’t worry, it gets worse. “Less than 10 minutes later, I get a Slack message from one of the HR admins (HR is based in another office a few hours away) to say ‘Guy says you’re not well and should go home, everything OK?'” Snuffalo wrote. “I say ‘I’m fine, this is sort of weird, he just looked a bit shocked that I had a hot water bottle, I’ve got cramps, you know how it is.'” According to Snuffalo, the HR admin immediately went completely offline. A few minutes later, the HR director allegedly called her and asked her to find a private place to speak.
Women menstruate — and sometimes we even get cramps while doing so! — and it’s time to destigmatize the bodily function that’s responsible for literally creating life once and for all. On the bright side, there are thousands of people who already know this: Snuffalo’s original post on the messageboard now has more than 500 replies, most of them supportive of Snuffalo and annoyed on her behalf.