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Oh Scandinavia. Just when I get comfortable with the idea that you are paradise on Earth, you go and do a jackass thing like this.

I shouldn’t blame all of Scandinavia, I guess. Just Norway. And not even all of Norway. Just some Norwegian company that thinks it’s totally O.K. to demand that women on their periods wear a red bracelet.

According to The Daily Mail, Norwegian companies are having a problem with people taking too many bathroom breaks. These companies have required electronic keys for the bathroom, demanded that employees sign a “guest book,” and took to using video surveillance to monitor trips to the loo. (Let’s hope these cameras aren’t in the stalls. Gross.)

But to demand that menstruating women wear a red bracelet to justify the use of the restroom is beyond insulting. No doubt this has or will lead to “that time of the month” harassment. At least it would everywhere I’ve worked.

I can’t believe this has to be said, but it is no one’s frakking business whether I am on my period or not. There is nothing wrong with it; it’s perfectly natural and normal. It’s just not something one necessarily wants to advertise. Some people like to mention how often they poo, or every time they get sick, or the results of their colonoscopy. Those people are disgusting, and nobody likes to be around them.

I’m even sort of O.K. with requiring that the employee get a key. I’ve had to do that before, and it wasn’t bad. Although I’m pretty sure no one was measuring my potty speed. That is a little creepy and intrusive.

The name of the company forcing this humiliating practice on its female employees was withheld, which is too bad. Maybe our non-menstruating Norwegian sisters will take the advice of Debra J. Dickerson over at Slate and demand the blood bracelets and claim age discrimination if (when?) they are denied. Or maybe whoever instituted this policy will get their ass canned. Either way is fine by me.

Photo credit: Siti Saad

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