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In China, Female Nurses Are Taking Pills To Delay Their Period. Yes, They Are Heroes But We Must Also Protect Their Interests.

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With the rise and spread of coronavirus, the entire world is in a state of emergency. The number of COVID-19 patients is increasing by the day but the number of healthcare professionals isn’t. That has obviously led to the doctors and nurses being overworked. Women make for a majority of China’s medical force and people all over the globe are praising their spirit. Just this weekend, netizens extensively shared a picture of female medical professionals shaving their heads for hygiene and maintenance. I mean, they are not even getting time to eat properly as they are handling more cases than they have ever.

Reports also say that female medical staff are being given birth control pills to delay their period so they don’t waste time dealing with their menstruation. Women are working hard day and night to treat patients and the world is acknowledging their tremendous contribution. I mean, they are willing to fuck their menstrual cycles up for a greater cause and that’s mind blowing, right? Sure, these women are heroes and they are capable of so much. So should we applaud them? Yes we should. Should we be concerned about this? A big fat yes!

Some people are also claiming that these women are not volunteering to do this but are being forced to. A Shanghai resident Jiang Jinjing asked on China’s Weibo (like Twitter) about how female medical workers are dealing with their menstruation cycles and the answers paint a different picture. “Many female medical workers sent messages, saying their periods were really causing a lot of trouble,” said Jiang.

Understanding the issues faced by these women, Jiang has launched a donation drive of sanitary products including pads, period-proof underwear, etc. However, the hospitals’ attitude is nothing short of alarming. When China ordered emergency supplies entering the Hubei province, sanitary pads weren’t considered a necessity. In fact, Jiang said several hospitals even turned down the donations consisting of sanitary products. “The leaders are all male comrades,” one nurse in Hubei’s Shiyan city told AFP.

A Shanghai university hospital donated 200 bottles of pills to delay the period and Weibo users have criticised the hospital for manipulating the female medical professionals’ menstrual cycle. Of course, the hospital defended itself by saying women are volunteering for it but it seems like the reality could be different.

A user wrote, “In order to avoid providing sanitary pads, you have created this kind of volunteering!” Another user wrote, “Of course they would rather take progesterone than stain their protective suits with blood.”

For centuries, women are seen as nurturers and expected to be sacrificing. Somehow, our society sees a woman’s worth on the basis of how much she is willing to put her needs last. It’s okay to be nurturing and selfless but as a society, should we not protect their interests? While female medical professionals are capable of pushing their physical limits, why are the leaders (which are mostly male) exploiting that?

I can’t expect men in the medical field to be so ignorant about the harmful effects of delaying a natural process. For how long are they going to delay it? Because I don’t see coronavirus being brought under control in a month. Women are at a risk of getting endometriosis, PCOD and so much more. Our immunities are compromised and that is not good in times of a pandemic.

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Beijing based activist Feng Yuan said, “This kind of propaganda conversely strengthens gender stereotypes.” Honestly, if the medical fraternity in China is praising women for being on the frontline of this crisis, why is it the leadership positions are still occupied by men? Women apparently make 79% of the force but are they leading the pack? Whether women want to delay their period or not, it should really be their choice. Turning away the donations on behalf of those women is just a sick move.

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