Too much information. Period

India's female civil servants are required to reveal details of their menstrual cycles.

Published April 11, 2007 3:26PM (EDT)

According to the BBC, female civil servants in India are up in arms over new mandatory annual health check procedures that require them to reveal ... their waist-to-hip ratio? Their tally of past sexual partners? Their secret for young-looking skin? Yeah, it's one of those: They must fill out a questionnaire with the details of their menstrual cycle, including the date of their last period. Presumably this information is relevant because their primary civil function is to participate in time-sensitive focus groups to evaluate pads and tampons for free distribution, but the Ministry for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, which issued the appraisal forms, has so far had no comment.

I'm not a big Period Power person, but if you ask me, this calls for a little civil insubordination. You ask for too much information, you get it. The forms specifically request "detailed menstrual history." OK, then! "It all began one morning when I was 13 and I noticed something strange on my underpants ... In college, the funniest thing happened -- we all got our periods at the same time! [continued on other side of page] ..."

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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