Anti-gay Russian parliamentarian offers bill to solve “social problem” of menstruation

Anti-gay Russian member of parliament Mikhail Degtyarev, who wants the Russian government to offer free “gay cures” to all of its homosexually-inclined citizens, apparently has another pet issue: the scourge of menstruation.

Degtyarev, a family-values wonderboy all of 32 years of age, says that menstruation is not simply a “medical” problem, but a “societal problem” as well. You see, women “often” call ambulances while having menstrual cramps, Degtyarev explains.

So Degtyarev is pushing legislation that would give women two days off per month during those “critical days” when they’re menstruating.

Why?  Well, rather than paraphrase Degtyarev, let’s hear it directly from the horse’s, er, mouth:

“In this period, the majority of women experience psychological and physical discomfort. Often the pain for the fair sex is so intense that they are forced to call an ambulance.” [emphasis added]

Mikhail Degtyarev

Mikhail Degtyarev, menstruation expert.

Now, I grew up with a mom and two sisters.  And the monthly visit from their “friend” was rather a non-event in our house.  Certainly no one was “often forced to call an ambulance.”  But maybe that’s just us – you know those stoic Greeks.

More from Degtyarev:

“Strong pain induces heightened fatigue, reduces memory and work-competence and leads to colorful expressions of emotional discomfort,” reads a copy of the bill published on Degtyarev’s website. “Therefore scientists and gynecologists look on difficult menstruation not only as a medical, but also a social problem.”

It sounded pretty wacky to me, but hey, I’m man enough to know that I’m no Mikhail Degtyarev when it comes to understanding the social problem of menstruation. So I messaged a friend, had her read what Degtyarev was proposing, and asker her if I was missing something.

Her response was colorful: “OMG, it’s wildly offensive. Insane. INSANE.”

She added: “It is another mechanism for discriminating against women.”

But what about the ambulances?  Do she and her friends “often” call the ambulance while menstruating?

“No, it’s not common.”

She sounded a bit ticked.  Perhaps it’s just one of those critical days.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • glogrrl

    Yeah, that would probably please them, as well.

  • Rob Dowdy

    We should set up a charity to help them expatriate.

  • Rob Dowdy

    And the only penalty for rape would be summary execution.

  • Rob Dowdy

    Or the 9th. BC.

  • Rob Dowdy

    It must be like living in a nightmare populated with subhuman monsters lurking around every corner, yet no one else seems to recognize them for what they truly are and no one listens when you try to warn them.

    I can’t imagine it’s a pleasant way to exist.

  • Rob Dowdy

    I always see that kind of thing as a mental illness. I mean, there’s no way people like that can be happy or even functional in the world, they are so alienated from everyone and everything. That’s pretty much the definition of mental illness. But how the heck do you treat it?

  • fritzrth

    Or simply more outspoken.

  • glogrrl

    And there’d be an abortion clinic on every other street corner, just like Starbucks.

  • glogrrl

    Republican men seem to be suffering from the same dysfunction….they want to revert to the 19th century.

  • PeteWa

    look, it’s not Micky’s fault that every single woman he’s ever met has severe Endometriosis, it’s just bad luck!

  • PeteWa

    just… wow.
    I don’t believe that Mikhail has ever met a woman in real life.
    go back to Hello Kitty Bleeds Painfully Once A Month Island, Mikhail, and leave the rest of us alone.

  • Sherril Stewart

    I believe they are trying to take the focus off of their extreme homophobia, what better way than to upset 50% of the population. In other news, a cruise line dropped a couple off in a small town in Turkey due to his broken hip. The public hospital would not allow his wife inside the hospital because women are not allowed. http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=5499

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ zorbear

    Where the heck did he come up with “two days”?
    :-?

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ zorbear

    But FSM will forgive you…

  • discus_sucks_ass

    well, after all it HAS to be the menstruation thing, not all the beatings he gives his “wimmins” they call the ambulances for!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I feel sorry that your brother is locked inside so much hate.

  • Bj Lincoln

    This guy is only 32 and has such a low opinion of women and LGBT people? I wonder how he feels about those born with handicaps?

    I have a brother who is the same way. Hitler is his favorite person and believes people with any defects should be killed at birth. People of any color and women are inferior. Very sad.

    I am the opposite of all this. Thank Goddess!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Aided and abetted by America’s regressive religious wingnuts.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

    (h/t to Flo Kennedy)

  • samizdat

    Seriously, Russia, what the fuck is wrong with your men? This isn’t the twelfth century, CE, ya’ know.

    (Having said that, I am fully cognizant of the fact that there are more than a few of my fellow American men who are just as ignorant about…well…everything)

  • Mimihaha

    If men had periods, we’d all get a week off every month.

  • lynchie

    He knows the palmer sisters and that is about it. 32 years of age and a complete imbecile.

  • lynchie

    Wide spread religious right and insanity.

  • phred

    He has a point, you know. I’m sure that lots of important business papers get ruined because the ladies menstruate all over them.* Icky, icky, icky.

    *from The Onion, as I recall.

  • http://voenixrising.com/ Mark Alexander

    WTF is wrong in Russia? Widespread alcohol poisoning?

  • StraightGrandmother

    That was funny Jim.

  • Anonymous

    The ol’ bait and switch!

  • Anonymous

    You mean, leaders giving workers “free days” is historically a bad thing? What could possibly go wrong? (sarcasm)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Right, he’s a family-values nut, which means this is likely about women being the weaker sex, as he says (“fair sex”), and thus they should stay home, not work, etc.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL Okay that made me laugh out loud.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Actually, they could just use a translated version of The Handmaid’s Tale as a helpful guidebook on how to return Russian women to the status of chattel property.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Cthulhu knows I’d be tempted.

  • slappymagoo

    Look, if I were working in the same office as a Mikhail Degtyarev, I’d probably use any reason to get off work, too. I’m a guy and even I might be willing to say my Aunt Flo is in town for a visit.

  • Whitewitch

    Maybe they were calling the ambulance just to get away from him….

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Menstruating women call ambulances “often”? Exactly how many women has this misogynistic retrogressive twit actually known in his life?

    What a friggin’ moron. I think Degtyarev was born into the wrong century by about, oh, two or three hundred years.

  • Hue-Man

    Next step, a solution to the made-up problem: Enforced permanent pregnancy, either voluntary or via state fertilization. Solve two problems at once – insane menstruating women (I’ve found pregnant women drift closer to the insanity line…) and declining birth rate leading to population decline. There is another permanent surgical solution that I assume he would reserve for those “non-traditional” women who refuse to be permanently pregnant. BTW, can’t start too soon. New Russian slogan: “If you menstruate, you must marry.”

  • http://heimaey.us/ jim morrissey

    Sounds pretty gay to me.

  • Anonymous

    He wants to make them look bad, I would guess. Follow this law up with “they can’t climb the corporate ladder at this pace”

  • Whitewitch

    Moron….as a woman I have NEVER called the ambulance for that “visit”. I did once have a colorful emotional outbreak…but the person on the receiving end deserved it….I think it is sad that the Russia’s are afraid of women and LGBT beings….maybe we should mount an offense during that “time” and take over Russia! That would shock them eh?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, what he is describing is absolutely not common. Either they are just ignorant, have a larger plan for “letting women leave” from work, or both.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    So what Russia really wants is a nation made up on no one but straight white males. Shame everyone else can’t emigrate and give them what they want. It would be interesting to see how well that works out for them.

  • http://heimaey.us/ jim morrissey

    I thought all their ambulances were used up on the public they typically beat to a pulp on a regular basis.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Boy, it seems that right-wing nut-jobs who know nothing about women (yet fancy themselves as being capable of creating policy directly affecting them) are not only making their presence known in this country, but in Russia as well.

    Oy, save us from these idiots.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The same planet as the people who voted for DOMA and who vote for restrictions on reproductive choice come from. But this one seems to be a bit loonier than most women haters.

  • StraightGrandmother

    What is with this crackpot? Hey Mikhailhold the benevolence please. If women take sick days they take sick days. To tell the entire workplace by your absence 2 days a month that it is your time of the month is patently offensive. Can you imagine the women CEO’s and businesses scheduling important meetings around the staffs periods? And teachers, does a teacher hand out a schedule to the parents in advance advising them that there will be no class on these two days because I will be having my period then.

    Some women DO have bad periods all the time, that is what doctors are for. For the rest of us, it was merely part of being a woman. And for me at my age I put that in the past tense. There is some kind of birth control pills nowadays where you only get your period like once every 3 or 4 months.

    This guy is a complete IDIOT!!!

  • honeybabe

    #1 on the laughingstock list!

  • caphillprof

    What planet do these people come from?

  • Thom Allen

    If Franz Kafka were alive, he’d be taking notes for another novel. Is Degtyarev also proposing a day off for men who develop blue balls from sexual frustration? Those cause reduced concentration, work problems, difficulty sitting, standing and walking, extreme irritability and the need to bash other groups: women, gays, Muslims, blacks, Jews, immigrants and others.

  • loona_c

    Hey, can I collect my days cumulatively and retroactively?

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