When I first started my period, I remember being cool with it because a lot of my friends already had. Nonetheless, “it” always seemed like something you shouldn’t talk about. Sitting in class in high school, I pulled a book out of my backpack and simultaneously flung a tampon onto the floor. It was mortifying. Even in my early 20’s working in an office full of women I was still hiding my tampon in my sleeve as I walked to the bathroom. WHAT. THE. HECK?!
Here’s the thing, about 1/2 of the population will have, currently has, or has had periods in their lifetime. Why is it so taboo? Even the other day, my mom mentioned a girl in middle or high school who wanted to interview women about menstrual cycles and bless her heart, my mom’s response was, “why would anyone want to talk about that?” Here’s the thing… she was raised that way, and so was I.
As a society, we — as women — are supposed to be these perfect little things… (yes, I intentionally used the word “little” because that also seems to be society’s prerequisite on size.) But as I told my mom, and as I’m going to share with you now… women bleed. Getting our period is literally how our bodies allow us to bring life into this world, including the shithead men who think it is okay to say, “ew” when they find out a female is on her period. Women also poop. And fart. And burp. And sweat. And have body odor. And every other thing that makes a human, human. We grew up this way, hiding these things, but not because we have to. We don’t have to let society’s standards remain the same, dehumanizing the very human “things” our bodies go through as women. We absolutely do not have to be these perfect statues that men want us to be. Just because this ideology has been passed down from generation to generation, actually making women believe that they too don’t want to speak on topics such a periods and poop, we can change all that. We can let it be known that there’s no need to hide the very normal pieces of a woman that make her human.
Now I know not every woman wants to declare loud and proud that she needs to go change her tampon, or tell her partner that she really has to poop. BUT, why not make it a little more comfortable for little girls to experience periods as something that is normal, natural, and nothing to be afraid of? Why not teach little boys that it isn’t okay to make faces or say that it’s gross when his classmate has to pull a pad out of her backpack? I think we can all do that, and work on humanizing females as our next generation grows up. I know if I have a daughter one day, I don’t want her to feel ashamed of her normal human bodily functions just so she can better fit into some archaic feminine mold of who society wants her to be.
By the way, no I’m not suggesting she burps out loud and talks about peeing and shitting at the dinner table (manners actually are very important to me), but I’m simply hoping she can live in a society where she’s not expected to hide her normal human functions. Who knows, maybe I’ll even throw her a “First Period Party” to at least normalize “it” with her friend group?!?! 😉
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