The Period Taboo

A figurine of a womans body in front of bokeh lights.

 

By: Madelyn Starritt

Recently, I talked about the company Thinx and all they do and reviewed one of their products, the period underwear. I want to continue this conversation and talk about periods.

That’s right, the monthly gift women get that ruins our clothes, causes us pain, and tells us we aren’t pregnant. Periods are natural and most of us get them. Yet, for some reason, we aren’t supposed to talk about them. God forbid we actually educate girls about their health but, unfortunately, periods make men uncomfortable so we aren’t supposed to talk about it.

Yep, I said it. Bring it on. Tell me I’m a crazy feminist who hates men. Please explain to me how this isn’t true and I’m just another “whining bitch who needs to learn to be grateful for what she has”. Continue to blast me with every excuse you have to devalue the things I, and so many other women, have experienced because you don’t want to believe it. Do it. I dare you.

No I don’t want to take over the world with my period, and I think every person should have equal rights. This doesn’t change the fact that we live in a patriarchal society where the sexualization of women is welcome but anything our bodies do naturally, like breastfeeding or having periods, is gross and shouldn’t be talked about.

Blood rushing out of my vagina every month is pretty damn uncomfortable, but guess what? I still deal with it. So get over it. If every woman can deal with this, then every person can learn how to talk about it.

We need to learn how to talk about periods not as some gross thing that happens to us, but as a natural part of our health. Women’s health is important (not just the things that are similar to men’s health but everything.) Even those things that not everyone understands, like periods. But why don’t we understand them? Oh, that’s right, because we aren’t supposed to talk about them.

It’s not like we can just stop the natural processes of our bodies and not have a period. It is not something we can “just hold in” so we don’t have to deal with it. Periods still happen even if we don’t want them to or if it is inconvenient for us. We still go to work every day, we take care of our families, we go to school, we play sports, we go swimming.  Women who have periods are able to live our lives because we are strong badasses who deal with it, and we have products that help us.

Products like tampons, they come at a cost though. Yeah, we have to consistently repurchase these products (which adds up!) Especially when there is a luxury tax on them in most places! A luxury tax is a tax placed on items that are non-essential or “unnecessary”. Products that we don’t need but want to have. I don’t think anyone wants to have to wear tampons.

Products to help us manage our natural bodily processes that we can’t control are apparently unnecessary. This is bullshit.

The Buzzfeed try guys simulated having their periods for a week to see what it was like. Turns out they didn’t like it and it was uncomfortable and difficult to deal with. Surprise, surprise, periods aren’t fun. Luckily for them, these guys didn’t even have to deal with the hardest parts of having a period like cramps and hormones.

Most women are in immense pain for most of their periods because the cramps are so bad, which they have to buy even more products for to try and ease that pain. If men had to deal with every month for most of their lives, like us women do, we would probably have easy access to affordable products and care for our health and periods.

Not only are we told to shun our periods, but they are used to demean and devalue us and our opinions. If a woman gets mad she is “overreacting because of her period”. It is her “time of the month” if she has a bad day or is in a grumpy mood. All her emotions are invalid and not taken seriously because we blame everything a woman feels on her period.

We are ridiculed, insulted, and reduced down to being these fragile beings who can’t handle things because we get a period. I’d like to see men have to handle a real period, so they can see just how easy it is to deal with and get over. Considering the way most men handle colds, I’d say it would be pretty damn difficult for them.

Just the opposite, when women are strong and act as a leader, they are “bossy” and a “bitch”, but when men do the exact same thing they are strong leaders and deserve to be respected.

Periods should be celebrated because the things the female body can do are fucking miracles.

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