I have learned to discreetly put my tampon in my boot when leaving to change it during class, because God forbid anyone catches me holding it. I have put tampons in days before I am scheduled to get my period, just in case any blood leaks out beforehand. I have bought copious amounts of vaginal washes and cleansing wipes for on the go to ensure that my vagina remains in pristine condition, taught to be ashamed of when its anything but. I. am. done.
Girls are socialized from elementary school to be ashamed of their periods, to speak about them only in codewords and hidden glances. I remember a particularly panicked incident in 5th grade when a boy in my class found one of the girl’s pads. My fellow pre-teen classmates stumbled through a explanation about how they were scented tissues, terrified of the consequences that would result if he discovered what they really were. That incident happened six years ago and I am still trying to reconcile, with myself and others, that I do not need to tell men what I’m holding in my hand is a scented tissue.
This is not a phase that girls are allowed to grow out of. Fast forward to seventh grade health class; we were split up into groups of girls and boys during the sex education unit. Ignoring the issues that arise due to this gender division in the future, it did enable many of the female students to feel more comfortable asking otherwise taboo questions. One of the girls raised her hand and in a meek voice asked, “what do I tell a male teacher if I have my period during school?” Her face flushed immediately along with those of every other student present. My health teacher, a woman herself, cleared her throat and told her to “just tell them you have to go to the bathroom, they don’t need to know you’re on your period.” And she’s right, they don’t need to know I am on my period, but they don’t have to not know either. The pressure put on young girls to be polite about their period is nothing short of misogyny, causing girls to be ashamed of their own anatomy and reviled by their natural bodily functions.
When my male gym teacher asked why I was not swimming a few weeks ago, I was unbelievably tempted to respond with a generic “I don’t feel well.” Instead, I told him in an unwavering tone that I was on my period, and I was not going to swim. His discomfort was evident but I felt liberated. Gradually, I have started holding my tampons in my hand as I walk to the bathroom and I no longer feel a need to lower my voice when talking to friends about my cramps. True, we no longer live in a biblical society that requires women to stay in their homes for seven to ten days during their cycles, but sometimes it doesn’t feel far from it. I’m sick of it. I am sick of being told that my period is gross or being asked if I’m being moody because my hormones are “flaring up.” The monthly shedding of my uterine lining should not be taboo, I will not be polite about it and I do not care if it makes you uncomfortable. I am angry, I have the right to be angry, and my anger will not subside in five to eight days, when it’s no longer that “time of the month.”
didn’t know these existed but yes
Contraceptive pills have drastically thinned my menstrual flow.
I sort of can’t believe I’m reblogging this but I find it strangely empowering.
De-stigmatize women’s bodily functions.
Ladies, if some self-important mother ever tries to discredit you when you are complaining of cramps because “you haven’t given birth. Try contractions HAHAHAHAAAAA YOU KNOW NOTHING,” then I give you permission—nay—I DEMAND you punch her in the nads.
Listen here, girls. I have had two kids. Not just your normal, every day kids, either. 10 pounders*. Two of them (OH MY GOD. DID YOU DO STEROIDS? No, my friends, it’s just the miracle of Scotch-Canadian genes).
Even better? No epidural (OMG, WHHHHYYYYY? Because of an accident that left my spine too curvy to risk it). I felt every agonizing moment of every contraction from start to finish—70 hours with the first and 20 with the second. And both times required pitocin.
What’s pitocin, you ask? If you aren’t progressing to the doctor’s liking, they give you this shit to make your contractions HURT MORE. In fact, every half hour or so, a nurse (you will create your own nickname for her—demonbitchfuckdick, I called her) will come in and try to goad you into a conversation. If you can hold this conversation—if you can SMILE—she laughs a merry little laugh that makes you want to choke her with a pile of discarded medical waste from a liposuction shoved down her happy little throat and says, “Uh-oh, we can still smile! Must not be strong enough contractions! Let’s turn up the pitocin!” And you can’t do anything because you’re strapped in with all these wires and tubes and shit and like, ‘WHO IS THIS ‘WE,’ MOTHERFUCKER? I DON’T SEE YOU HERE IN THIS BED IN PAIN. AND I’M PRETTY SURE YOU’VE EATEN IN THE LAST 12 HOURS, TOO” and your goddamned bladder is full and they don’t want you to pee BUT THEY KEEP PUTTING FLUIDS IN YOU ANYWAY.
Contractions? Those motherfuckers hurt.
Cramps? Those motherfuckers hurt, too.
And those lucky girls who can get epidurals get the good stuff to relieve pain! Cramps? TAKE MOTRIN. No, bitch, get me some heroin and Ambien. And while you’re at it, get me some chocolate.
Pushing the kid out? Hot damn, that’s the easy part. It relieves the pain of contractions and it’s one step closer to shutting that god damned perky ass smug bitch nurse up and my GOD, you are just HOPING you shit on the table so she’ll have to clean it up like, “WIPE THAT SMILE OFF *YOUR* FACE AND WIPE THAT SHIT UP.”
Anyway. Point is, cramps hurt and YOU DON’T EVEN GET A REWARD AT THE END except, like, 4 more days of BLEEDING and no sex and no cute underwear.
So, don’t ever let some smug mother tell you your pain isn’t shit just because you haven’t had a baby and experienced REAL PAIN, because cramps ARE real pain. I will gladly go to the mat for any of my sisters out there who have painful cramps.
*I’d like to address this subject right damned here. Two ten pound kids. One almost two feet long. You bet your sweet asses I am just as small down there as I was before having kids, though.
Having kids doesn’t wreck your vagina. So stop worrying about that. Worry about all the other things it wrecks—like your sleep, your sanity, your personal time**….
**I keed. Slightly.
Menstruation: the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the uterus, occurring approximately monthly from puberty to menopause in non-pregnant women and females of other primate species
Periods. A woman’s (and men’s, depending on who they hang out with) nightmare. For around three-five days every month blood exits a woman’s body causing side effects such as cramps, hormonal problems, bloating and the constant smell of fish. Not to mention that there is the part where you are uncomfortable when blood drips out of your hole before it is caught on some uncomfortable tube wrapped in some sort of cloth where it gets shoved into their vagina, or the diaper like thing that gets attached awkwardly to their underwear.
This is a topic that has annoyed me greatly for many years. A woman’s menstrual cycle. Everybody and their dog knows that every month for the age of about 11 to a certain age, once a month for about a week, a woman’s body goes through the process of disposing the blood lining of her uterus when an egg has not been fertilized. It is a natural process that we women cannot stop. But the yet, the first time I ever heard it being spoken about was in sex ed in year 7. Isn’t this something I should have been warned about before it happened? My own mother never talked to me about it until necessary, but when men talk, in great detail, about ‘hitting that’, or whatever other degrading way of putting it, it is fine.
Why is it that women have to stop themselves from telling someone the reason they are moody once a month, or why they have cramps, or why they can’t go swimming, or why they just want to stay home and do nothing all day. Why is this?
Menstrual taboo is (obviously) when people refuse to talk about anything concerned with menstruation. And I do understand how in some societies this is considered ‘unclean’ and I can respect that. Some figure it is too embarrassing to talk about. I can respect that too. But how is it that if we even hint about it being ‘that time of month’ we are instantly shut down?
It is found that nearly all girls believe that they should not talk about their menstruation with boys, even their fathers. Why is this? When has it become normal to refuse to talk to anyone about the going ons of our own bodies? When has it become so taboo that instead of just asking someone in the family to buy pads or tampons (or ‘feminine products’ to not offend the male readers) women have to go out, while in pain, pretending that blood is not currently flowing out of their vagina, only to buy a two boxes of pads/tampons.
I find it so annoying how men find it disturbing that women can talk about their periods so freely within each other, but yet they seem to find it fine to talk about their many sexual conquests and how they can just scratch their balls in public. No, just no.
I find it such a double standard where men seem to talk about anything they want, what they did, who they did and where they did it, but we, as women, have been metaphorically backhanded when we talk about that time of month where we just want to sit at home, eating fatty food, with a some crappy show on the TV. No matter what you think, THIS IS NOT A HAPPY TIME FOR US. Sure it gives us an excuse for the fatty foods and watching those movies you secretly want to watch but fear you would get ridiculed if you did, but with the consequences of having this dreaded week (tiny pitchforks continuously stabbing at your stomach, hormones on crack, being a balloon in a fish market, and don’t forget about the fact that there is a possibility of your own blood seeping through your clothes) can you really blame us?
So next time you want to pour your insignificant problems like your boss yelling at you for “no apparent reason” (hint: if he/she is yelling at your there probably is a reason) or the traffic you had to go through just to get somewhere, think about the fact that each month our own bodies HATE us.
And no, I refuse to be sorry if I complain to my friends about the dreaded time of month that constantly threatens to torture me.
So yes. I am a woman. And you should know. For around five days each month, I bleed from my vagina. And there is nothing anyone can do about it. So shut the hell up.
I drew a menstruation. Haha! I love it! God, I feel so inspired today.