Do you remember the one time you were in class and on your period? You sat down strategically, making sure that your pad and sitting angle was perfectly aligned with the universe. There needed to be zero chance of any embarrassing leaks that would make you the subject of lunch break gossip for a few days! You remember your trusted right hand [wo]man who would check your behind to make sure you had no accidents – because God forbid everyone in class knew you were bleeding this month.
Fast forward to the present – has the secrecy and untold stories of women bleeding every month changed? I mean we all know women bleed every month, right? It’s common knowledge but how has having a menstrual cycle become one of the best-kept secrets a woman has to bear every month. Like a bad venereal disease. We see the advertising plastered all over the place with the realistic blue colored liquid we all know is blood in real life. We have these secretive mannerisms that we do mask our tampons, pads, and cups, and let’s not forget the slight cringe when a male cashier scans our feminine products. *clutches pearls* Let’s not forget the codes we all use when describing our periods because even the sound of the word period is “vulgar.” Why have we thoroughly rebuked our periods like a demon that needs to be exorcized? As if it’s not the most regular reoccurring thing your body does, that is responsible for your fertility. Or more importantly, why do we make it seem like an offensive thing? A few things come to mind:
Religion. Christianity has deemed a woman during her menstrual cycle as unclean. Leviticus 15:33 and in many Christian countries like America, a period is viewed as a filthy and dirty human process. To be fair, even outside of Christianity, this sentiment has been translated to many cultures and traditions, in order to suppress female sexuality. Many women who are on their menstrual cycle are not allowed to visit the temples to worship.
Female shaming. Being a woman breeds many levels of shame in society. You could be shamed for being a career woman or a stay – at – home mother, shamed for being single or unmarried with children, you could be too fat or too skinny, too aggressive or too passive, shamed for being a divorcee regardless of the circumstances. Giving birth and acquiring free health care as well as having rights to your own body are already a controversial issue for many people, so something as natural as a period is still looked upon as annoyance, and you have little empathy for those, whose lives are impacted by severe menstrual cycles. Many women do not have the societal right to hold menstrual traditions while functioning in society.
The Patriarchal Society is the most detrimental factor to the female body and the comprehension of the power it possesses. For the simple fact that a female is able to do the same amount of work as the male body while bleeding gives the female body a unique strength like no other. Instead, the female body has been branded for sexual purposes and oppressed for its reproductivity. Menstrual cycles are censored on social media more than nudity.
Unfortunately for us, none of these factors will change, and neither will our cycles. However, you can modify the way you behave towards it. It’s not revolting, unclean or vile. The sight of blood could be an issue for some, but we can still enjoy a good Tarantino movie – right? Can it be annoying when you ready for some beach time? Yes. Can the timing be so bad when you have bae-time? Of course. For those who suffer from PMS or heavy cramping – thank goodness it’s temporary!
SO to everyone who hates their period, I say, “hating something that occurs every month for most of your life can be draining.“ It’s just a period.