Ladies, we know about the friend that arrives every 28 days. This little friend that seems to defy the human body by bleeding for a week and we stay alive. We hate this friend, but we have to welcome it, I mean it’s biology. This friend is our period.
Recently, there seems to have been a lot of talk around this friend. Stories about periods are popping up consistently. Artist Rupi Kaur’s Instagram post of her fully clothed with a menstrual blood leak through her sweatpants onto the sheets (something all of us can relate to) that was initially taken down (TWICE), but then after she complained furiously on Facebook and Tumblr was reinstated. Jen Lewis’ photographs of her menstrual blood inspired after starting to use a menstrual cup. The hilarious Trump portrait painted using Sarah Levy’s period blood in response to his insults about Megyn Kelly.
And so many more. This is the time to end the stigma associated with periods. Women are starting to speak out about personal experiences, sharing why they are not ashamed of this natural occurrence. Student Anushka Dasgupta took to Facebook to empower women never to be ashamed of their period even when they leak. On her commute home, Anushka had leaked through her pants (again, something that has happened to all of us) and was confronted by numerous women to pull down her shirt and was offered a pad. She writes over and over “I AM NOT ASHAMED.” Her words are powerful and filled with strength. My favorite line, “this post is for all the women who offered to help me hide my womanhood.” She made it aware that even though these women may have “meant well,” they were just perpetuating the secrecy and shame women feel about their periods.
News flash: Periods happen. Every month. To every woman. They aren’t going away. They aren’t unnatural. They’re literally one of the most natural things that happens in a woman’s body. We can’t help but get them. So get used to it.
From the various artists, products (shoutout to THINX), and beautiful women like Anushka Dasgupta, we have to change the language around periods or should I say lack there of? Ever since I started menstruating at the age of 11, I have been hushed about talking about it. I have been told to not say “tampon” too loud because “people don’t want to hear that word” (I didn’t realize it was profanity). In my adolescent years, making up code words for it like “Aunt Sally” or “Pam” to freely discuss it with my girlfriends in public. Numerous times, I have slipped a tampon or pad up my sleeve, in my shoe, pants, etc. to take to the bathroom so no one knew it was my time-of-the-month.
These instances are things all women can relate to. Periods are our friends, not enemies. She’s sticking around for awhile, she’s like that one friend we can’t really get rid of because we’ve been friends for so long. Yes, it sucks. It makes us cranky, bloated and filled with cramps. But we need to stop keeping our periods a secret.
We aren’t dirty. We just aren’t pregnant.