“Shh, did you hear that?” “Can you believe it?” “She bled through her pants!” “I would die.” “I would change my name and move away.” “How embarrassing.”
In light of Jenny Hval’s recent album “Blood Bitch”, I think it’s time to talk about periods.
Media and society have taught us that menstruation is shameful and dirty.
Disagree? Reread Carrie (or watch the movies). Rewatch Superbad, when period blood ends up on Jonah Hill’s pants. Remember when Instagram removed Rupi Kapur’s photo because there was a little blood on her fully clothed body. Look at this TED talk that calls out feminine hygiene product commercials and ads. (Why aren’t there “masculine hygiene” products?)
In reality, menstruation is mundane and normal. But that won’t sell, will it? Think of how many jobs would be gone if we stopped using tampons and pads. Bad woman, hurting the economy! Pay your luxury tax on tampons (because if we see your blood, we will humiliate you)! And don’t forget to waste $20,000 over your lifetime on hiding your natural ability to have children.
It is time we change this stigma. I can’t be the only person who is sick and tired of performing the role of a dainty lady: legs crossed, ears open, mouth shut. I am sick of stashing tampons in my pockets and sleeves to avoid the humiliation that other human beings know I am menstruating.
I’m not saying I want people to give me high fives and throw parties during that time of the month. But I want the shame and negative connotations to fuck off.
So you know what? Here are some ways you can fight back against the misogynistic discrimination that exists in our society.
1. Say goodbye to tampons and pads. They’re awful for the environment, can have harmful chemicals, and are uncomfortable. Yeah, you could use organic products, but why not save your time and money by investing in period-panties, cups, and/or rags? You save money, they’re way more comfortable, and you get to boycott the tampon tax. It’s a win-win scenario.
2. If someone makes fun of you for “PMS-ing” or having emotions, remind them how their mother most likely prayed to get her period and ended up with their shining personality instead.
3. Own your menstruation. Stop hiding your tampons/pads/other in public. If anyone has a problem, they can cry about it at home.
Have you ever felt uncomfortable because of your period? Have any suggestions on how to change this? Leave a comment!