I have a vagina and sometimes it bleeds. Periods are something that has been made taboo in society, along with many issues relating to the female body. I can remember early on in my life, probably fifth grade when we had the puberty talk. They split up the boys and the girls into different rooms and talked about what their bodies would be going through in the next couple of years. Many of us shifted uncomfortably in our seats as pictures of Fallopian tubes and ovaries danced before our eyes. Granted this was the first time any of us has been forced to openly discuss our changing bodies, so of course it was awkward. When the girl to your left is already busting out of her training bra and you don’t even have a sports bra, having these differences pointed out is far from fun.
All was well and fun until this point, we had all powered through the puberty talk and were handed a small package that contained a pad, tampons, mini deodorant, and some information to go along with them. Then the boys came back in, and one of them exclaimed, “The girls got tampons!” Hurriedly we all tried to hide what had been a source of comfort for future bleeding, as it shifted into shame. I remember one girl’s face turned bright red. It was awful, we had just been given great information and now we had been shamed into silence.
To that boy in fifth grade, fuck you. It is because of males who don’t understand the female body that we are forced to hide in shame from our periods. Every female out there has gone through sneaking a tampon out of your backpack to try to get to the bathroom, or having that mortifying moment when you bleed through your jeans. There shouldn’t be any of this shame or embarrassment because it’s a part of the female existence. Who gives a flying fuck that you have to grab a tampon, or you need to borrow a pad from someone. You’re taking care of your own business and no one should make you feel like it’s dirty and wrong.
To every male politician who is trying to dictate the uterus, get a goddamn life. You have no say over anything that happens to anyone’s body except for yours. It is because these men were raised with no knowledge of how the female body works that they feel the desire to control it. My uterus, my rules. Females are not creatures without brains who mindlessly follow the wills of their vagina; every time someone is in a bad mood it’s not because she’s on her period. Sometimes people get upset, and that’s because they’re human, not because they’re crazy hormonal women.
So to everyone who wants to better understand periods, let’s just talk about them. Periods happen. My period comes every three to four months, and I bleed for around seven to fourteen days. It starts off with a heavy flow and I tend to have about three days of hemorrhaging, where the blood comes out in thick globs. It is common for me to bleed through the heaviest absorbent tampons and ruin underwear, bottoms, and sheets. At the same time I get terrible cramps that make it difficult for me to work and pain killers sometimes don’t help. I also get mood swings that are so severe they increase my depression, anxiety, and can lead to random bursts of anger. It’s just a thing that happens and I, as all of my other females friends have, have learned to deal with it. Don’t be ashamed, be proud that you are a woman. Tell me about your periods, let’s break the taboo!
On the positive side of this, as my father so lovingly told me, “Hey on the bright side we won’t be grandparents.” Fair enough.