A very large percentage of our population experiences menstruation, so why is it such a touchy topic? So many people are embarrassed to talk about it and it creates shame and anxiety every month for a lot of people. Bodies are amazing and can grow another cool little person inside of them…otherwise known as pregnancy. Pregnancy is celebrated and congratulations are given, which is awesome, but why can’t menstruation be treated the same way?
“Congrats on choosing to not be pregnant! Your body is still cool and getting rid of where a baby could live if you wanted it to!”
“Hey your uterus is pretty cute-urus!”
From a young age I felt like menstruation was something I should be embarrassed about and not talk about EVER. I should be embarrassed while buying any “feminine products."
Tampons and pads are made to be concealed so if you have to go to the bathroom in public you can hide them on the way to the bathroom, because men CANNOT see a tampon or a pad! They are packaged in pink and scented like flowers. You need to hide the fact that you have your period. Commercials show women dancing and doing gymnastics and going out to bars and they are all happy and excited. I’ll tell you what the last thing I think about while my uterus is housing demons is dancing in a club. I want to lay in bed with a heating pad while watching Curb Your Enthusiasm (some delicious cococnut milk chocolate truffle ice cream is also a must).
Now, I am 23 year old woman that is no longer ashamed of her period. Although it’s painful and usually makes me act like a crazy person that would do anything for a burrito, it’s a cool thing that my body does, so I am not afraid to talk about it and I wish everyone else could feel the same, but unfortunately they are told not to.
I was working in Whole Body, (Whole Food’s equivalent to health and “beauty” section) and a woman walked up to me very shyly. She seemed the same age as me and very quietly asked how to use a tampon and which one she should use. She had avoided tampons her whole life, but now her best friend invited her to the beach and she would have her period. She seemed very embarrassed to be asking. I was pretty excited to help, because after all I love making people listen to my opinion.
I told her all about the Diva Cup and the different tampons we had and which would be the best for her and how to use it.
By the end of our conversation she seemed so much more relaxed and happy that I was so willing to help her and how unashamed I was by answering her period questions from experience. When she left I was wondering what she would have done if Ted or Josh were the only ones working that day. Would she have left? Why shouldn’t she be able to ask Ted or Josh which item is the most popular without being embarrassed? Unfortunately I can’t undo all the years of ignoring menstruation and placing shame on it but I can certainly try. I am not embarrassed to talk about my period and I shouldn’t be. If someone asks “how are you?” and I feel like my uterus is cradling Satan I can say “I feel like my uterus is cradling Satan, thanks for asking."
I am not ashamed that my body is getting rid of what it doesn’t need and I am not ashamed that, if I wanted it to, my body could create a little me (with some help).
Ronni Bianchini is an animal loving, plant eating intersectional feminist who lives in a small town in PA with her partner and their cat, Bessa. She studied history and gender studies at Kutztown University. Her spare time is spent crushing the patriarchy and doing whatever makes her happy.