About two months ago, I read an article about Louelle Denor. This courageous woman received very negative reactions when she posted a photo of a soft cup menstrual cup in her blood. One person went as far as to tell her to kill herself. Her reason for posting the picture on Instagram was to speak out against women having their Instagram accounts banned for showing menstrual blood. I'm not going to say I enjoy looking at the photo she posted and it definitely did make me uncomfortable, but I still think what she did is heroic. She has created a conversation about how women are treated in society and media, and the violence that unfortunately comes with it.
After gauging my own discomfort with the photo, I wondered why I felt this way. I think it stems directly to society. Menstruating is disgusting to most people, male and female. Females from a young age have no reason but to deal with it, but I remember the first time I got my period and it was a moment of fear and shame. Why though? Menstruation means maturation and becoming a woman. It means ovulation. It's a mysterious and magical part of anatomy and there's nothing embarrassing about that.
I love being a woman.
Now, I'm not saying I adore my period. I fucking hate it. And I'm writing this as I have my period. It's sad that after more than a decade of menstruating I still get embarrassed talking about it. Just last month I was nervous to tell my boyfriend for the first time that I had my period. Was it going to kill the mood? How would he react? Would he or wouldn’t he want to have sex with me? Would he even want to touch me?
I think any shame in terms of menstruation is utterly ridiculous. Menstruation is a part of my anatomy and something I can't change. I was talking to my brother's girlfriend about my period yesterday and she said that he asked her why girls always have to announce to one another that they have their periods. To a) provide an excuse in case of extreme bitchiness or full on devouring of all food in sight and b) to have someone who will emphasize with you. No man is ever going to get it. I explained to my boyfriend the other day what it's like. I said I go from feeling like I'm going to puke to feeling fine to feeling like someone is repeatedly punching me in the stomach to feeling fine to feeling a mix of the two. Basically, it's a fucking nightmare. But, you know what else it is? It's relief that I'm not pregnant and that my body is functioning as it should be.
Menstruation is something only woman can experience which makes it kind of amazing. It definitely sucks and is kind of gross, but it's also kind of beautiful. Menstruating goes hand in hand with carrying a child. It saddens me and frustrates me that menstruation is so taboo. It's just a little blood and it's natural.
There is never going to be equality if men and women can't simply be okay with how we are made and what we are made of. Some people may find what I write here to be offensive or out there, but I don't have the guts do something like Louelle Denor. She has made waves. And, yes, some of them have been negative, but that's always going to happen as long as ignorance exists in the world. She’s made waves in a positive way and getting people to talk about gender equality. I tip my bloody tampons to you, Louelle.