Periods are a taboo topic, yet they’ve been deemed meme-worthy in ‘jokes’ about how rude and emotional a woman is when she has her period.
If I show frustration with a boy during class, too often the response has been to ask me if I need a tampon.
The misogyny behind such statements come from the idea that a woman will only ever come at you in a harsh reaction when she is on her period.
Society tells us to keep our menstruation a secret. No one wants to hear about it, so names are chosen to gloss over the situation. Names like red flow, crimson tide, that time of the month, even shark week.
These names give life to the shameful stigma of periods.
The view of periods is deeply rooted in society, even referenced in the Quran and the Bible. These texts include not approaching a woman when she is menstruating as she is shameful and unclean because menstruating is impure.
Even the first Latin encyclopedia says that contact with menstrual blood makes the fruit fall from the trees, wine go sour, bee hives die, etc.
Despite women starting their period as young as 8 years old, education about periods doesn’t occur until 10-11 years old. These videos shown to us as fifth graders didn’t answer any of the questions my young mind had.
How do you use menstrual products? How do you know if the pain in your stomach is cramps? What do you do if you bleed onto your clothes or sheets?
In school you don’t want to embarrass yourself, so you never ask these questions.
I learned everything about my body through friends who had already started their period and through the internet.
By splitting up the boys and girls in these body talks, a precedent is set that menstrual cycles are something that men and women shouldn’t talk about.
Periods shouldn’t be something shameful that a woman has to deal with. The pain that comes from having a period would be a lot less if it was easier to talk to people about it.
Even buying period products at the store is embarrassing for some people.
With divorced parents, talking to my dad about getting period products is almost out of the question because of the tainted view on periods.
Society is at fault for the shame that is put on women. The stigma can be fixed; there just needs to be changes.