My period started when I was a preteen, so I’ve had my period for as long as I can remember. I will write this to be very clear I hate everything about it. I don’t know any woman that loves having her menstrual cycle. It’s painful, uncomfortable, annoying, and yet very necessary for a woman to go through.
I find myself taking extra precautions in choosing the color, material, and type of clothes I wear based on when my period will begin and end. Or when we least expect our period to come on days that shouldn’t, while suffering through those “leaky accidents” that need to be rush for a cover-up or change in clothes.
Lately, I find myself having to purchase cover-up shirts to wrap around my waist just so the shape of my pad won’t show through my workout pants while I’m at the gym. I’m thinking about leaky accidents while I’m in the middle of weight training, pads soaked between sweating and menstrual cycle, carrying extra protection for “just in case” because the women’s bathroom doesn’t cater pads or tampons for women to have access.
How about those women who have to work and suffer in silence from bad cramps, stomach and lower back pains, breast sensitivity, nausea, bowel discomfort, headaches, flu-like symptoms, etc. Raise of hands? Yes, that was me too.
“Suck it up and take a Motrin. As a woman, you should be used to this by now.” News flash, every month is not always the same experience. Sometimes, you will feel lucky with no symptoms, and other times, you will feel like crap.
Yet, sharing all this is taboo and instilled in women’s minds that we should be ashamed to speak about our cycles to our friends, family, or to the public, especially when it comes to men. We should only talk to our doctors about it, and there’s so much they can do or say to either give the necessary help or not. My period shouldn’t have to be an uncomfortable topic to speak on.
A study from THINX found that forty-two percent of women have experienced period-shaming, with one in five made to have these feelings because of comments made by a male friend. I can relate from my own experiences where my father made me feel like having my period as a young lady was a negative effect, and I needed to feel shameful going through it.
Between having to suffer in silence, being shamed for what my body naturally goes through, and having to deal with it consistently is exhausting. Yes, I’m a woman, and I have periods once a month all year round.
So, I will share and dissect why period shaming has become useless in the society we live in today. First and foremost, we are women. We’re expected as women to have periods. It’s part of the natural development of our bodies to have the opportunity to create life. That already is a blessing in itself.
Secondly, we shouldn’t care what men think when we as women are going through our periods. Trying to hide or disguise what we wear because we don’t want to feel exposed is beyond stupid. We are strong, consistent, and mindful of our needs when it comes to our bodies during our cycles. Any man who lacks the maturity of understanding women’s periods are men who need to grow up and get more education.
Thirdly, being on my period doesn’t mean I’m a basket case. Women have shared comments from men on being moody, irrational or having an attitude to justify the behavior being on their “period.” To all men who think or act this way, stop it. It’s rude, disrespectful, and not your business to know.
A woman is very much allowed not to feel happy all the time. It’s human nature to have good and bad days. A woman is in control of her own emotional and mental state. She shouldn’t have to be penalized for it. Women also need to do better for not using their periods as an excuse for their behavior. It will only lead to having your period weaponized against you.
Lastly, communication is power. When we don’t talk about our experiences with each other, we are left thinking that we are the only ones dealing with specific situations. Silence can be dangerous. To talk about our experiences means to be open in truthful conversations that we can learn from each other.
To recognize our well-being in dealing with our pain symptoms, the brand use of feminine supplies or products, natural remedies for health improvements, etc., is unique and necessary to be shameless about in our cycles. Our biological nature is a global one. We have the power to set the tone of helping one another feel at ease with acceptance, experience, and education. As much as I hate having my period, I’m grateful for what it has taught my mental, physical, and emotional state in mind.