Periods are taboo. Blood is coming out of someone’s body. They are disgusting. They can be abundant. They can be small. They can last for a week. They can last for 3 days. It’s basically a deep cleaning of the uterus.
Sometimes it hurts. It’s irritating. It makes you feel more emotional.
In high school, most of my close friends were boys. We would tease each other by elbowing one another in the stomach. Once a month I would run away to avoid it. Of course, they would make fun of me. They knew.
I had my period.
Nothing mean here, but for me, it was embarrassing. Embarrassing because I wanted to be like them. I did not want to feel my stomach twist.
I wanted to go back. Before I ever had them.
Once, one of them asked me for a piece of gum. I was doing my homework. I was scared of losing my focus by searching my bag, so told him to check the front pocket.
“But I don’t want to find any tampons or pads,” he said. To which I answered, “Do you really think I would just have tampons randomly in my bag? Also don’t worry, none of them is bloody.” As funny as I thought this was, he refused to look for the gum.
Why are people still uncomfortable about periods? We all learn about it in school. No one should be ashamed.
It is natural.
Even Freud said that menstrual blood is “dangerous, infected, powerful.” During her period, someone will loses between 6 to 16 teaspoons of blood. A teaspoon is close to 5 ml. The human body has 4.5 to 5.5 liters of blood. Up to 80 ml of blood is dangerous. Right?
In France, on February 1, a young woman from Spain decided to go around Paris without wearing menstrual protection. Her goal was to protest the price of pads and tampons. Many people need them, yet some cannot afford them.
We all know someone who had an “accident” and ended up with a blood stain on their pants. If it never happened to you, you are lucky. Trust me.
Our society not only refuses to talk about menstruations, but makes fun of people who have “accidents.” We should support them. No one loves seeing their clothes stained with menstrual blood. Especially when you have to clean them, it’s a real pain to get it off.
In 1932, Mary Chadwick wrote the first full-length psychological study of menstruation. In her study she says that the taboo around periods comes from a “discomfort of guilt arising from intelectual wishes.” This unease towards menstruation arise because of its similarity to animal heat. The guilt comes from a more sexual aspect. This blood means they can have a child. There body is ready to be sexualy active. Certain cultural beliefs, try to push people more towards intellectual activities. Sex is not one of them.
During the Roman Empire, women were respected for their purity. Yet, that was challenged once a month. Their blood made them dirty. Striped them of their purity. Made them dangerous.
Menstruation is not a subject that only those affected should have knowledge of.
Everyone, regardless of gender, should learn about it too. Being educated on different subjects is the best way to fight taboos.
It is not because the Roman said so one thousand years ago, that they were right.