Periods. Many people have them. Dread them. Downright loathe them, honestly.
Here’s why that’s bullshit.
We’re taught that getting our periods means that we’re all grown up now, but then once we actually get them, we’re constantly shamed for having to deal with them.
We speak about periods in hushed tones so as not to gross out people of any gender.
Being on our periods is an inconvenience to society, but unless you take birth control or something, we can’t control when it happens or that it happens to us at all.
We don’t talk about periods except as a reminder that it’s gross and you should feel ashamed that this happens to you.
Yes, it can be inconvenient to accidentally bleed on sheets or clothing.
Yes, it can be inconvenient to have to take more bathroom breaks or use a heating pad to try to control cramps.
But it’s also inconvenient to have to go through that and more every month or however often your cycle is without being able to talk about it with people.
The words “period” and “cycle” both make me immediately cringe because it’s ingrained in me that those are icky words we don’t talk about.
I’m over it, so I’m not hiding that I get my period anymore.
I’m writing this while on the first day of my period, which is often known as one of the worst days of the cycle for many people.
Cramps suck, trying to hide how awful you feel sucks, trying to pretend everything is fine when it feels like your insides are constantly fighting each other sucks. All of it sucks, but we rarely talk about it or the other side effects.
Well, here I am, on my period and writing about it. It’s a small step, and it feels scary and vulnerable but also a bit badass to embrace something I’m supposed to be ashamed of.
Whether you get your period or not, please don’t shame people that do. If someone asks you for a pad or tampon or if you’ll go to the store to pick some up, don’t coil back in fear or shame.
Trust me, you won’t lose your “man card” (don’t even get me started on that awful term) if you’re supportive of your friend or significant other by picking up pads, tampons, Midol, chocolate, ice cream, whatever.
Cramps and cravings and mood swings are real. That shit doesn’t need to be any harder to deal with.
Basically, just stop the shame and stigma around periods. They’re a reality for a lot of people, and making them seem gross and unsanitary doesn’t help anything or anyone.