I awoke this morning with a familiar ache in my lower back. Wow a month goes by quickly. Why am I writing about my period? Well the answer is pretty simple really, it is because menstruation happens to all women and it is something we never talk about in real and meaningful ways.
When a company is trying to sell us "protection" to hide our periods then it is fine to talk about it. If a company is trying to sell us medication to deal with the "unnatural symptoms" that come with having a period then it is fine to talk about it. Menstruation is as natural as breathing and yet unless it is related to making a profit for some company it is treated like a dirty shameful little secret.
Women may whisper about it quietly amongst ourselves in small groups, but menstruation is something that we are told from our very first period to keep quiet about. Blood on our clothing is seen as a shameful accident. We buy special underwear for our moontimes and conceive of periods as a dirty foul mess.
Many major religions view women who are menstruating as unclean. On the basis of the foulness of the biological process, women are barred from participating in many ceremonies. Ask yourself what bodily secretions that are specifically male do we socially consider foul?
How many times have you heard jokes about how you become an irritational creature every 28 days? Periods get no respect because they happen to women . The male biological process is elevated, and worshipped. When a man ejaculates it is called the money shot. How many reams of film have been dedicated to immortalizing this, as though it is some miracle of nature? Oooh look there is some semen, everyone get excited.
I think it is time for the period to come out of the closet. It need not be some mysterious dirty little secret. Having periods regularly is an indication that we are healthy functioning women and nothing about that should be seen as shameful. Treating a period as foul is just one amongst a myriad of ways that womens bodies are subject to discipline and treated as less than.
If every 28 days of our existence we accept the idea that we are foul and disturbed bodies how can we rightly assert that we are equal beings? Yes this is part of our biological process and it is different than a mans, but that does not mean that it should serve as reason to justify the continual reduction in the status of women. So yeah I have my period, and I am whole, healthy and functioning.