Talk Of Shame: Periods
If someone asked me point blank, ‘are you ashamed of your period?’ I would reply something along the lines of, ‘hell no!’, however, there have been many instances where I have felt embarrassed about my period. I have no solutions to banishing these shames apart from just holding my head high and hoping that society's stigmas will dissolve. I want to share some experiences, that I’m sure we have all had, to do my bit to end the stigma.
1. I have apologised multiple times for leaking onto someone's bed sheets in the night. On the other hand, I don’t think a guy has ever apologised for, to put it politely, making a mess on my sheets. They think it just comes with the territory, pardon the pun. Rupi Kaur tried to address this issue through a series on instagram called 'Period.' A photo of her fully clothed with a bit of period blood in between was removed from her instagram account twice, for violating Community Standards. This shows how terrified the world is of periods and exactly what Rupi Kaur was trying to address in her post.
2. I have felt so embarrassed when I have leaked through a pad into my trousers or pants, and felt absolutely horrified if someone might have seen. I don’t understand where this embarrassment generates from, but I still feel it today. The idea of someone seeing some blood in the crotch area of my trousers is utterly mortifying. Although, some women are trying to tackle this stigma head one. Kiran Gandhi ran the London Marathon 2015 without a tampon to encourage women to embrace their period and feel empowered by it.
3. I have often thought I can’t have sex because I’m on my period and it might make a mess. Or the guy can’t be bothered to clear up themselves and the bed afterwards.
4. I had never thought that the blue ink in period adverts was odd. It's insane that only in 2017 the first advert that used realistic ‘blood’ instead of that weird blue ink was released. This is slowly breaking down the stigma and a move in the right direction. Thanks bodyform #bloodnormal
5. If I'm on my period on the beach I worry that my tampon string will dangle out of the side my bikini bottoms. I know my friends do as well, but I don't understand why! Are we that terrified that someone will see that I'm on my period?
Like I said, I have no outright solution, but I think sharing is a solution within itself, by normalising these instances and opening them up for conversation. If you have any ideas yourself - get in touch. I hope the new year will bring, a new wave of period destigmatising stunts and more moments of empowerment instead of embarrassment. Cheers to that!