Let’s End The Taboo, End The Shame And Talk About Periods
Periods aren’t all that bad.
A woman spends a lot of time with her period, around 500 periods in a lifetime. Ouch. While us girls may moan about our periods there is a good reason to make friends with it. As BodyLogic study shows, negative feelings towards periods can be detrimental. Primary school students are soon to have access to free sanitary products which I think is a great step in the direction of ending the period taboo but more needs to be done.
The study shows that millennials have the most negative view of periods with many associating them with feelings of disgust and shame. This is not only sad — periods are an amazing, natural thing by the way — but also leads to massive miseducation. This is something I can relate to and I know many other period having humans do as well. Throughout my teenage years, periods were very much off the cards in terms of conversation topics, even amongst my friends. I remember specifically lying to one friend who told me everyone had started their period and asked if I had. Obviously, I had. Not. I lied, taking trips to the toilet between lessons like I needed to change a pad. I was an expert at lying about my periods, I thought everyone had started them. I got to actually starting my period at 15, big up the late bloomers of the world. The problem with the previous lying was once I started, I couldn’t confide in my friends about it. Partly because of my blunt personality, partly as I’d had enough of the taboo bullshit, I declared to all my friends that I was on my period one lunchtime at school.
Perhaps that wasn’t the most appropriate time. Still, it got us talking. As it turns out we all had questions and fears about our periods we felt we couldn’t ask out moms or sisters, so now we could.
While I’m not suggesting you shout about your periods at dinner parties (although it’s totally up to you), realizing it’s okay to talk about your period is helpful in gaining a positive outlook on it. A positive outlook is important, it takes away that taboo.
Period poverty is a real issue too and it is being tackled, finally, as sanitary products are being made accessible to primary school students which is great. But what about secondary school students? Not everyone has access or healthy discussions surrounding periods even at an older age. Accessibility is brilliant but can’t erase the feelings of guilt and disgust so many people feel towards their period, talking is key and being open can change the narrative.
Throwback to only 2016 and poet Rupi Kaur posted an image of her period blood on Instagram — of course, it was removed. Why are you so scared of periods, Instagram? Half the population has them!
This taboo around periods is so harmful to those who have them. Fear and misunderstanding around periods can lead to people not seeking medical help for their concerns. 16 percent of women did not receive any period-education found the BodyLogic study. We all dread having the talk, but it helps us understand our bodies which ultimately leads to a happier relationship with periods. The BodyLogic study suggests women who are educated about their periods feel more mature and comfortable with their bodies.
You may not think you have a relationship with your period, but you do. Make it a good one.
Next up, Period Sex And All It's Taboos