It’s Time for Women to Talk about our Periods

When I was 10 years old, our third grade teacher explained, in relative detail, the changes we girls could expect to go through in the coming years. My period only put in an†appearance some five or six years later, but when it finally did arrive it was that frank conversation from a well-meaning older woman that saw me through it.

The only wisdom I ever received from my mother was in the form of a carefully concealed package of sanitary towels. She stopped at my bedroom door, held it up and said, “This is in my cupboard when you need it.”

I don’t blame her.†It was the eighties.†Back then, people didnít really talk about stuff. You just gleaned whatever knowledge you could en route to adulthood, all the while hoping fervently that at least some of it was grounded in fact.

The Cone of Shame (aka That Time of the Month)

But itís not the eighties anymore, itís 2018. Feminism and #MeToo are major movements, and yet we still canít bring ourselves to talk about our periods. Why is that?

Almost all of us have experienced embarrassing moments, discomfort and even shame surrounding our periods. Itís comforting to know weíre not alone, but isnít it time we stopped feeling bad about something thatís a natural and beautiful part of being a woman?

The team at BodyLogic surveyed 1000+ women about their feelings, habits and secrets surrounding their surrounding their periods. These are some of their findings:

  • Millennials report the highest amount of disgust, sadness, anger, fear, and shame about their periodsóbut theyíre also the most likely to have sex on it.
  • 49 percent of women learned to use period products from the instructions on the box, while just 34 percent learned from their mothers.
  • 78 percent of women have skipped sex on their period out of embarrassment. In fact, their partners are more willing to have period sex than they are.

A Taboo-Free Way to Talk about Periods

Social entrepreneur and co-founder of Menstrupedia, Aditi Gupta, has come up with a taboo-free way to talk about periods. As someone on the receiving end of this taboo, Gupta wanted to help girls, parents and teachers talk about periods comfortably and without shame.

In India, three out of every 10 girls have no idea know what menstruation is when they get their first period. Add to that the many restrictive customs related to a womanís cycle and the psychological damage inflicted on young girls escalates even further.

Together with her partner, Tuhin, Aditi created the Menstrupedia Comic as a way to help these youngsters understand and embrace the changes they were experiencing.

Aditi dreams of a future, as we all should, where menstruation is not viewed as a curse or a disease, but a welcome change in a girl’s life. She also offers the sobering reminder that if we, as mothers, are ashamed of our periods, our daughters will be, too.

With Menstrual Hygiene Day coming up in May, what better time to†commit to being period positive?

It doesn’t matter if you’re an older sister, a mother, an aunt or a teacher, it’s incumbent upon us all to ease†the challenges women and girls worldwide face due to their menstruation.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

168 comments

Martha C
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Past Member
Past Member 6 days ago

noted

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silja s
silja salonen16 days ago

wow cannot believe this ... people are still uncomfortable talking about menstruation. women bleed. thankfully we had a sane mother you spoke candidly about our bodies and all the ins and outs. (no pun intended) my daughter was well informed before she started her cycle.

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Hannah K
Hannah K21 days ago

Thank you

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Maria P
Maria P28 days ago

tyfs

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Olivia M
Olivia Mabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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Angela J
Angela Jabout a month ago

Thanks

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Colleen Stockard
Colleen Stockardabout a month ago

Can I just recommend Red School Online? I learned cycle charting from them: on the first day of your bleed, write down "Day 1 (date)" and how you feel, physically and emotionally. Keep doing this every day, it takes less than one minute. Seriously, if you have time to scroll through Instagram, you have time for this! By the next time you begin to bleed, go back to writing "Day 1" and carry on writing. After a very short time you will begin to see a pattern: on so-and-so a day you will feel like this, and on that date you have a tendency to feel like that. Eventually you will recognise the signs your body is giving you, and you will embrace your cycle. Cycle charting is free and easy, and you only risk loving your body. That's a risk you should be willing to take. Check out Red School Online, ladies. I mean it.

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Bill Eagle
Bill Eagleabout a month ago

There is a healing power for a family to able to frankly talk about one's natural cycles.

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Cindy S
Cindy Sabout a month ago

fun topic....................

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