Period Shaming. It’s A Thing And It’s Dumb.

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 4.24.13 PMCall it what you will, period, “Aunt Flo”, time of the month, rag, lady-time, riding the crimson wave (shout out to Cher Horowitz!), or my personal fave “moon-cycle” (it just sounds so mystical y’all), your menstrual cycle is probably pretty shitty no matter how cute your euphemism is. So, the last thing a woman needs is to feel like she isn’t making the “right” choices about the products she uses to make her moon-cycle somehow more bearable.

But guess what? That shit is exactly what’s happening!

Do you use regular tampons? Well, then your vagina is now full of chemicals that will eat through your uterus. Probably.

Do you use a diva cup? Well, everyone thinks you’re gross and also that you’re totally getting TSS. Probably.

Do you use pads? Ugh. What are you? 100? The cool girls don’t wear pads anymore because icky. Probably.

Do you use all-natural cotton tampons without chemicals? Well, you’re a hippy who will always be covered in menstrual blood because science wins every time. Probably.

EVERYTHING YOU’RE USING DURING YOUR PERIOD IS WRONG. Probably. Because everyone on the Interwebs says so. Period shaming is a thing y’all. And it’s absurd. There is a difference between having a conversation about the pros and cons of taking a week off a work and hanging out in the bathroom for the duration of your period and actually shaming someone into feeling that the decisions they make to simply endure a really shitty week are wrong or shameful. Because they aren’t. Listen, we can make an argument for just about anything. But WHY ARE WE ARGUING ABOUT THIS? Why can’t we just let a lady make her own choices on what works best for her vagina during her OWN menses? By all means, please share information- I for one, really like hearing about other people’s moon-cycles because I think bodily functions are interesting- but please, please can we stop the period shaming? Because really y’all, it’s dumb. It’s really really dumb.

Mae out.

26 thoughts on “Period Shaming. It’s A Thing And It’s Dumb.

  1. Well, I use tampons, but have looked into the diva cup. I am hoping to get pregnant really soon so haven’t wanted to spend any money on purchasing one (about $40) at this stage. Saying that, i’ve been hoping to get pregnant since two Novembers ago… I guess to do that my husband and I really ought start shagging a little more often than once or twice a month. Which is easier said than done, given that some weeks we barely even see each other due to our work schedules…

    And yes, tampons are gross. I think the whole bloody thing is gross (pardon the pun) but it’s something we, as women, are used to, more or less…

    • I’m all about exploring your options, just make sure you choose what is best for you and your life and don’t let anyone shame you into anything. Also, best of luck on getting pregnant!

  2. Here here. I had a girlfriend once confide in me that she felt she wasn’t ‘right’ because she was using pads, and she thought everyone else was using tampons. Thankfully I was a poverty-stricken university student at the time – working in a supermarket. The thing I noticed? Everyone bought pads. There’s a damn good reason why the shelf section with the pads is a LOT bigger than the shelf section with the tampons (at least, in that part of Australia it was) – because pads have a higher sell rate. I felt like I’d done some kind of civic duty informing her thus. She smiled. I might follow up on that and ask her if she still feels shameful about it.

    • You should! There is no shame in the pad game- I personally, find them much more comfortable/reliable to sleep in. But, that’s just me.

  3. I say bring back the “Red Tent” so we can all just hang out and relax during our moon-cycle and leave the men to their own devices – you know, scratching their balls and wondering when dinner’s gonna be ready. Fab post.

    • ahh yeah mom used to talk about that back home…a separate room for the ladies having their lady bug…but the only issue was that they were made to feel like they were dirty and were isolated for the good of all others…

  4. I did not know that period shaming was a thing. Now I do, I guess. How depressing. And whose business is it anyway? The bit that bugs me is what Fille Pompette said about how if you’re a woman and you’re in a mood, people always assume it’s because of your period, and not because of the thousand other reasons one might be in a mood. That’s the part that *really* pisses me off.

  5. For the largest part of my life since I first started having my period, I was on birth control. What was more important than the contraceptive aspect of it was the control over my body. I knew almost down to the hour when I would have my period, which was a major advantage when I was a competitive dancer.
    After I quit dancing 1.5 years ago, I got into yoga which made me listen to my body more and I realized that I didn’t know how it “ticked”. The pill box told me which part of my cycle I was in, but I couldn’t feel it.
    So I stopped taking birth control last year in May and it’s been quite an experience since then. For months and months there was just NOTHING. If I had been sexually active at the time, I would have gone crazy thinking I’m pregnant. It was not until December that my body started to pick up something akin to a “cycle” and by now I can tell from my skin and my overall condition of I’m ovulating or about to have my period. Which is an amazing feeling! To know what my body is up to.
    Yeah, it’s messy, but it also tells me that everything’s “working” okay and it is simply part of being a woman.

  6. Did not know this was still a thing among grown women. I do remember there being period shaming at school. You were seriously uncool if you didn’t use a tampon. Not to mention disgustingly disgusting. AT SCHOOL. As if school wasn’t bad enough.

    Can I high five you for this post?

  7. I’d never have guessed that was a thing. ridiculous. As if it isn’t already an awkward enough time, let’s make you feel more uncomfortable. My sister and her friends use the phrase, “It’s my tee-oh-tee-em” highly unoriginal, and I had to ask what that meant, because I am not good at coming up with the right translation to seemingly random letters strung together. el-oh-el? lots of love? well that’s nice, but why are you finishing every sentence in an email with it?

  8. Holy cow! I knew I lived out in the boonies but I had never heard of the Diva Cup! I mean really, all the handouts and posters at the OBGYN office educating you on ‘What To Do If You Are Unmarried and Having a Baby” (Did you know, you can name your baby after the president but that no way whatsoever makes him financially responsible for your child, no joke… that was listed!) but they have no brochures on this! I had no idea that thing exsisted!

  9. Excellent post! And I’ve experienced this from a doctor.

    Even more galling (to me) was having a doctor suggest I just ‘have less periods’.I was dealing with PMDD, The gynecologist tell me that she could put me on birth control that would make it so I had my period only 4 times a year because “it’s not medically necessary to have a period.” and “they are just inconvenient.” Uhm… I know they’re inconvenient — so is farting, but it’s a body function with a purpose.

    I had questions:
    1. Will I be three times as depressed/crabby when I do get my period? Because, right now I am barely controlling the bad thoughts I’m having about myself and the woman who smiled at me in the waiting room. She didn’t know.
    2. If it’s not medically necessary to have my period, why is it the first question that is asked every time I go to the doctor? Because, if it’s possible that you’re pregnant, we need to take that into account.
    3. Is this birth control you’re suggesting 100% effective? No … no oral birth control can be 100% effective.
    4. So … When I go into the doctor and it’s been months between my period it could be because of the bc or because I’m pregnant… So I’ll get a pregnancy test? Yes. But you’ll only have PMDD four times a year.

    See question number one. She told me that it wasn’t the 70s, there was no need to be living like a flower child when medical science can relieve your issues — if my PMDD got worse, she would just prescribe an anti depressant.

    Or I could find another doctor.

  10. I love my diva cup and feel like I’ve come a long way since the middle school days when I couldn’t figure out how to use a tampon. But you’re right, it shouldn’t matter as long as it works for you!

  11. Pingback: Reconciling Your PMS With Your Feminism « THE PREEMINENT LITTERATEUR

  12. So true. Even more offensive are Feminine Deoderant Spray ads. My fave is one of a pretty woman in a sundress. The ultimate message is thank God she is covering up her stinky pussy with chemical spray. The hell?!

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