Why I want to talk about my period (and yours too!)
– That time of the month.
– Crimson tide.
– Shark week.
– Aunt Flow.
– The red Ferrari is here (yes, this actually is how some women refer to their periods).
– The English have landed (yes, this too! And by now you probably know I read that buzzfeed article that lists period euphemisms around the world, it’s pretty sick. 10/10 would recommend.)
These are all ways that we refer to our periods. Essentially we think of every possible crazy euphemism to avoid having to think about what’s really happening every month.
But as amusing as some of them are, I don’t like these euphemisms. I don’t want to sugar coat it. Because it’s not romantic; it shouldn’t conjure up images of cars or strawberries. It’s painful and annoying.
When I’m on my period I’m usually semi-pale and bent over from painful cramps, and people sometimes ask me if I’m okay. I never gloss over reality when I answer. I never say “oh yeah I’m fine, just that time of the month!” or “no I’m totally fine. Just good ol’ aunt flow visiting this week!”
No. I tell them that I’m shedding my uterine lining and it hurts like a bitch. I tell them that I want to be curled up in the fetal position with a heating pad because the blood oozing out of my vagina is giving me intense cramps. And this blunt honesty and–bordering on graphic–detail usually shocks people, especially my non-menstruating friends.
But it shouldn’t. It shouldn’t surprise people when I tell them I’m on my period. People who menstruate or have mensturated in their lives make up about half of the world’s population. And something so natural, that happens to so many people, shouldn’t shock people when it’s mentioned.
It shouldn’t gross them out to hear me mention blood. We watch people get graphically stabbed and shot on TV every single day. But one mention of my period blood makes people cringe?
It shouldn’t be a taboo topic. It should be talked about. It should be normal in conversation, because it is a normal part of our lives.
So, I don’t want euphemisms, or shocked and disgusted expressions. I want menstruators and non-menstruators alike to smash the stigma by talking about menstruation, no matter how graphic.
That’s why I want to talk about my period. And why I want to talk about yours, too.
(Follow @period.brandeis on Instagram and support the fight to break the stigma!)