Vernon Vine

Menstruation: Not a dirty word

Mina Butt, Staff Writer

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Periods. Tampons. Pads.

Most of the time, these words bring shame and embarrassment. What I want to know is why? Why is one of the most human natural processes considered taboo to discuss?

Most women, including myself,  have been taught to hide their periods, especially from men. Although, the thought of a man finding out about such a common and universal process has always puzzled me.

In the U.S,  being open about your time of the month is somewhat accepted , but it is still controversial. However, other cultures are not accepting at all. In some parts of the world, such as Nepal,  women are quarantined during their menstrual cycle, only let back in once they have stopped bleeding! The shame that some women carry during their period is ridiculous. Breaking news: there is nothing to be embarrassed about!

While I have no qualms talking about my time of month, unfortunately others are not as comfortable regarding the subject.

Looking back, I distinctly remember one of my  friends suffering from extreme cramps; however, she refused to go to the clinic because her teacher was male and she felt uncomfortable talking to him about the subject.

Even now, some of my girlfriends ask me for pads/tampons the way some people might ask for drugs: on the down low, in secret, and in private.

Most boys tend to get very uncomfortable and nervous when the subject is mentioned. To make matters worse, boys tend to be uninformed and insensitive about the topic. I once heard a male student exclaim “Periods are gross and I would never buy my girlfriend pads or tampons.” Another boy was heard stating “Girls shouldn’t talk about their period in public. It’s disgusting.”

I may understand why the discussion of periods have a stigma, and I believe it relates to society’s standards of beauty. In today’s society, glamour and perfection is what is expected of girls. Periods are messy. Periods are painful and uncomfortable. Periods are smelly. All non-glamorous things that definitely shouldn’t be mentioned in our current superficial society. Remaining focused on perfection leaves no room for insecurities or unflattering topics like menstruation.

I don’t love my period, but I certainly embrace it. I am confident about my body, inside and out, and I will never be ashamed to talk about a process that over half of the world’s population experiences. Periods are not something to hide; periods should not be a sign of shame. I am a woman and I bleed for one week, every month because it’s normal. I am normal. Periods are normal, and it’s time to stop ostracizing females and making them feel humiliated and embarrassed during their time of the month .It is time for every person, regardless of gender, to  to feel ordinary talking about such a normal thing.

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Menstruation: Not a dirty word