I remember every detail of when I first got my period. I was 14 and I was over at a friends house and I could tell something was off so I went to the bathroom and I realized that I had started my period.
I didn’t have anything with me and I was uncomfortable asking for a pad.
I fashioned a makeshift pad out of toilet paper until my mom could come and get me.
I was ashamed and I felt dirty, all because I was having my period.
What I didn’t know?
Periods fucking rock.
They’re sexy. They’re empowering. They’re an amazing way to understand your body.
Unfortunately, that’s not how they’re viewed by most of the world, despite the fact that 50% of the population has a menstrual cycle.
Periods are seen as shameful. Around the world, young women are forced to miss school. 80% of girls in Nairobi reported that they didn’t even know what a period was prior to having one.
Periods are seen as a luxury. 34 US states still have a tax on tampons, but viagra is considered a necessity. State prisons require inmates to purchase period products, which they often don’t have the funds for.
Periods are seen as taboo. We all have them, yet deal with it alone. It isn’t common knowledge that periods are meant to be celebrated and they’re supposed to be symptom-free. Most men are uneducated on women’s menstrual cycles.
Periods are seen as high maintenance. There’s a lack of conversation and education, which creates health risks for women. If a woman is emotional, uncomfortable, or even in pain – she’s often treated as just “hormonal.”
Periods are seen as just a problem for cis women. Sex education lacks inclusivity. Those who don’t identify as a cis woman can bleed too. Your non-binary, intersex, and transgender friends? They may have a period as well, yet often lack access to helpful resources and education that is inclusive.
Talk about it. Get mad. Celebrate it. Take resources to your local shelter. Purchase from @corawomen. Use inclusive language. Educate yourself. Love your body all month long and teach others to as well. #nationalperiodday
Calee Shea is a Holistic Health Practioner based in Atlanta, Georgia. She is your go-to gal for all things periods, vaginal health, and sex.