Periods…

The Painters are in, Auntie Flow came to visit or is it the time of the month? Or maybe you are the very few that refer to it as an actual Period. Why are we ashamed and so sneaky when it comes to Periods? They are something that happens to the female body once a month (unless controlled otherwise) for the most part of adult life. But yet we still act strange when it comes to period talk. We don’t talk about them and god forbid we ever mention their arrival to a male and need I start on TV adverts for period products!!

I find myself in an all-female office at work yet, I am still embarrassed to walk through holding my tampon on the way to the toilet. I find myself doing the sneaky up the sleeve move as I shuffle off to the toilet. Why? Why does it feel so shameful to show someone your tampon? Or why do we feel like we have to hide it? I mean I know not everyone in the office needs to know I’m on my period, but it shouldn’t be a shamed thing when it does. As a female you on average have around 480 periods in your lifetime. So why is it so looked down upon. When really it is as natural as taking a poop.

I went to buy some supplies from a shop the other day and I found myself again, getting embarrassed as I placed my arm full of products in front of the male shop assistant. When really, I shouldn’t have cared. I find myself saying to myself, ‘Hells yeah I’m on my period! Did you know you could buy two of your pints of beer with the money I am spending to stop the monthly flow’. But of course, it’s to do with period so you keep your comment to yourself and quickly shove your supplies in your bag before anyone can see. Even when I was back at school it was a shamed thing! If you were even caught with a tampon it was laughed about. I can remember being around 14 and a group of boys had a joke bloody tampon and they were laughing and not wanting to touch it. It was also non uniform day and they very kindly put it in my hood and continued to laugh at me after I had removed it. But even away from school if I am slightly grumpy you get ‘Oooo she’s on her period’ comments which automatically piss you off more if you happen to not be on your blob at that current moment!

My friend tagged me in a eco-friendly period product video on Facebook the other week and I am really not convinced by some of the suggested products. A moon cup I get that that works but is it not awkward to clean out in the middle of a public toilet?! Up next the washable pad, I mean that’s ok I could run with that idea. Then came the final option, and I’m not being funny but I’m not using a rolled-up crochet square any time soon. I can crochet and let me tell you that isn’t stopping anything! If we need to be making progress in period products to help save the planet then I think we need to talk about periods normally. Because if the TV adverts are anything to go by then they really give the wrong impression about periods. Not once have I seen a period advert with a woman wrapped in a blanket eating chocolate, getting emotional or angry about random crap!

I guess this was kind of a bit of a rant post?! Or maybe I just don’t see why we are so funny around periods? It’s weird and confusing to me that it is such a taboo subject. When I say taboo, I mean’t I wont be bringing it up at the dinner table any time soon but a bit more normality about periods would be nice.

Thanks for taking a look!

Chloe May x

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45 thoughts on “Periods…

  1. Interesting article, indeed! There are some stereotypes involved, like in an ad I’ve seen a woman wearing white trousers (they are always wearing white trousers 😀 )who was either balancing like a pole dancer in a bus, or going down on a kids chute. And men always drink beer in beer ads, watching football as if beer were some divine beverage only meant for men. I like beer, football and I’m not wearing white trousers during period, and I bet I’m not the only one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hate those tampon adverts where you see these women dancing around in light coloured clothing!! So unrealistic haha, I spend my periods generally wearing all the baggy, black clothes I own and getting angry over silly things! You’re absolutely right, the stereotypes around periods are ridiculous! Although, I agree that I probably won’t be announcing that Aunt Flo is visiting any time soon! But I suppose that’s because it’s always been ingrained in me that periods are very private things that we should keep to ourselves? Great post! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Preach! I actually use a menstrual cup for the majority of my period each month now and it is quite handy! You can buy wipes of for it but I do get where you are coming from with the public toilet thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There was a story on NPR where some school district in the US made it mandatory that girls couldn’t say the word period or talk about supplies. When they needed a sanitary napkin, they were told to go to the office and ask for a “Marshmallow”. They ended up doing some podcast and winning an award for breaking out of all of that. I actually didn’t know women were embarrassed at all. I thought that, as a guy who has had to pick those things up for my wife before, all that embarrassment was reserved just for us. The only store-thing more embarrassing me was the time I bought condoms and a bottle of wine and my debit card wasn’t working. I thought I looked like some weird street urchin to the people behind me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have periods due to the contraception I’m on but my 12 year old daughter has recently started and she’s terrified about taking her pads to school. It shouldn’t have to be like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So true! It’s generationally ingrained that periods are shameful, and they’re one of the things that’s still used to oppress women, as we’re “unclean” or “faulty”. I have two sons and have already spoken to my 4 year old about periods when he found some tampons in the drawer. He was fine with it!! It’s societal bias that’s the problem. myanxiouslife.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There is definitely so much of a stigma surrounding periods that we feel ashamed even though we know it’s perfectly natural! Some men seem disgusted at unused products which baffles me, it’s only a bit of material! I think maybe it should be talked more openly about at school with boys as well, so it’s not seen as this secret thing that they don’t understand, causing them to be wary of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so true (unfortunately). It’s crazy as well that things like those little boxes for pads and stuff that make them look like sweet tins in your bag (have you seen them?) Like why do we need to hide this stuff?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I completely agree with you. It’s so normal. And yet we are shamed. When we buy pads, they are given so packed in dark coloured bags, guess anyone see it, like we are carrying a crypted secret. It should be normal, that we and our coming generation doesn’t have to hide about periods anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I envy the girls that have a light period for a couple of days and complain. I’m sat there thinking what are you made out of? Periods make me emotional, gives me greasy hair and I should never be more than two minutes away from some deodorant! And I still get embarrassed buying feminine products. We shouldn’t get embarrassed though, we didn’t choose the period life the period life chose us

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have always used pads and can’t use anything else. I used to be so embarrassed taking them to the toilet when I was a kid (and yes I mean kid, I started at 7.5). What’s worse is as I got older this fear didn’t go away, and even as a grown-ass woman I felt ashamed for having to hide pads. When I had periods they were agonizing and often made me sick, so you can imagine the guilt trip I was given for calling in sick on the worst days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember at school it was similar to what you said, and we were all scared about showing a tampon or pad etc. However when I turned 18 I was fine and open about it to anyone and everyone, still am today years and years on 😂 I don’t care anymore, I will get my pads out and I talk about my periods with guys haha! But I still understand that there is still a stigma and there shouldn’t be, it’s a natural thing and we should be allowed to express that 😊 great post xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember the awkward shuffle to the toilet with the tampon up my sleeve (or when I had a sleeveless top on, stuck in my bra). I did find that as I’ve got older (not that old coz I’m only 28) I have become more comfortable with talking about my period with friends and also men. I used to walk through the shops loaded down with packages of tampons and pads (and chocolate!). However, I recently moved onto eco products and the mooncup is actually really good. You can leave it in for up to 12 hours, so I time if for just before I leave for work and take it out when I get home. And then overnight too. I also got some period undies, which I’ve been liking.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Normalizing periods and all that goes with them is so important! This includes using red liquid in adverts for period products instead of the weird blue stuff usually used – which, to their credit, I’ve seen *some* companies embracing. De-mystifying it and educating properly is also key in getting rid of the embarrassment connected with it. It’s natural, it’s normal and each woman who has them will experience different things. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Omg I totally relate to this. I remember starting my period when I was in school and it was totally mortifying. Thankfully I had my first one during the school holidays, although that was a disaster (but that’s enough story) But I totally agree, why should it be such a taboo subject? It’s something every woman goes through, I think it would be made a whole lot easier if we openly talked about it. x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I have never really given this much thought, but I do the up the sleeve thing.

    I work in an office full of women, we are all pretty synced as well so we talk quite openly and my Fiance is forever talking about it!! But that does make it less taboo in our house.

    I do find the taboo-ness of it a bit odd, half the world do it. Its no big deal

    I definitely take full advantage of the self check outs when its period time though 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I caught myself just yesterday worrying about how I was going to deal with when my period comes in the office. Most of my immediate co-workers are female and although all of them are very open and probably wouldn’t care if I just took a tampon out…. I don’t know… there is this part of me that feels a little embarrassed. Which I shouldn’t because I AM FEMALE. Every female bleeds once a month. It’s normal. But still we feel like we should make a secret out of it like it’s some kind of “dirty business”. Really enjoyed this post, I think you raised some really important questions. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am still scarred by an incident at my all girls secondary school where a male teacher refused to let one of my classmates go to the loo until she showed him her tampon and said she had to go now or else she would bleed through her skirt! I think there definitely is a lot more education to be given in terms of periods and being open about it is definitely a step in the right direction. My boyfriend constantly surprises me at how okay he is with periods – buying me tampons/pads, cleaning my bloody clothing and bringing me chocolate and hot water bottles.
    With regards to eco-friendly period products, I can understand not wanting to use a moon cup (I normally just use it when I am at home and can wash it out in my own bathroom sink). Perhaps look into plastic-free tampons and pads online if you want to try to reduce your environmental impact? xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so awful and I’m sure the male teacher didn’t mean anything by it but yet it still effects you and your class! Yeah after properly explaining to my boyfriend he is now really good with periods and understands he just needs to feed me chocolate! Yeah I need to do more research on them xx

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  18. I’m still in that mindset of needing to hide the fact I’m on my period which really is crazy come to think about it! I think as you say a lot of it stems back to being at school.

    I have recently tried to use more ecofriendly period products which I’m still getting used to. There are so many benefits to them on top of being better for the environment. I have stocked up on reusable pads which I love but do awkwardly try to hide when I go to clean them and drying them is another thing! I have also over the past few months been trying a menstrual cup. I am nowhere near fully confident with it as of yet but I’m persevering. You can keep it in for up to 12 hours, so you may not even need to empty it in a public toilet, but if you do and there isn’t a sink in the cubical I bought some gentle feminine flushable wipes to give it a quick clean and then do a proper clean when I get home.

    This is a great post and a great step to normalising talking about periods!

    Jess x
    http://www.secretdiaryofjess.com

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Interesting article, Jess! I’m all with you – whilst I don’t work in an all-female office at work, I am surrounded by women in my sitting plan. However, there’s been many a time where one of us has had to borrow a tampon, and has sneakily passed it along as if it’s something really bad. It’s quite weird, isn’t it? How can the most natural thing – and that is needed for reproduction – be something so shameful?! I really don’t blame you for ranting! Reading it has further made me angry!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s so weird that periods are still a taboo. I don’t have them anymore due to the pill I’m on but when I did, I wouldn’t buy sanitary products from a male cashier. Why though? Haha, they know they’re sold in the shop they work in so why should we be ashamed of buying them?

    Liked by 1 person

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