10 reasons we should talk about periods more...

10 reasons we should talk about periods more...

Yes, I'm doing it, I'm talking about periods. Why am I talking about periods? Well this week I'm on my period and I am suffering...so I need to talk about it. I don't necessarily mean all the time, but we sure as hell should feel more comfortable having the odd conversation about it when the time is right.  Today, my friends, is that day. I am going to give you 10 reasons why we should all be talking about periods more. 

1. Well the first reason is just obvious...we should talk about it because they suck. Why suffer in silence if you're feeling anything less than okay? If you had a bad foot and someone asked you why you were limping then you'd have no problems telling them that you've hurt your foot. So why on earth do we feel the need to be so shy about discussing what's going on inside us? Yes it can be a bit gross from time to time, but it's bloody life (see what I did there), so we should feel good about discussing the things that are causing us pain - periods or not! 

2. Because it's natural. It's a thing that comes about every month and we literally have no control over it. Once you hit puberty, it will come around once a month and at first it will be a real surprise. Your body is going through some huge changes, and adding your period in to the mix is possibly the worst thing ever. BUT it is natural, and you're not the only one...so there's no point making a massive deal in out of it as we can't change it. If conversations started younger then we wouldn't all be so afraid as we grow up. 

3. Because it's important to recognise that there is no 'normal' period. None of us look the same, none of us feel the same, none of us are the same, so why would there be one set way to have a period? Some people have short periods and some long, some people have heavy periods and some light, some feel pain and some barely feel a thing...every person has a completely different combination of all of them. It's important for us to be open about what we go through because it helps other people to understand that each of our experiences are 'normal' - but it's normal for us, not for every woman on the planet.

4. Because some people are scared of the word vagina (even though we came out of one). Why is it that people/the media only want to share positive things about a woman's 'lady parts' when it's relating to sex. It's a body part that we need for so many reasons - not only to enjoy sex, but to have babies and also have periods. All vagina's are different, and like periods, there is no normal type of vagina. So can people stop making out as if one is better than the other? Or if it's only 'desirable' when you're not on your period? Your lady business goes through so much all month long and it's pretty much doing it all on it's own. A vagina is no more unusual than a penis, even if it does have blood coming out of it for a week a month. It's awesome, so let's recognise that more please. 

5. Because even though it only occurs one week a month, we have to think about it all year long.  No, I'm not saying that i'm fretting about my period every waking moment of the day, and yes, we can live care free the majority of the time. However, I can't be the only one who plans her life around her period? I often feel lethargic, dizzy and bloated during my period, and am less likely to want to attend certain social things during this time. I use Clue (the best hormone/period tracker) to find out when I will be 'on' and then i'll work my way round it. Whether it's a day out, a certain meeting, or a holiday - I have to think about when would be the best time to do these things without my period getting in the way. 

6. Because men should be more knowledgeable. Please note, I am not saying that all men don't know anything about periods. I know a lot of guys who are very aware of the ins and outs of what goes on - however, there are a lot of men who either a) don't want to know anything about it, b) know incorrect information about it, or c) (possibly the worst) know a bit about it but make jokes about it/are just generally immature. Picture this, you're going to the toilet and you need to change your sanitary pad when Barry from accounts walks past you and asks you if you're leaving work early. No you fucktard, i'm having to take my bag to the toilet because I don't want to wave my sanitary pad throughout the office. Come on buddy, open your eyes and realise what's going on here. Anyway, enough talking about Barry. In general a lot of men need to be more aware of the possible side affects from your period, and the fact that all women suffer differently. It's no laughing matter, it's not gross, and it really takes its toll on a considerable number of women every month. If one man took the time to be a little more educated, and then decided to speak to their friends, or not laugh when their moron friend makes a joke about their moody girlfriend, then maybe we'd be one step closer to fewer women feeling ashamed and a generally more open-minded world. 

7. The more we talk about it, the better your work life will be. As mentioned, during my period I often get dizzy spells due to an iron deficiency, which means i'm clearly not going to be performing at optimum capacity. I often don't get a fantastic nights sleep due to period pains - again, meaning I might not be on top form in that team meeting or client presentation. I could keep going on for a long time, but the main thing I want to emphasise is that these aren't excuses, these are legitimate reasons for why your work should acknowledge every so often that a woman might be a little 'off their game' at certain times of the month, and the worst bit? I can't do anything about it. I've tried taking iron supplements, drinking more water, going to bed earlier - and although it has some benefits, I am still not feeling my best and could do with being given a little slack. Just like someone would expect if they had a bad cold.

8. Because it will help a lot of people's sex lives. I don't want to generalise, but I know a lot of girls and guys who don't want to be 'active' during their period. I totally get it - you might not feel your sexiest during this time, so why would you want to get down to it? BUT...people need to realise that there is literally no problems whatsoever with having sex on your period. If we talk more openly about periods then we will normalise it, and it will allow more open conversations about how it isn't gross or 'bad' to have sex all year round. It's also a personal choice, and if someone makes a decision that it is something they like doing then they shouldn't be made to feel like it's not 'normal' by other people who don't like the idea of it. What you get up to in the bedroom is your choice and your period should not get in the way of that.

9. Because sanitary products are expensive. Every month women have to go out and buy a couple of boxes of sanitary products. Times that by 12 months in a year, and then times that by the number of years you've been having your period. It's a pretty outrageous figure when you think about it. And to top it all off, in the UK we currently being taxed 5 percent on tampons and pads. We need to talk more openly about periods so that people understand the insane amount of money women are having to put away every month to ensure they aren't left in an uncomfortable situation.

10. Because we need to recognise how difficult periods can be for some women and girls. Having your period for a high number of women is just an inconvenience. We don't want to have to think about what we wear or how bloated we're going to feel during the time of the month. Realistically, this is a pretty minor thing to have to worry about in the grand scheme of things. However, for a lot of women all over the world having your period can be seen as a weakness, it can be seen as 'wrong', or is incredibly misunderstood and therefore women and girls are not supported. I could go on and on and on about this, but the main thing i'm going to discuss is period poverty. Forty million women and girls around the world are affected by period poverty (Borgen Project) meaning that they are unable to afford sanitary products, and they often suffer in silence. Most people would tend to assume that this is something happening in certain places in the world, but unbelievably there is a huge number of people who are struggling with this in western society. One in ten young women in the UK struggle to buy these products (Hey girls) and we definitely take it for granted. The more open we are about discussing periods could mean that the issue of period poverty becomes more widely known, and we have a better chance of solving the problem. We need to support our fellow women and there are a number of ways that we can do this (check out HuffPost's article and also HeyGirls).

So there we go, here are my 10 reasons why we should be discussing periods more. There are way more that I could note down, but these are the most important ones to me. In general, if we begin conversations earlier, and are more open about periods then we have a better chance of 'normalising' it, and we will be able to move away from women and girls globally feeling ashamed, embarrassed or like something is wrong with them. Let's all make a pact to talk about it when we normally wouldn't, make silly people feel uncomfortable, and be more courageous about a subject that is still taboo, even in 2018. 

1 comment

TmS said...

There's also the fact that in parts of the world girls miss up to a week of schooling EVERY month purely because they can't afford sanitary pads. This means fewer days in education and therefore lower paid jobs. It affects their WHOLE life.

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