Periods – Something half the population experiences monthly, yet we are often too afraid to talk about. No matter how many times a person gets their period, the taboo of bleeding still exists.
I remember feeling embarrassed to get my period. Whenever I suffered from cramps, I would always pop some ibuprofen and just say, “I feel nauseous.” Whenever “Aunt Flo” came during summer I had one goal – stay away from any pool parties.
So why does this stigma exist? Deep-rooted history has created this sense of needing to avoid the topic of a period. Crazy to me that I live in a first-world country but feel the need to do everything I can to avoid bleeding through my pants.
So how can we reduce period stigma around us?
Support legislation that ends taxes on tampons. As of October 2019, 33 states in the United States charge sales tax on period products because these products are not considered “necessities of life."
Donate feminine hygiene products to low-income communities. More than 25 million women in the United States have limited access to period products. These women live under the poverty line and often must choose between buying period products and buying food.
Another way to support the end of period stigma? Simply talk about it!
In 2015, Kiran Gandhi (a musician and singer who goes by the stage name Madame Gandhi) ran the London Marathon while free bleeding. She wrote on her blog that, “My run was about using shock factor to create dialogue around menstrual health and comfort, so that women can start to own the narrative of their own bodies. Speaking about an issue is the only way to combat its silence, and dialogue is the only way for innovative solutions to occur.”
While there is no need to free bleed to make a statement, be like Kiran! Talk about periods. If you don’t have a period, listen to those who do and be understanding. Every person who has a period suffers from varying symptoms and pain levels.
Author: Kate Monroe
Kate loves Sonic corn-dogs and could eat them for the rest of her life. She often gets told she's most like Angela from The Office but she doesn't agree. Tough.
Follow Kate on instagram @katethedreamdate