The Vaginal Kind of Blood

Image found on comics.boumerie.com

Image found on comics.boumerie.com

You’re in a room full of mostly guys and suddenly you realize you left your tampons at home. Obviously you can’t ask any of the guys, but there’s a woman across the room who might be your period-fairy-godmother. So what do you do? You pull her aside, discreetly, of course, and ask if she has the golden treasure to save your panties (literally). The transaction requires delicate attention, she swivels her head as she looks around the room, no one is looking. You then look around the room, still safe. You proceed forward with the exchange as she ruts through her purse, again making sure the coast is clear, before encompassing as much of the product in her hand as possible, concealing it as if it were a precious jewel, surely to be stolen upon notice. Gingerly, the product is slipped into your purse, pocket, or hand, which is used to shield the product from view. You proceed to the bathroom, shuffling in, before taking care of business.

Why?

Why are we, as women, so ashamed of our periods that it is some sort of “hush-hush” occurrence that is as forbidden as He-who-shall-not-be-named? Our periods haven’t killed anyone—at least, I speak for myself, some of y’all might have magical powers of swift justice, and your period was the murderous enforcer (ha-ha, anyone?). Why do we get so quiet, so embarrassed, by something that, not only can we not control, but it is completely natural and a part of all mammal life? Hell, I’ve seen girls in public too ashamed or embarrassed by their periods that they’ll go without if they don’t have supplies handy, as opposed to asking for help. No one needs to suffer that kind of panty tragedy. 

We need a mini period revolution. Honestly, we need a liberating experience that leaves us guilt and shame free when it comes to our bodies, and not just it’s functions, but it’s parts as well. I’m not saying every single woman on the planet is shy about her monthly bleeding (clearly I’m taking a public-sphere stab-at-it), but a decent number of women won’t even discuss periods, and they definitely won’t if men are around. Usually, this is both out of shame and embarrassment as much as it is out of respect to him as a listener. Wait, what? Why is it considered “respectful” not to discuss a natural part of women's lives in front of a man?

Simple: it’s “disgusting” or “disturbing” or “gross” as most men have described it to me over the years. What makes a period so disturbing that women should be hush-hush about it? And let’s be honest here, if men’s repulsion is really about periods being “gross”, then men discussing pooping or farting in front of women should be considered just as disrespectful, rude, or gross, but it’s really not. Fecal and flatulence discussions are actually on the rise for their humor. So again, why is a period so disturbing to both genders?

I could understand if it was urine, and definitely if it was feces, but this is blood we are taking about. How many people in this world slice their finger open on something and instantly pop that injured finger in to their mouth and suck on it? Probably over half the people who will read this do (and no, I’m not encouraging period vampires, that’s just disturbing in itself). So what’s this all about? What makes period blood so disgusting that it literally disturbs the opposite sex and embarrasses the women that endure it? The vagina. That’s it. Plain and simple: location, location, location.

Men and women are embarrassed by the involvement of the vagina in this process. The vagina is a societal taboo, which is why their periods embarrass women. For men, it’s that the vagina is a source for their own pleasure, it’s supposed to please and enlighten men, while also remaining a mystical taboo that isn’t’ to be talked about—unless they’re rapping or singing, or hanging out with their buds, or telling tales about tails they’ve gotten (that they probably didn’t). When in reality, periods are a bleeding cycle based around the life cycle of an unfertilized egg. Once the body has worked hard to create a comfy, soft space for a baby to grow, a period will follow after the body notices that the egg didn’t attach to the fluffy flesh meant to nurture it through pregnancy. All that blood and flesh has to go somewhere, right? Out the vagina it goes. BAM! I said it.

Society has no right to make us feel like our bodies are taboo, shameful, or inappropriate. Take back what’s yours, and liberate yourself. Say the word vagina without blushing—its natural, and half the people on this planet have one, hello? If we can talk about penises, then we can talk about vaginas. This isn’t about maturity either, as in the generalization that boys are immature, so they talk about penises, but women are mature and dignified, so they don’t talk about such “imprudent” things. This is about the right to your body and to not feel ashamed of it or to talk about it. Say the word period, or as I like to say it, just to be extra gruesome, “I’m bleeding out my vagina.” Because it’s the TRUTH! You are bleeding, it does come out the vagina, and you’re more than welcome to not censor what you say about your body just because it offends someone else. Let them be offended, you’ve done nothing wrong.