We are taught from the time we are young girls about menstrual cycles. We are taught what to expect, why it happens, and how to cope. We are usually taught by our mothers, or by health teachers at our schools beginning in elementary school.
The discriminating begins around that age as well.
We are separated from the boys in school to be taught about our genitals, as if they are supposed to be concealed from anyone who does not have them themselves. We are given diagrams of our anatomy, and are shown films on what happens to us during puberty. But no boys are allowed. It is hidden from their eyes. They have been taken to a separate room to be given the same diagrams of their bodies, although their puberty video is much less descriptive.
The discriminating takes place in those rooms.
Boys are inherently taught that a girl’s cycle is a secret, and something that they should never have to witness or experience themselves. They are not taught the truth. Those classes never exchange diagrams or videos like they should.
As girls, we are taught to carry pads or tampons in our purses, and to not have them out for anyone to see. We are embarrassed to ask a friend or nurse for any feminine hygiene products when we are caught off guard. We are conditioned from within those health class walls to hide our menstruation from everyone. Its treated like a problem. Like an incurable disease. Inconvenient? Yes. A problem? Only if you take their words to heart.
As we mature and grow older, the discriminating takes on an entirely new level. With the use of social media, jokes spread like wildfire. Jokes about a woman’s menstruation are constantly made (usually by men) and shared hundreds or thousands of times. Men of this generation are taught through social media and their peers that a woman’s cycle is completely repulsive and is a deal breaker in a relationship. As if we have control over it.
Its used against us when we show any emotions at all. The statement “She must be on her period” is overused and worn out, but is still used by many young men and women alike. With the rise of men discriminating against women for their cycles comes women becoming more private and embarrassed about it. They treat it like a secret that no one should know about. They undermine their own feminine power. But here’s the thing:
We are the power.
To any female who has ever thought of their menstruation as a nuisance to be kept private, or has been treated poorly because of it:
The very day your womb began to shed its lining was the day that you joined the miraculous cycle that our world has formed. You began what could be the most incredible days of your life. That blood that stains your favorite clothing and bed sheets is the same blood that helped both create, and let go. It is the same blood that has traveled through the incredibly intricate cycle that your body has designed. The beautiful cycle that has synced with the moon. The joining cycle that has synced with the women around you. It connects, and it breaks. So bleed. Let the blood flow, and let it be a deep-rooted reminder that we are the power in this world. That our wombs are masterfully made to continue our existence. That our vaginas are the very organs that have created those that discriminate our abilities. Let the blood that flows from your body be empowering. Let those pains in your belly be a reminder of how you are a goddess of femininity and a warrior in the truest sense. Do not let the influence or views of others dictate how you view your menstruation. For you are an absolute goddess in this glorious fertile time. You are the one capable of creating and renewing life. Just like the magical world around you. Your cycle is something to celebrate and admire, and never let someone else tell you differently. Period.
To any man who finds a woman’s menstruation “disgusting” or not their issue:
Women’s bodies were not in any way created to appease your desires. Women were not created to cater.
We were created to create.
Our breasts, our stomachs, our hips, and our vaginas were beautifully made for the creation of life. Our feminine curves were made to complement our stunning minds and wombs alike. Don’t ever let that slip from your mind like it tends to in this day in age. This isn’t about you.
If you ever find that a woman has begun their cycle around you, I hope that in that moment, you remember your mother. The mother that you love and care for. The mother that had the same menstruation as the woman that you are now putting down for what nature has so graciously provided her. (Remember: not all women have regular cycles and suffer with several health issues and infertility because of it) The very cycle that created you years ago, you are now looking at negatively. Why? Why would you view a menstrual cycle as a negative aspect of life? Because it doesn’t cater to you. Think of your female friends, or your sister. What would you do if a male were to speak negatively to them solely because they have their menstrual cycle? If their boyfriend were to break up with them because they thought of themselves and their cycle over the boyfriend and his desires? Would you stand up for her? Or side with your male comrade? If a woman were to accidentally bleed onto an item of yours, or ask you to purchase feminine hygiene products, would you flee the scene or assist your female counterpart and treat her like the courageous being that she is? Women are not weak as the cliches that are tossed around claim they are. As you take the time to contemplate the questions above, please remember this:
Men and women were flawlessly made to complement each other. Together, we are superior.
Menstruation and all.