What are we doing with our lives ladies?
I was scrolling through the twatter this weekend and I came across this gem
Needless to say, my gast was flabbered. I am forced to ask, what's the stigma?
So I did some research, and here's what I found.
In other parts of the world (surprise, surprise) that are less advanced than we are, having a period is a cultural no no. This article, from two years ago, addresses a few of the reasons for a period stigma:
I read the whole thing and, honestly, I get what they're saying, in other countries having a period is a situation, young women are not educated about what changes their bodies will go through and because of cultural differences they are persona non grata while they are menstruating. For women in those countries, it's a stigma.
For women in THIS country, it is not.
But the womxn's studies majors of the world would love for you to think that it is. Before anyone's menstrual cup gets twisted and spills in their yoga pants (editor's note: blegh), please understand that I ABSOLUTELY BELEIVE that all women everywhere should be knowledgeable about their health, helping women in other countries to understand their biology is not a bad thing.
From the article:
A study conducted by the International Women’s Health Coalition found that there are about 5,000 slang words used to refer to menstruation in 10 different languages. Though using euphemisms may seem innocuous, it is indicative of a larger trend in attitudes regarding menstrual health around the globe.
So, basically, other people in other countries have other words and they don't think the same way we do. Wacky.
Meanwhile in America, where we bemoan the stigma, what are we doing to change it?
We are yammering on about period power with this:
Calling attention to an imaginary fear of shopping for supplies like this:
Clearly the best way to combat the "period stigma" that's so diabolically pervasive in a nation where there are literally shelves and shelves of vagina related products in almost every store, is to film a commercial starring a woman who has made her living discussing the inner workings of her vagina in graphic detail.
Her entire persona is mostly gross unserious talk riddled with euphemisms for both female and male body parts. I feel empowered to purchase things now (like that's ever been a problem).
Now, I'm a GenXer, but many of my friends and I were raised by ladies who were not super forthcoming with the 411 on women's health information. To overcome this we did research, and by research, I mean we learned it on the street, discussed among ourselves in detail what was up. I read books, my best grade school friend whose mom passed when we were very young consulted with her doctor, we all listened with rapt attention as all of our friends with older sisters regaled us with tales of how tampons work.
This has not changed as we head into menopause, I just talked to my best friend last week and as it has been with us since college, we have no qualms about discussing absolutely anything with each other. I went to a "paint and sip" thing last year with some friends and after we did more drinking than painting, all bets were off on decorum.
What I'd like to know is why, as technology and communication and knowledge advances in this country, have women allegedly gone back to being ignorant and ashamed about biological functions?
I think this is why:
How does one get to be a menstrual expert? Talk about your period with your kids? No talking needs to be done, simply take the box of tampons out of the cabinet and set them conspicuously on the back of the toilet to let everyone know that "we've gone around the horn again" and this is the week you should stay out of Mom's face.
Don't be afraid to talk about your pain? I personally don't know a single woman in my life that doesn't let everyone know they have cramps, or a migraine. I tell everyone who will listen, "Do not fuck with me today, my insides are rebelling and my head is pounding."
Menstrual products don't fight stigma, people do. Nope, menstrual products fight stains on your pants and the utter waste of towels that results from this:
Free Bleeding. Its exactly what it sounds like, just letting it all hang out. Ruin those pants, ruin that upholstery, trash all of your sheets and towels. From what I can decipher as I wade through the woke feminism of it all, is that this movement seeks to remove the stigma of having a period, by calling attention to the lack of feminine supplies in underprivileged areas.
Personally I think walking around bleeding all over everything is akin to shitting in the street, like how they do in San Francisco. It smells bad and its super germy. Its also not solving the problem. Ruining your hundred dollar white jeans and making bus seats unsittable all over major metro areas, does not do a single thing to get menstrual products into the hands of a young woman that needs them. Menstrual products which incidentally, don't cost that much to begin with. $10.49 for a box of 96 of them. Unless you are changing said tampon every 27 minutes during your period, that's pretty cheap. Like 11 cents a piece cheap.
Which brings me to my problem with the feminism of feminine hygiene.
Millions of dollars are spent every single year on "studies" and conferences and getting women and "women adjacent" persons who menstruate to tell their "stories" about a biological function women have been dealing with since the dawn of time. Corduroy pants and comfortable shoe aficionados all over the world put on their pussy hats and scream at the sky to call attention to their problems, and not one ounce of effort is put toward solving the problems.
Yeah, I said what I said.
This might be the bargain hunter in me talking here, but if you can afford to ruin upholstery, trash your expensive panties, take the day off to travel so you can bleed out loud at a protest, stay home from work to soak your towels and sheets, then you can afford to buy these products and pass them out to people. You can afford to take time off work to volunteer with young women and teach them about the stuff they aren't learning at home.
I know we have been over this before, but allow me to reiterate: if you wish to be taken seriously girls, you have to be serious. Red stains, fun maxi pad cartoons, woke commercials and endless crying isn't serious, its a bunch of narcissistic hocus pocus designed to draw everyone's attention away the fact that your "efforts" have only resulted in making yourselves feel good about being an activist, a Stigma (TA-DAH!), if you will.
All of the studies and papers and conferences and webinars have only served to perpetuate the stigma. The reason the jokes and mockery and misunderstanding continue is because what you're doing is ridiculous and not productive. Oh and its also EASY. Its super easy to talk at length about a problem and where it comes from and how it affects people, but DOING is difficult. If you want to tap into your power, YOU have to ACT, until then the cause of the global period stigma is as meaningless and empty as a Biden campaign promise.