Why (still) we are ashamed to say that we have the period

Despite the fact that every time society is normalizing the visibility of the rule or menstruation, it is still a fairly taboo subject. Women often hide that they are having their period out of shame or fear of ‘what they will say’, without realizing that it is something so natural and normal that it should not scare anyone.

So why are we still embarrassed to say we have our period? There is a veil to not talk about it freely, and there are still those who do not dare to bring it up. But, to shed light on this controversial debate, we are going to try to explain the reasons why we can feel a little shy every time the rule is mentioned.

The shame of having your period: has it ever happened to you?

  • Embarrassing situations with the rule? I’m sure that if we think about it, we all have one or someone close to us who has experienced it in the first person. Although this article is not going to tell anecdotes, it is necessary to start with one in order to better understand the subject we are talking about. We are going to tell you a story with which, perhaps, you feel a little identified:
  • You are in high school and one of your friends takes a pad to change into at recess. “Guys, she came to me and I have to change. Wait until the end of class,” she says to you and the rest of your classmates. The action was so fast that you didn’t even have time to see it. Your friend had waited until everyone was out of class to grab the pad from her backpack and had quickly stuffed it into the back pocket of her jeans. First fact that, seen in a 15-year-old girl, seems normal to us. We do not want anyone to find out about the rule even if it is normal, even if many other girls have it.
  • After this, you go down the corridor at full speed to join all those people who were going to the patio but, nevertheless, something happens before arriving. While you were walking, your friend dropped the pad from her pocket and everyone formed a circle around her. Some even kicked her and commented under her breath: “she’s a compress.” Oh-my-god! A compress! We will think of some. Not that she bit…
  • Surely when reading this story, you can only think of the protagonist approaching you and saying what a shame. “Don’t say she’s mine, let’s go,” she would say. Imagine your friend submits the story to a teen magazine as an “earth swallow me” but, a few years later, she can only laugh at the anecdote. And possibly it is best to treat it that way. However, it is necessary to think that -adapted to other situations and contexts- young and adult women continue to experience those embarrassing moments in which they do not want to admit that they have their period out of shame or fear of receiving an inappropriate response. As if they were almost the ones in the middle of the circle instead of a pad.

Why are you ashamed to admit that you have your period?

  1. Why are we still ashamed of it? Why don’t we take it for the natural fact that it is? Are we embarrassed to say the word tampon? The fine line of treating the period as something natural to trivializing with it and not respecting the private space that it entails is easy to cross. When a subject is no longer taboo, sometimes it becomes totally exposed and this is a situation that some women are not willing to go through.
  2. However, it is necessary to lift the veil that covers menstruation because as long as we cover it up, there will continue to be an abusive tax on those basic hygiene products or an excessive mockery of some men simply because reality is not known. Look how this veil-taboo will be that affects all women in the world between the ages of 13 and 50 approximately… And how little is said about it!
  3. Yes, the period may change our mood or it may not. It may hurt or it may not. We may or may not stain clothes. We may have an accident with her or we may not. It is something to be lived with, something to be learned from, and something to be taught.
  4. Because? Because tomorrow your daughters, your granddaughters or your nieces can live the same situation of shame (shame because it is not a topic that is talked about and it is shameful) and take it in a different way. Because if it is not normalized, we can come to think that menstruation is not something natural that allows us to generate life, but rather a punishment. Because they need to see that both our gender and the masculine respect and treat something natural without fear.

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