Ever since my tweenage years, I’ve been thrilled to get my period each month. I waited for what felt like ages for my ticket into the elusive cult of womanhood* and listened jealously to my post-menarche friends lamenting over their monthly blues. When it finally showed up unannounced one afternoon, I was ecstatic.
I’ve never had a stomach for gore and guts, but menstrual blood fascinates me. My favorite time is when it’s a bright, vibrant red. To me, its sight induces feelings of togetherness with nature. Blood is one of the elixirs of life, surging rapidly through our veins every second of every day. For some of us, it will even flow from our veins into the veins of pre-born life growing and developing inside us one day. Awesome!
There is so much shame around periods, and it makes me sad. Back in the day, period shame and secrecy was deliberately perpetuated by old, rich, white guys who wanted to sell disposable menstrual products when they were brand new on the market. Throwing away your “burden” was an easy way to hide your menstrual status from your (presumably white and straight) husband, which you were expected to want to do at all costs to preserve your mysterious feminine purity.
Ever notice how period commercials have all too often emphasized that their products are smaller and less noticeable than those of their competitors? The deeper message: You should be embarrassed for menstruating and should take every precaution to hide your status.
My deeper message: Menstruating is a beautiful experience. The cramps and wonky digestion? Those suck. But the actual blood part is natural and wholesome and great. And hey, chances are it’ll be gone within a week, anyway.
Your period is what you make of it, so why not have a happy period?
*I don’t mean to say that having a period makes anyone more or less of a woman. This was just my naive train of thought as a youngster. As I later learned, many women don’t menstruate. This is sometimes due to age, if you’re too young or too old to ovulate. It can also be the result of your internal machinery, as some women do not have uteruses at birth or have had ’em surgically removed later on.