Last night I read on Instagram, “A period isn’t an excuse to have an attitude”. This comment was made by a man, and the first question that came to my mind was, how would you know if you never had one?
Guys, periods aren’t that simple!
About half the population doesn’t know what it feels like to bleed monthly but have complaints about it. The only excuse I could up with is that men aren’t taught about menstruation. When it comes to female sexual anatomy, most men are less informed (or misinformed). Bring up a conversation about monthly cycle with a man and watch his face hint all shades of irritability, discomfort, embarrassment and awkwardness.
Menstrual cycles are an integral part of female human experience, deal with it!
Women have had to endure centuries of period shaming. The consciousness that many people consider periods as gross and messy is shameful. In some parts of rural India, menstruating women are prohibited from entering the kitchen and cooking food. In Japan, there’s a belief that women cannot be sushi chefs because of menstruation. In Venezuela, many women are forced to sleep in huts for the duration of their menstruation. Some traditions prohibit women from entering holy temples, offering prayers, or partaking in rituals because menstruating women are regarded as “impure”. In some parts of Indonesia, western Nepal and among tribes of Nigeria, young schoolgirls are made to miss school every month during their menses, thus affecting their education and many just drop out. Attitudes towards menstruation are generally negative.
Periods are totally natural!
The female gender has been subjected to ridicule, discrimination, child marriage and violence, resulting to low self-esteem and untreated health problems such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, nutritional deficiencies and dysmenorrhea – which is often neglected. The cost of menstrual products adds to the notion that daughters are economically burdensome. And most women do not even have access to proper hygiene such as clean water, resources such as sanitary pads and support they need for their periods.
Periods are a personal issue!
Menstruation is more than shedding is blood every month.
As if it’s not enough to bleed for days, period comes with:
• Moodiness – Before and during a woman’s period, hormones move through different phases. As those hormones rise and fall, so does her mood. As a result, she goes from angry to crabby to anxious to gloomy. This is unavoidable. And it is NOT OK to dismiss these feelings.
• Nausea – One of the hormones released during menstruation is called Prostaglandin. Once in the bloodstream, this hormone can cause vomiting, diarrhea and headaches.
• Breast swelling and tenderness.
• Acne breakouts
• Cramps – A painful throbbing sensation around the abdominal area. It is not like anything the guys have ever experienced. Ladies take off work, curl up in bed because it is that bad. No exaggeration, it interferes with the ability to concentrate and other daily activities.
Period doesn’t have to be one of the most taboo topics!
The stigma that surrounds menstruation needs to seriously be debunked. Teaching boys and girls about menstruation at an early age can have a large impact on the world. Period talk around men doesn’t have to be hush-hush. All the secrecy and mystery only makes it seem strange. Start candid conversations with the men in your life – your sons, brothers, friends and partners about female hygiene, menstruation process, symptoms and products.
Menstruations should be celebrated for the positive augur of fertility that it is. Period!