07/07/2015

#TweetYourPeriod - The Stigma


Periods are just something we have to endure, its not fun and it sure as hell isn't pretty but it happens.
The stigma that comes attached to having your period is a bit of weird one in my opinion, half of the worlds population have them yet we don't talk about them. Even back at secondary school I would be hugely embarrassed to ask my friends for a sanitary towel if I were ever caught off guard, we would refer to it as "my monthly" thinking people wouldn't suss that one out.

Then there's the dreaded sex education lesson in which you simply get told you absolutely don't want to be having a child at the age of 16 so you should absolutely use contraception. "Oh and you will bleed once a month but it's perfectly normal" so yeah that was my insight into periods, how very informative. Love how they completely failed to mention the hormonal rages, absolute need for chocolate and stodge and the disgusting under the skin breakouts we have to endure.

As I grew older and got quite used to this monthly occurrence I started to get incredibly heavy and really rather unpleasant periods often more than once a month. Clearly that's not exactly normal so I took myself to the doctors, something I've always found relatively easy as I've always had rather embarrassing medical issues from a young age. Quite frankly my doctor has seen it all so really there's no more embarrassment to be had. I think the issue now for young girls and even adults is that periods are just accepted as something we have to put up with, but what about the mood swings, the cravings and the cramps, no one (not even your biology teacher) can prepare you for that. It's not talked about enough and it's not addressed. 

I personally want to slap anyone in the face who says periods are not important and shouldn't be talked about. I have suffered most of my teenage life with awful periods and have had to use several different contraception methods to ease the pain and the discomfort, most of which caused severe side affects including depression, something which should never go un noticed. Its all well and good saying that women need to shut up and just get over it but I believe we should have a voice and we should be able to freely talk about what's happening to our bodies, if I want to moan and cry and roll around with a hot water bottle scoffing chocolate brownie ice cream I sure as hell will.
Maybe even a little sympathy wouldn't go un noticed.
(I'm talking to all those boyfriends out there BTW)

After reading this buzzfeed article which prompted me to write this post I was left pretty shocked and a little bit disgusted at some of the comments, a few from fellow women but the majority from men whose general message was to "shut up and get on with it".  One even said we should just deal with it if we want to be taken seriously, what the hell has that got to do with anything? I was also quite upset by this particular comment from one women who clearly has no idea about the shame women feel in third world countries and the everyday issues they have to face. In a country where pads and tampons are readily available and we have doctors on hand to offer as much medical advice as we could possibly need then yes it is manageable but that's not always the case for everyone. People need to open their eyes a little and realise that not everyone has the same experiences during their time of the month, I for one absolutely love the idea of getting people talking about it and raising awareness.


In all fairness I perhaps won't be tweeting about my period, I don't really tweet much as it is and I don't feel the need to share my menstrual cycle with my followers (friends breathe a sigh of relief) but if you do then by all means you go for it! The point of the hashtag is to stop with the taboo around the subject, the squeamishness and the disgusted faces. Its the chance to stop people shying away from the fact women have to endure this unpleasant monthly occurrence, we didn't ask for this, it simply comes with being a girl. Why shouldn't we be able to express our thoughts and feelings for the world to see, its natural and it happens, lets not shy away from that.
If your feeling crappy and #hormonal then go and take a peek at some of the absolute hilarious and somewhat comforting tweets with the hashtag #tweetyourperiod, worked a treat for me and its so nice to know your not alone.

I would love to know your opinions on this. 

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