Period Shame

Hello Wild Ones🥰🥰🥰,

I hope you are well and taking care of yourself. My hope is that you are taking day each day at a time and that you are loving on yourself. I am currently full of hope and joy.

The past week has been really hard for me. I was on my period and something weird is happening to me. My PMS symptoms are becoming more intense and weird. For example, I now cry over everything when I am on my period and have the worst stomachache. During this time, I spent a lot of time barely talking to my regular friends who at the moment are mostly guys and when they asked why I was off, ‘I just said that I wasn’t feeling okay.’ Then I got thinking why I didn’t just say that I was on my period and experiencing the worst PMS symptoms and I realized that I was period shaming myself. I was ashamed of this natural experience.

My mother is one of the coolest people I know; she has created the coolest vibe around her. I can tell her literally anything and expect no judgment from her. I remember around my adolescence, she had talked so much about menstruation that I couldn’t wait for it to come. I remember when it came, I felt so complete, I was a woman and I had my periods to show for it. Well, that was before I realized that my menstruation came with bloating, headaches, joint aches, and weird cravings. But my PMS symptoms weren’t the reason I started to feel ashamed of my periods.

I think I started to feel ashamed of this natural experience when I went to school. I removed my sanitary towel and kept it on my desk and everyone behaved like I had brought a rotten rat out of my bag. One female teacher even called me later to tell me that I should always hide my sanitary towel. Some boy in my class noted the date and added twenty-eight days to it and then came to tell me when my next period was. He would always come and say ‘It’s that time of the month, if you get too emotional I will know why.” I remember noticing that even advertisements for sanitary towels don’t use red to show the blood on the pad. I internalized I am supposed to be ashamed of my period and hide it from everyone especially men.

There are three ways that period shame is expressed by yourself to yourself or others to you:

  • Freaking out over leaks- Most girls have at one point experienced a leak. I don’t know about you but every time it happens I feel very ashamed and dirty, although as I grow older I have learned to care less. The last time it happened, I actually announced to my friend who is a guy and he looked like he was going to die and my sadistic self enjoyed how uncomfortable he was. I really don’t understand why it should be such a big deal like we make it. It is supposed to be natural but we act like someone has committed a crime when it happens.
  • Attributing emotions to PMS– This is my biggest pet peeve when someone decides that the reason I am mad or emotional is that I am PMSing. It’s like I only get one week in a month to have feelings and the rest of it, I am just some stoic bitch. Not that having emotions is a bad thing but women shouldn’t be made to feel so conscious of their emotions lest it becomes that they are on their period. No woman’s period should be used for gaslighting.
  • Making it a taboo topic– It is an unwritten taboo to talk about our periods so much that we have very many names for it like ‘miss red’, ‘Aunt Flo’, ‘That time of the month’, ‘Shark week’, ‘Red wedding’, ‘Carrie’, ‘Mashiru’, ‘Lady time’, ‘Bloody Mary’, etc. I think it shouldn’t be so shameful to talk about something so normal.

This is the experience of so many women who are made to feel less just because their ovaries are well-functioning. My experience is not even close to what some women have to go through every month. Some can’t afford sanitary products and hence spend that one week hiding or wearing a cloth. Others are expected to not go to church or be near men. Others are expected to not even cook or handle food in any way. I have researched to find a sensible reason why this could be okay but I don’t find it. If you have one, educate me. Otherwise, I think it is not good that women are made to feel this way and people should learn to be more accommodating and sensitive to women about their periods.

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With loooove and hope,

Jackie

22 Comments Add yours

  1. kwambokaisla says:

    I think women should take pride in periods but all that you said has alot to do with this not happening and I think we should embrace it more dho it can be soo hard ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. jackie says:

      Yeah we should be take pride in it. Thank you for reading.💗💗

  2. May you feel better soon

    1. jackie says:

      Thank you💗💗💗

      1. No, thank you for genuinely sharing.
        I hope all that have read care enough to pray.

  3. Amazing read. I am so happy that you have chosen to write about the taboo word Periods.

    Actually even I feel so confused that why Periods are considered as something impure and something to be hidden. Periods completes a woman. What makes people so touchy about it, like come on its the reason of their birth. I dont see any reason to be ashamed of it.

    P.s. wish you good health and happy moods for your coming PMS.

    1. jackie says:

      I know right; it’s the reason for your birth and yet you hate it.

      Thank you💗💗

  4. An interesting read here. Very insightful. Well written. More tolerance. More grace.

    1. jackie says:

      Thank you💗💗💗💗

  5. Very interesting read. I was fortunate not to suffer from PMS and I refused to allow my emotions spin during this time. I kept calm. I found in later years that Rose Essential Oil Massaged into the abdomen help with women’s menstrual problems especially stomach ache. Rose Essential Oil is very feminine, soothing and calming. Rose Essential Oil helps to balance the cycle too and heavy flows. Take care Bless you.

    1. jackie says:

      I will definitely be looking into this and trying it out. Thank you for the suggestion.

      1. You are very welcome. Rose Oil is known for treating women’s menstrual problems.

  6. PoojaG says:

    Really great post! I used to find it a bit more difficult to talk about my period when I was younger but I am much more open about it now. I think the three things you mentioned were a big part of feeling that way. However, like you said it’s a completely natural process and definitely not something to be ashamed off.

    1. jackie says:

      True. Thank you for reading Pooja

      1. PoojaG says:

        My pleasure!

  7. I totally think that as women and girls you should never feel ashamed of talking about it. As for dudes, we will never understand what you go through but we certainly shouldn’t alienate you for it. It’s natural, not like it’s your choice.
    But also I do think some items shouldn’t be over exposed due to the intimacy of their nature though I’m the person who also feels weird pegging my underwear on the line for all to see or carrying toilet paper or a box of condom in hand on the street. Taking a shit or having sex is natural but not everyone should know its going to happen. But that’s just me if you feel comfortable with it then go girl!

    1. jackie says:

      Well, the stigma around not talking about period has nothing to do with intimacy but the idea of putting shame on it. It’s not about telling everyone but being able to talk about it when there is need. Thank you for reading.

      1. You’re welcome. I’m sorry I didn’t clarify enough. That point was meant for sanitary pads not for the talking part… But yeah it’s totally true. Talking about it shouldn’t be seen as taboo.

        1. jackie says:

          What about sanitary pads?

  8. I totally understand. Like my guy once saw my pads in my closet and was like, “these are supposed to be at the back .” We are talking about my very own personal closest. I’ve never felt so defensive until then, we literally argued over it. Men can be so damn insensitve sometimes

    1. jackie says:

      Woow that’s interesting. Men have been socialized to hate periods and shame women who are not ashamed of it. It shouldn’t be like that.

I appreciate your opinion!!! Leave a comment!!