I am not female. So as such, I can only infer what it's really like to have — be on? Go through? — your period each month. I don't envy you and the pain you go through. And as if physical pain weren't enough, there's also a grueling social stigma that walks hand in hand with that time of the month. It's that pain I want to address.
For some reason when most women are on their period they feel they must, as Elsa put it, "Conceal, don't feel. Don't let them know!"
My question is: Why? When you catch a cold are you equally as quick to pretend it's not happening?
"Ok, but that's different," you say. Yeah ... maybe. My point is this: If you're noticeably in pain, you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed to say what's really going on. If your guy friend wants to cartwheel down a hill with you, it's OK to tell him why that's probably not the best idea.
Let's break the stigma that men should for some reason be protected from knowing when you're on your period. After all, it happens for a whole week of every month (or so I've heard). I imagine conversationally sidestepping one-fourth of your life would be frustrating.
Informing vs. describing
Please, don't misunderstand me. There's a difference between informing someone you're on your period and describing every gory detail. Save the details for that special friend or family member you tell everything to. You know who I'm talking about.
But if informing someone about your situation becomes appropriate for the circumstances, have no fear, and do it.
You'll find it's also quite the effective get-out-of-jail-free card with the men in your life. We've heard enough horror stories to know that if a woman mentions she's on her period she gets what she wants, when she wants, with no pushback from the guy — period (no pun intended). How a man reacts to the news that it's that time of the month will tell you novels about him.
"I'm on my period" is one of the most powerful weapons a woman has in her verbal arsenal. Use it wisely.
My sister is a health teacher; and if you know any health teachers, you know that discussing anything having to do with the human body is fair game to them. Once upon a time she told me she was on her period, so I thought it'd be fun to send her a get well soon card, addressed to her uterus.
She got a good kick out of it, as did her friends on Facebook. I now realize that what makes it funny is that we treated the topic so nonchalantly, when apparently it should be too taboo to talk about.
Can you imagine a world where it's totally acceptable to talk about the unavoidable processes of your body? How much easier — and less awkward — would life be?
From a man's perspective
To the average male, the inner workings of a woman's body make about as much sense as advanced mathematics.
That being said, many men are not bothered at all when a woman tells him she's on her period. Personally, if a woman is adversely being affected by her period, I actually appreciate her letting me know what's going on. It shows that she's comfortable around me.
I suppose I should include here a caveat for those men that are bothered by knowing that a girl is on her period. They do exist, but I can imagine it's only because they probably didn't grow up with sisters. With your help, they'll get used to it.
As you probably noticed, this article is chock-full of personal opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree (you have every right to) with me in the comments.