Dear most men I’ve ever encountered/ straight boys on the internet,
Fact of the day – once a month, every month, women bleed. Sometimes for one or two days, sometimes for over a week. It is our uterus’ version of a friendly reminder that we are not pregnant. Almost like one of those really fucking loud and annoying ringing alarm clocks - except it’s all day and all night for an extended period of time.
In your warped sense of reality, is it pleasurable for us to literally haemorrhage from the fanny every four weeks? Quelle surprise! – it’s shit. We don't get a choice in the matter; we can't tick a magic box and unsubscribe from our menstrual cycle. It would be a luxury to laugh, sneeze or clear our throats without it resulting in an instant tsunami (by tsunami, I mean a giant wave of blood leaving my vagine). And whilst sometimes all we want is a cuddle, try to think of us as a ketchup packet - don’t squeeze too hard.
Literally my vagina, right now.
As opposed to the 'feminine hygiene product' commercials, a period is actually a mini-break to hell where you are crippled with pain and dept from buying a handful of tampons, rather than the flowery, smiling experience you see during the ad break. According to the advert, I should be fit to run a marathon following the insertion of my new best-ever tampon. *Reality check* - it’s a big deal if I’m vertical for more than six hours whilst I’m surfing the crimson wave.
‘PMS’ isn’t an excuse for boys to use when they piss their girlfriends off; it’s an all-consuming rage, a weeping declaration of love, a hoard of unnecessary and unwanted zits and an uncontrollable urge to dip everything in chocolate.
Pre-Menstrual syndrome? More like Please Make me S'mores.
We know when our period has started, we just don’t know in advance when it’s going to start. Or finish, for that matter. Queue the endless stream of ruined sheets, underwear and pyjama bottoms. Regardless of how prepared you are in the lead up to the big blood spill, you can almost guarantee that Aunt Flow will pay her visit the one day you opted for a pale pink, silky thong rather than your dark 'safe' undies.
When you realise it's started and you don't have your handbag...
In truth, 'chasing the cotton mouse' is a term far too endearing to accurately describe perioding. Unless it’s ultra slim, having a compressed pad of cotton the width of a marker pen shoved up our bearded clams is uncomfortable as fuck. Regardless of how tight n toned our pelvic floor is, tampons have a fun habit of squeezing themselves free when we take a shit. And pads? Grossest invention ever. It’s the grown woman’s answer to a nappy and essentially means we stew in own blood for hours. Oh, and the strange winged design means it more often than not gets stuck and rips out half our pubes. Even my sacred period cup has to be screwed and folded up and inserted into my body at least twice daily. Top tip – if you want to scare a boy away, pull out a tampon and throw it at him. Hell hath no fear like a man-child faced with a tampon. (If he’s really pissed you off, try pulling the tampon straight from your lady garden as opposed to your handbag).
BRB, starting an app that where I can order champagne and tampons simultaneously
What's worse (than actually leaking blood once a month) is when YOU refuse to stick your dick anywhere near it, because it’s ‘gross’. There’s no resounding thanks that we’ve managed not to let you knock us up, just a sexist, discriminatory dismissal. And you know what’s way more gross than a little period blood? The shit stains you leave in the toilet bowl, the hair you block our shower drains with and the icky white fluid that you expect us to gratefully receive on our bare body. Oh shit, yeah, and you try and make us swallow it. THAT is gross.
We should be able to talk about periods. As in, not in the privacy of a girl’s WhatsApp group and without fear of reaction. Because it is more than normal. In fact, it is so normal, it’s comparable to being worried about discussing cheese sandwiches. Being a woman is tough shit. I stand for any corporation who allow for menstrual time off work. And whilst sometimes I need a day or two to cradle my hot water bottle, binge watch Grey’s Anatomy and stuff my face with leftover pasta bake, more often than not I am living and succeeding – just as I would any other day of the month. My period doesn’t make me weak (Oh, pleeeease, have you ever witnessed man-flu?) – it makes me strong as hell. Because I get up, sort my shit out and get on with my life - despite the tiny crime scene in my pants. Anything you can do, I can do bleeding.
Sincerely, in blood,