Say it with me, “Women menstruate. They have periods. They bleed from their vaginas, sometimes.”
Women are always apologizing. We’e always hiding, always embarrassed by things we shouldn’t be embarrassed about. You can see us in droves on any given day, hiding tampons under other groceries like we’re looking to test whether last night’s cocaine fix is still swimming around inside us, awkwardly putting them on the checkout belt when the cashier is male, avoiding eye contact when he picks it up to scan it.
You can see us whispering requests for pads to each other when one of us is having an unexpected visit from that bitch Aunt Flo, handing them off to each other inconspicuously like an ’80s after school drug deal, hastily tripping all over ourselves to pick one up that may have fallen out of our bags in public.
Despite how melodramatic the picture I just painted was, my core point is true.
Yet somehow, buying toilet paper, a utensil that takes care of much grosser outputs from the human body than tampons do, isn’t embarrassing. Anyone can walk into a store and loudly inquire what aisle the TP hangs out in without a second thought, and there’s a very simple reason for that:
Only women experience menstruation. Men do not. This particular ordeal plagues only the female body. That is why it’s taboo. That is why expressing any indication that we may be on our periods is an uncomfortable conversation topic. That is why we are compelled to conceal the noble chain mail that protects our cute underwear from the red sea, as if they are scarlet letters.
The fact that a normal bodily function is a social unmentionable is outrageous, and it is just one of the many little things that show just how low on the totem pole women actually are in our society. Yes, many of us have reached a point where we no longer give a flying french fry about hiding our anti-pregnancy insurance policies, but many of us haven’t.
The sad thing is, so many of us don’t even seem to see why that’s a problem, and that is the result of systematic sexism and brainwashing that is rampant in our world.
I’m genuinely surprised you read this far.
Have a biscuit, Potter.