Hi, my name is Cara and I’m a 21 year old woman. Every 28 days, give or take, I have a period. And it fucking sucks. Today, was one of those where I take from the 28 day cycle. I wasn’t due for another period for at least a week, but considering that my period is pretty much permanently irregular, I get to wake up a lot of mornings in a pool of my own blood. Hmm. Lovely.
I then proceed to dump my sheets, my underwear, and my pajamas in my laundry room in a tub filled with cold water, with the hopes that this time I haven’t ruined them permanently.
What next? Well, a shower of course! To wipe off the smell of rotting blood from my body! Squeaky clean and towel fresh I have about a two minute window before the volcano of blood begins to erupt again from my vagina.
What will it be today? A piece of chlorinated toilet paper cardboard with a string that I get to shove up my hole wherein the blood will sit and rot until the next time I can shove another piece of chlorinated cardboard up the same hole? Or, a plastic lined toilet paper diaper attached to my underwear that causes rug burn to my vaginal area when I walk? Well the later requires less coordination, and it is early, so I guess I’ll be sitting in a period diaper today. The best ever.
Of course, I could always just get birth control, and lessen this whole shit. But 1) I can’t afford it 2) I can’t ask my dad to pay for it because, guess what? Just like the men who run my government, my father correlates birth control with sexual promiscuity! Thus, sitting on my rotting blood, undergoing severe cramps that have on more than one occasion caused me to black out, it is! (Not that birth control is such a walk in the park either, our bodies have to learn to deal with the hormones and other chemicals and consequences that birth control entails.)
Then, I get to go to class, where I have to pretend that I am not a leaky faucet of blood and tissue. I get to sit in Calculus, and if heaven forbid, I need an additional pad, I have to be discrete about it, so as not to offend the men’s gentle sensibilities to the fact that I am the one dropping tissues and blood from my body through my vagina.
I once asked a male to take me to the pharmacy so that I could pick up (GASP) pads, or as we like to call it “feminine products” (again, so as not to offend the gentlemen’s overly sensitive natures) and had him equate me talking about my period to him talking about his erections.
This is nothing like your fucking erection’s. I don’t derive any enjoyment from this. I can’t mentally control any ounce of this entire process. I can’t masturbate my problem away. My period does not end in orgasm.
It stays. For at least five days in my case. Draining blood out of my body. Causing me severe cramps, making me irritable -not because I’m uncomfortable (which mind you, would be reason enough) - but because my hormones are all over the place, bloating me up to two sizes larger than I normally am, I have to actively fight not to smell like a fish market, and on top of that, you want me to be hush-hush about this? Because it’s icky for you?
And this is not an attack on that one man, this is an attack on ALL MEN who on top of sitting on their throne of gender privilege want me to stay quiet and be content about the fact that five days out of every month I get to undergo this happiest of joys.
And then, these very same men have the audacity to get annoyed because we don’t want to listen to their bullshit complaining about traffic? Or whatever other meaningless story they happen to tell us while our bodies are actively fighting against us? Then we get to be the butt of their tired-ass jokes? Sorry, I am most certainly not sorry.
I repeat NO. I say women come out of the period closet and say, “You know what, this happens to me. Every. Fucking. Month. And it’s terrible. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY MORNING.” Because the truth is, if I live in a country where Viagra is covered by medical insurance, but birth control isn’t, I can no longer keep denying that I live in a country that is actively waging a war on women. And if I live in a country that is actively waging war on my sex, the least I am going to do is break patriarchal social propriety to inform anyone and everyone of the shit biological process I was BLESSED enough to be born into.
Hello, my name is Cara, I’m a 21 year old woman, and today I’m on my period. Let me fucking tell you about it.