The Menstrual Cycle: Still Taboo

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Today I am going to talk about the menstrual cycle. Aunt Flow, that awful friend that visits you, the Dreaded Period! Have I made you feel uncomfortable yet? Guess what? That’s a issue.

We hear all the time about other body related issues. I have a cold, my nose is all stuffed up. Men talk about their farts and I know some girls that do as well. The one thing though that is still taboo to talk about is, “I have my period.”

To be honest with you reader(s) I have been debating about writing this topic for a few months now. Why? Even I feel a little uncomfortable talking about it on the internet, even though it is a normal aspect of the female body. I should be able to talk about without getting strange looks, but since I won’t be seeing you in person I won’t have to worry about that

. While I can’t control how you look at me after this, I do want you to at least question why you are looking at me so strangely, why you don’t like this topic, and check your answers to those questions to see if they really hold up. After all, this is a normal bodily function that occurs, why is it so taboo? Why can’t I say the word period in public without getting stares?

To the men who maybe reading this and are already beginning to feel a little grossed out, here is my response to you. The women who gave birth to you has her period, started her period around the time of puberty and it won’t go away until after menopause hits,(which sometimes can be as early as their 40s, but I have heard from both my mother and grandmother that it usually begins in their 50s).  Again when menopause hits varies depending on the woman. That girl/young woman you have/had a crush on in middle school, high school, in your college class, etc.; she could be having her period at that moment and you wouldn’t know it. That young woman you want to go on a date with will probably get her period at least once while you are dating. All of this happens probably happens without your knowing, so why does knowing make her look any different in your eyes?

Growing up in my household we were pretty open with each other. We talked about our days, what bothered us, any medical issues (many of my fathers side of the family is in the medical field), etc. As a result when mom or I got our periods it would come up in the discussion. My mother was more quiet about it than I, but for me I saw it as a natural pain that occurred once a month that made me want to curl up in a ball of tears and frustration. It was part of the human body, we talked about our other illnesses, pains, and body issues; why can’t we talk about our periods too?

I remember when I began talking about it openly with female friends (very few at that time). They were very surprised by this. I thought they were just weird, so I didn’t think anything of it. Once time as I began dating different guys and I would get into relationships with them, if they asked me how I was doing and it just happened to be around the time of my period, I was open and upfront with them. Have I mentioned this happened in Tennessee? Well hate to stereotype, but you can imagine their reactions. Many of the guys were shocked and confused. They heard about it in health class and if they had a sister they might learn a little about it, but that was it.

As I began to describe the pain that I would go through once a month for a whole week, and how the first two days make me feel like I want to rip my uterus out, they seemed horrified. I wish I was exaggerating about the pain. I know other women that go through their periods without an ounce of pain, they are the blessed ones in my opinion. I was not so blessed in that department.

Their mother or their sister would never talk about it, nor were they ever open about it. Which for me I can understand because it is a personal aspect. For me though since I grew up in a family where we were pretty open, this was very strange concept.  Many of the guys were amazed/scared by the idea of period. They saw it as gross, heck I still think it is gross at times. I would be a liar if I said otherwise..

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For me personally (I can’t speak for others) it is because of simply the location. It is near two other exits: the urethra and the rectum. Women urinate out of the urethra, they menstruate out of the vaginal opening, and they excrete waste out of the rectum. Feeling uncomfortable again? Imagine me typing this, it feels strange!

When thinking about it in this manner I can understand why it is uncomfortable. It is a part of the body where women still feel most vulnerable about. It is discussed in religion, in hush voices at middle school and high school, and some men are obsessed with that area and see it as a way to achieve manhood. I don’t have to explain how they would “accomplish” this do I?

Sadly to this day there are some men that see this way of “becoming a man” essential. There are others who see having an untouched vagina as a rite of passage. The vaginal opening is revered in some cultures (especially an untouched one) and yet it is still taboo to talk about all of its bodily functions?

Doesn’t that seem a little silly to you? Your body came out a vagina(unless you were the result of a c-section, even then you lived in your mothers womb for 9 months the same area where her period takes place). Your mother bleeds out of a vagina. You may say that is not the same thing, but the only difference is that a baby made of flesh, bone, blood, and other fluids. While she is on her period she bleeds and I believe another fluid is rid of as well along with the walls of her uterus and the eggs that were left unused(don’t quote me- I’m a blogger, not a doctor). There is a difference, but you too were once part egg.

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What are your thoughts on period? Does it bother you to say it out loud? To all the women out there , do you have a code name for your period? If so, if you are brave enough to share, you can share away in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “The Menstrual Cycle: Still Taboo

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