Updated: Dec 1, 2019
by Roma Gujarathi
I’m bleeding… Because I reached menarche at age 12. Because I am a 22 year old woman with a uterus. Because I am of fertile age. Because I am capable of housing a whole life inside of me. I’m bleeding, because this is a natural physiological process of the female human body.
. . .
But I’m also bleeding… Because my sisters around the world, without access to toilets, drop out of school in fear. Because my aunts, with no feminine hygiene products, use dirty rags and old newspapers instead. Because thousands of women are sent to sleep in huts for one week every month, isolated and in pain. Because my mother tells me to talk quietly when I want to know more about women’s reproductive health. Because when I buy tampons, I subconsciously look for a female cashier so I don’t have to look a man in the eye. Because I make sure I have pockets to hide the pad while I walk to the bathroom. Because I live in a world where men are ashamed to say “period,” but are entirely comfortable discussing pornography. Because such a sacred and natural process has become tainted with humiliation. Because the secrecy around periods is yet another form of misogyny and belittling of womanhood. My heart is bleeding, because the stigma around menstruation is real.
. . .
PS: in case you’re wondering, I’m on my period right now. As I write this. Did that make you uncomfortable? I’m not sorry.
My periods aren’t going away any time soon. But the stigma around them most certainly should.