I’ve decided to take it upon myself to tackle one of the world’s few remaining “Taboo” subjects in gender inequality. Every day, women are forced to suffer in silence, and it’s time that we, as a society, were able to establish an open dialog about menstruation.
What brought about this topic? Let me tell you. A couple weeks ago I was stocking up in the feminine hygiene isle at the drug store and I took notice of Tampax‘s new Radiant line of tampons and liners. They were on sale and came in a pretty box so I figured what the hell and bought them. Surely they had some kind of new super absorbent technology. Had they managed to improve on the reliable Pearl?
NOPE. Upon getting home and using the box for some toilet side reading I discovered there was no difference in the tampon itself. The Radiant was exactly the same as the Pearl in every way except one: the packaging. The Radiant boasts a “quieter” and more “discreet” rapper, “protection that you can keep secret”.
And here I was, completely unaware that I was supposed to be keeping my tampons a secret. I’ve been waving them around on my way to the bathroom all these years with no idea that this was unacceptable behaviour. Man am I embarrassed.
The Radiant line has done so well it’s expanded to their pad equivalent Always. I now know without a doubt that it’s a bunch of old guys running the Tampax Tampon Empire. Only they would sit down to try to come up with a way to make pretending periods don’t exist easier. And only women would fall for they’re marketing ploys so easily. Even I was too distracted by the flashy new box to question them. I figured I could use a new centre piece.
Seriously, what’s so frightening about the idea for men that we’re constantly trying to find new ways to disguise our tampons. So much so that Wikihow posts like this http://www.wikihow.com/Hide-Your-Period-Supplies and this http://www.wikihow.com/Sneak-a-Pad-or-Tampon-to-the-Bathroom-at-School exist.
Why do we fall for this crap? I work in a drug store where I’ve had women ask me to double bag their tampons because they’re afraid someone will put two and two together and deduce they’re currently surfing the crimson tide.
It’s ridiculous. 51% of the worlds population are now, once have, or at some point will replace their uterine lining in their life time. It’s an unavoidable aspect of the having a vagina, you know like crying at the end of ‘Moulin Rouge’, getting mad at your skank co-worker for being able to eat 500 recess peanut butter cups in one sitting without gaining weight, or rear ending someone with you car. Unavoidable.
Now my roommate will be the first to vouch for me in on this, when it comes to the second day of my period I do not suffer in silence. Unlike that golden-ovaried bitch, I am cursed with intense cramps. When I say intense, I mean INTENSE. I’m forced to bear the blunt of millions of tiny swords wielded by the ghosts of wasted and withered eggs as they try to stab and slash their way out of my abdomen to seek vengeance for the human lives of which they were robbed thanks to my failure to indulge in unprotected boning. I am very vocal about the pain I’m forced to endure while mother nature flips my uterus trying to find the perfect wallpaper that’s just the right shade of void-of-fetus red.
I may be single now, but eventually I’m going to be filled with enough self-loathing that I’m going to seek out a boyfriend or some shit to escape the anguish of being left alone with myself, and believe me, he will not be spared my grotesque similes. This leaves the poor sap with two options, grin and bear whilst he pops me full of midol, or peace it for five days while I send him regular text messages relaying the progression of my pain and trying to coax him into bringing my one of those 80% coco chocolate bars and a Tim Hortons chi tea latte. But I digress.
The point is I’m shameless when it comes to the seething hatred I have for two things, my uterus and that prick Joeffry Baratheon. Though my roommate is a sadistic cow who seeks enjoyment in my pain, I can’t say the same for any guy I know. Hell, my own father spent twenty years in a house with three girls and would still cuss me out for failing to flush the toilet while on my period (What can I say? I’m a let it mellow kinda gal).
I would totally understand if these guys were like fourteen years old and just learned that women are prone to bleed out their boxes. Fair enough. I used to be the same way with sperm jokes, but I’m not talking about fourteen year old boys, I’m talking about grown ass men. Aren’t periods kinda old news guys? It’s not like it’s something women just spontaneously started doing in recent years. This shit has been going on since we became a species. It’s not like I’m asking you check out the consistency of my flow, I just want the freedom to complain about what a cankerous bitch my lady parts are without half the general population running for the hills.
There are only 2 contexts in which I hear a guy daring to talk about the big-red-pelvic-boogeyman (boogeywoman?) and that’s when a comedian is talking about his woman’s menstrual habits for shock value or when a guy accusing a girl of being on the rag because he’s got nothing else left to defend himself with. It’s the final plea of a desperate man who doesn’t know how to deflate a crazy bitch. How does accusing a crazy bitch or being a hormonal irrational bitch ever make anything better? I have no idea.
I acknowledge that this isn’t all on the men. The women need to take responsibility as well. As mentioned above we’re way to susceptible to what we believe societies expects from us. That’s why the cosmetics industry rakes in hundreds of billions of dollars a year. We need to stop worrying so much, relieve ourselves of the humiliation so many of us must feel about the terms of our ovaries if things like Tampax Radiant are able too boom in the marketplace.
Ladies stop trying to hide the fact that you take monthly rides on the cotton pony. If we stop acting ashamed of having our menses, and stop trying to pander to men’s delicate sensibilities about bleeding snatches they’d have no choice but to get over their silly aversion. That or only date women over the age of 55.