I was 9 when I 'became a woman', I thought I was dying. I wasn't old enough to have been shown a video explaining what was happening and my Mum didn't think that conversation was coming for a good 2 years. So I sat, with Mrs Wingrove, in the Music room at Junior School and watched the video that 'explains' what was happening to me, a good year before every other girl in my class. All the teachers who knew were so super lovely about it and made sure I didn't feel like I was crazy or abnormal but they also without fail avoided telling we EXACTLY what was happening to me.
I have always been baffled by girls who are afraid to talk about their period. Germaine Greer once said if that a woman was afraid to taste her own menstrual blood 'has a long way to go'. I disagree with this lady on a lot of things but that sentence while not totally necessary has a point. There are grown women I know who mouth the word period instead of say it, there is an entire advert surrounding the concept of that the lining of your uterus dropping from your vagina is a 'gift' from mother nature. I have had entire conversations with other women about the euphemisms that we use, yes we. I don't shave my legs, my arm pits or my bikini line but somehow I do not own the balls to talk about a period and call it that. Not that euphemisms aren't brilliant, I've encountered some stunners.
1. Falling to the communists.
2. The red coats are coming.
3. Jam week (courtesy of Gracy, brilliant brilliant Gracy).
4. Ginny is entering the chamber of secrets. (Maya, who is beautiful and also fucking hilarious. Bitch)
Both military themed but to be honest, and I know you know what I'm talking about, uncontrollable bleeding for 1/4 of your life? Its essentially a battle. Today I got so hot that I had to lean against a stair well wall for 10 minutes before I cooled down, if this doesn't require an army to deal with I don't know what does. Its why there are so many of us, it demands a team to be handled. I think I've just realised why women sync up, its so we can get through it together. So why in the hell are we avoiding it? We're not allowed to do comedy about it anymore because men won't like it. Why the fuck we should care what men like or not I have not clue but you know..
Is there a system in which I may carefully and tidily rid myself of my secretions with out a) sticking my fingers in my own vagina while in a public place, b) wearing cotton wool taped to my pants or c) having wearing left over plastic tubes? And if someone tells me about a moon cup one more time I might punch a wall, I do not want to put a tiny cup next to my cervix. Its like an in built chastity belt. Tampons in general are a hazard. Ladies we use an item for 5 days of each 28 where there is the possibility to get toxic shock. TOXIC SHOCK. When did someone decide it was ok to trust me with something that could kill me? Sometimes I forget to brush my teeth, I could really easily forget and then DIE. Maybe thats why they tell us, so when we have a tampon in we have this vague fear of death running round in our head. Keeps us on our toes. Don't get me started on if you put it in wrong.
I'm pretty sure I've raped myself with a tampon. I once put it in in a hurry and when back to work feeling a little iffy; so much so that when I went to replace it more comfortably it felt like I had tried to stick a bread stick in an ear piercing. I sat in the toilets at work and cried for 20 minutes. I did that to myself. Because I am a woman, and we're fucking incredible.
I lived with sanitary towels for a while, but I don't know if you've ever tried to feel normal while literally sitting in your own blood, but it can make living life normally difficult. End of story.
Hands up, who has a spare pair of knickers in their handbag? I know no man who takes spare pants with him, he is always in slight fear of his penis very suddenly bleeding. The reason that a lot of men either have a very skewed opinion on abortion or just a very apathetic one is that they have never sat on the loo, looking at spotlessly clean underwear instantly deciding what they're going to do. Girls know exactly how they feel about abortion and its nothing to do with religion or values - its hardwired into us. I found out when I was 15 and I'd just had sex with the first time, perfectly protected, and knew just KNEW that I was definitely going to be pregnant. I knew that I would do it and that any girl in the world from that point onward could also do so. When my period arrived 2 hours later (the day before it was supposed to, I was slightly overdramatic as a teenager) not only did I have an overriding sense of unbridled joy but I had learned something vital about myself.
Simultaneously, and by no means less vital, Ellie, Cathy, Jon and Nick putting my tampons in Ribena made me realise that I am the kind of person who finds that sort of thing, hilarious.
Feel free to get n touch with your menstrual cycle euphemisms and I will leave you with a couple of ladies who feel our pain ladies.