‘Ew,’ he said, as I pulled the cup out of my vagina. He turned up his nose and left the bathroom as quickly as he came in. I stared at the menstrual cup in my hands, not sure how to react. I really wanted to smear my blood on his face. I wanted to weep, too. Normally, I would have been ashamed of myself. But on that day, I didn’t feel like being ashamed of my body anymore.
Why doesn’t everybody just face it? Once a month, women bleed. We get emotional. We want to eat chocolate. We want to wrap ourselves up in a blanket and never come out again. It’s nature’s way of telling us we can still have a child.
Every month, more than two billion women menstruate. Yet the topic is still taboo. I used to slide pads into my bra when I had to go change at a restaurant instead of just holding them in my hand. I have lost track of the times I felt ashamed for the big red stain on my jeans when I sat too long in the same position. I can’t remember how many birth control pills I took, ignoring the effects they clearly had on my body. Not to mention all the times I apologized for ‘being so emotional,’ or endured the patronizing ‘Are you on your period?’ from the men and sometimes even women in my life. I tried to explain a billion times why I was so tired or couldn’t walk and I even numbed my sexuality each month, for a whole week, because I believed my body was too filthy to be loved.
Yet the big question is: why do women do this to themselves? Why do we hide and apologize for our nature, for a monthly cycle we didn’t even get to choose? Why don’t we just woman up and accept our beautiful, feminine bodies? Bodies that deserve to be covered up with flowers instead of judgements.
I’m done with being sorry. I’m done with hiding. I’m a wild, gorgeous creature each and every day of the month and I’m done with everyone who tries to tell me otherwise. Our periods are the reason humankind exists. So shut the bloody hell up about it.