Why are we so freaked out about periods?!

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This year I took a writing women class, I was sceptical before taking it and even now I’m usually the one to have a different opinion to the others in my class. That said, it’s also one of the most rewarding classes I’ve ever taken because of the reading list. The reading I did over the summer made me sure in my heart that I am a feminist and that not all feminists are going to agree on certain things. One of my lecturers described Caitlin Moran as ridiculous, whereas I see Caitlin as one of my idols as a feminist and as a writer. If everyone agreed on everything, life would be boring.

For my essay for the class I’ve chosen to look at the female body in autobiographical poetry, specifically menstruation, sex and the womb. My lecturers seemed pretty pleased with the idea and I appear to be on a role with writing it with almost 2500 words written in a few bursts over the weekend. When I told my male friends I’d been writing about periods all weekend I was met with a queasy look. These are men in their 20s in 2016 and they still looked grossed out at the thought of periods. I don’t know about you, but I find that really funny.

As Caitlin Moran has said in many interviews, it’s not like us women are thrilled by them either, ‘looking down in our pants and thinking oh fuck it’s you again’. I agree with her, they’re irritating, painful and messy. Not something any woman needs in her life. What struck me as odd though, through my research is that through this day and age we still stay quiet about our periods.

There are adverts on television with daisies and talking about being nice and happy on your period. Um, no tampon or pad will make you feel happy. As the picture says, your body is actually pretty aggressive towards you for a week of every month. When I was younger I would be in so much pain I couldn’t move and just cried constantly. Now, because of my implant, I have lesser cramps, still cry a lot and generally feel really moody or irritable, which makes me a nightmare to live with. Oh and I’m totally cliché when it comes to chocolate, I really do stock up.

I do think it’s something that needs to just be able to be a part of normal conversation. They do suck, but they’re a part of the majority of women’s monthly lives. It’s something that keeps the human race going, so you know it’s kind of important. Yes there’s blood, whoop de doo, there’s also a history of it being ignored and it really shouldn’t be, we’re more grown up than this.

To end this on a funny note here’s the hilarious Emma Blackery video ‘If tampon commercials were honest’.

Of course my period is a luxury…right?

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Every year since I was about 12 I have been blessed with the greatest luxury according to my government. I’ve gone out and bought a box of tampons or pads, my ‘luxury item’ and paid tax, meanwhile if I’d have bought some jaffa cakes I would have paid no tax, my boyfriend buying his razor isn’t taxed.

When I heard that the tampon tax would be debated I stupidly had some hope, of course anyone who was intelligent would end a tax on tampons and pads it’s something 50% of the population need. I saw the news after and remembered that the stupidly high percentage of tory men obviously aren’t intelligent and I was stupid to believe they were. Now I used to roll my eyes at this I was like but they’re not that much right? Then I sat and thought about it, actually if I add up how much I have spent and will spend it’s an obscene amount of money and simply because I am a woman. I didn’t ask for my period, I really don’t want it and it causes a stupid amount of trouble as well as eating my money.

I then saw something else, women around the world who can’t afford these items. Women in my own country, one of the most forward in the world, are having to ask food banks if they can get hold of tampons and pads because they’re having to use things they have made themselves to stop the flow. I don’t understand how it’s gotten to this. You can walk into a clinic and get free condoms but you can’t get anything free for your period? So those who can’t afford it risk their health because the blood is seen as unsanitary.

On that note I was thinking about the girl whose picture was taken off Instagram because it showed that she had bled through her pajama bottoms.

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Now, hands up ladies who’s had an accident at some point or another? Whether that be at night when mother nature surprises you or just in your pants. If I could see through the screen I would see everyone who had had a period with their hand up. These things happen more often than people would like to admit. Now I admit do I like looking at this picture? No. Is it because it’s her period? Also no. I don’t like blood! I don’t like blood coming from anywhere I’m a squeamish person! But without periods none of us would be here. None at all.

What I’m really begging for here is common sense. Periods (literally) make the world go round, they hurt and they’re irritating without having to pay extra on the items to please other people and you know not ruin our clothes. I have no doubt if it was more acceptable some people would just you know bleed and not give a damn, not me personally but some people would. Our periods are necessary whether some stuck up men who run the country are intelligent enough to know that or not, so don’t tax us on what we need!