We’ve had our fair share of sexist men and their ignorant comments about periods – and we’re sick of it. We’re also tired of feeling like the burden of menstrual equity has to be shouldered by only half of the world’s population, when, really, it should be on everyone’s minds. Whether you’re only reading this because your girlfriend/sister/mom/third cousin twice removed shared it with you, or because you genuinely have an interest in menstruation (which is refreshing!), these are some things to remember as a non-menstruator.
1. Yes, that’s a period stain. Get over it.
Yeah, we bleed. You aren’t disgusted by a movie villain covered in blood after a good ass-kicking from your favourite superhero, so period blood shouldn’t be any different. Depending on the dynamic you have with a particular menstruator, let them know and help them clean up. Or just don’t be a child about it and let it go. Period stains aren’t for public commentary.
2. No, we don’t go “cr*zy” because of our periods or PMS.
With the arrival of our periods come a cocktail of hormonal changes. That means there will be some physiological consequences, but that isn’t an invitation for misogynistic comments. Continue to take our ideas and comments seriously instead of invalidating them with your own misconceptions.
3. Period sex can be fun.
If your partner is comfortable with it, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be either. It may take some time to erase the fallacies and apprehension you’ve learnt over the years, but give it a go and thank us later. It can be exciting, exhilarating, and even provide relief from cramps for your bleeding boo.
4. Do your research and listen to menstruators.
The world of periods is more than just the honorary props you get for the courage to buy your girl emergency sanitary pads. There are lots of issues related to menstruation, like menstrual waste, period poverty, sanitary product tax, and cultural stigmas. Listen to the experiences of menstruators and dedicate some emotional labour to learn and understand more about menstruation as it stands in the world today.
5. We shouldn’t have to say this, but be supportive.
Whether it’s calling out your bros for their prejudiced comments or effectively teaching your younger siblings about the biological processes of menstruation, there’s a lot you can do to be supportive of all menstruators (not just those you have a personal connection with). To erase the taboos that surround periods, we should all be involved in the conversation and do our little bits for gender equality. (Just a cheeky hint: making a donation to #GiveHer5 can be your good deed for menstruation today.)