Period shaming has been around for about as long as periods have. That’s to say, forever. It’s only been in recent years that women have decided enough is enough and fought back against the menstruation stigma.
Still, there are so many ways in which each of us is shamed for bleeding every month and it can be a challenge to know what to do about it. While those of us in developed countries like the United States and Canada are not using bits of old mattresses to control our flow or dropping out of school because we don’t have access to restrooms, we’re still faced with being told that our periods are dirty and shameful, having our emotions invalidated because we’re bleeding, and resorting to covert, FBI-like operations to get into the bathroom to change our tampons.
In order to end the taboo and shut down period shaming, we all have to take action - and take it now. Here are 5 ways you can put an end to period shaming.
Talk about your period openly
Having honest conversations about menstruating is one of the fastest ways to dismantle the societal stigma placed on it. By opening up a dialogue about our bodies, how we feel during our periods, and challenges faced, we’re able to create a sense of solidarity among people with periods.
You may think that what you go through on your period is unique to you but, if you open yourself up to having conversations about it - with friends, your family, and your doctor - you’ll likely find that you’re not the only one.