I was in the break room doubled over in pain.
My boss asked me what was wrong and I told him. I can’t remember if it was as crass as “blood oozing out of my vagina” or just “menstrual cycle”, but the look on his face taught me an important lesson that day: you can’t talk about lady things in front of your boss and you really can’t talk about lady things in front of a guy.
Why the fuck not, though?
I mean, it’s not like it’s a secret. Hey you, guy over there, guess what: I BLEED FROM MY CROTCH ONCE A MONTH! MUAHAHAHAHA. I don’t like having to tell people it’s my “time of month” to protect their delicate sensibilities. I don’t like having to watch that awful blue liquid in pad commercials. And don’t mind me, I’m just popping out to the drugstore to purchase some feminine products. Ninja, please.
Thanks to a winning combination of a really heavy flow and a lot of bad luck, my period managed to leak onto my clothes.
Well, the worst part was not that it leaked, it was the fact that I was unaware of it.
More- than- usual- amount of staring and khus-phus didn’t even felt awkward because that was like a daily thing in metro journey.
Later, while walking towards my home, one genuinely concerned aunty told me that my pants are stained and she offered me a pad. Ahh! and people thought that humanity is finished from the face of earth * aankhon main aansu*.
After a long day at work with horrible bosses around I would have really admired a chocolate instead. But aunty had her own priorities because after all she heads the department of laaj and sharam.
If it wouldn’t have been such a pathetic day, I might have taken the pad and felt the shame that aunty was trying to induce but after this long day I was no longer ready to give any fuck. I rather decided to ignore the lady and walk away as I had no patience to even tell her that I don’t care.
I came back home listening my favourite music and suddenly It felt like I mastered the ‘art of not giving fuck’.
This post is for all the women who offered to help me hide my womanhood, I AM NOT ASHAMED. I bleed every 28-35 days, it is painful at times, I get moody at times, but I walk into the kitchen and get myself some chocolate biscuits and I’m good to go for the next eight hours come hell or high water because I AM NOT ASHAMED.
This post is for all the men who ogled at me today. Check out the big red blotch on my pants all you want, check out my butt, check out the way I move, come touch me if you dare, and I will show you that I AM NOT ASHAMED. I will take out a sanitary napkin and show you how it works while you can teach me how to pee in public (because clearly you’re not ashamed, and neither am I).
I realized that inherent in my obsession with period protection was a sense of shame.
If the fear of leaking in public shaped how I planned my day, I began to realize, I must be When I was first introduced to the idea of menstruation, I learned about the whole thing as a sort of secret.
Even the name tampon is whisper ..I mean why whisper? Why not loud?
I was instructed by books and health teachers and google searches to make a list of adults I trusted enough to “share the news with” if I wasn’t at home when I got my period for the first time.
I watched tampon ads that promised me I could play volleyball in white shorts while climbing Mount Everest without anyone having the slightest idea what was really going on down below.
I kept my supplies in a cute little pencil case so I could march off to the bathroom discreetly—God forbid someone figure out I was heading to the bathroom to change a tampon, embarrassed by the very concept of having a period, a thought that didn’t sit so well with me.
Call me a radical or impolite or improper or gross or angry or whatever you will, but I am so proud to be a woman. Human bodies are beautiful and incredible, and I have infinite amazement for the magic that happens in my body every cycle, even if it does hurt sometimes.
My body is so efficient, and that is beautiful science to me. I think discussing something as hardcore as a uterus (the self-cleaning oven of the organ world) is worth our time. If all of that sounds like a load of feminism that you can be bothered with, remember this: we are all the product of a female body.