Today was hard. I mean, on the outside it’s a little bit of blood, a bit gross maybe, you probably think it’s unnecessary. But If we take the way periods are seen by, well practically everyone in England as a hush hush topic, and then ask what that’s doing to us? It becomes so quietly powerful simply because we refuse to talk about it.
And so, friends and loved ones, here you see my period. Blood that hurts, and makes me burn with embarrassment. Throughout high school I had such heavy periods that I would leak through a tampon and pad every day. I hid from others to avoid embarrassment, paranoid they would know. And then growing up it’s something i’ve been made to feel ashamed of, silly boyfriends not spending time with me during the week of blood. Guys are grossed out by clean tampons, once they realise what is inside the pretty packet.
But something I care about more is the thought of women and girls without even that base layer of protection, places in poverty and without clean water. Sometimes the culture is even less accepting, shunning women during their period as they are seen as tainted. Women and girls who already struggle to access education or enough work to support themselves, are having to miss valuable time just because of their period.
And then there’s the antiquated ruling of tampons, as a luxury item. What this is is not just a £5 a year increase on the amount of money women already miss out on, due to wage gaps still actually being a thing. It is far more. It is a quiet, unspoken and silently oppressing push that combines with other factors in the lives of women to put hurdles in the ovary lane.
It doesn’t just hold back women, either. The idea that women should be punished, or charged, for a natural bodily function keeps men from being able to benefit from the ideas, competition, and influence of similarly minded and equally qualified women.
So i’m all bloody and gross. And i need a bath, and i hurt, and I struggle to leave the house but tomorrow i’m walking four miles. But eighteen women have been helped so far because of one day of uncomfort ❤ So it’s worth it.