odds & ends·
5 min read
by English Taylor | 03/15/2018
Damnit. Aunt Flo. Why hello there, womb. Do I have a tampon? No wonder I ate that Skittle off the floor. Stained underwear. Whoomp there it is! PMS. Fertility. Where’s the ibuprofen? I’m a goddess. Farts that smell like something crawled up my butt and died. Power. Cramps from hell. Seriously, the one day of the year I can’t avoid being in a swimsuit? Wavin’ that red flag. Jaw zit. Jaw zits. Placebo pills. Um...is that poop or blood? Not today, Satan, not today.
We decided to poll our flow-friendly friends and record their initial reaction to the word “period.” You know, for period shits and giggles. But their surprising (and not-so-surprising) answers also got us thinking about how our culture views and talks about menstruation.
THINX: When we said period, you say...
Glori: “My heating pad.”
Lucy: “That scene in My Girl when Veda screams that she’s hemorrhaging.”
Elizabeth: “I’m still not pregnant.”
Mariah: “The book The Red Tent."
Stefani: “I imagine my uterus contracting into a tiny little ball then releasing.”
Francesca: “Period sex. I’m so horny during my period.”
Abby: “Toilet paper covered in blood.”
Barbara: “Can I say a smell? I automatically smell something metallic.”
Teresa: “My black period panties.”
Taylor: “Thank god I’m not pregnant.”
Nadia: “White jeans with a big red stain on the crotch. Scarring experience.”
Nancy: “I wish I got a period.”
Tiffany: “I flash back to getting my period at a pool party in middle school. I can still see the blood swirling in the pool.”
Di: “Cookie dough for breakfast.”
Lena: “Crying in the bathroom stall at work. Every. Single. Month.”
Mary: “Sore boobs. I sometimes imagine them falling of my chest because they’re so heavy.”
Dahlia: “Blood in my pee.”
Holly: “Damn. I could have a baby.”
Mamie: “Well, that explains a lot.”
Olivia: “Bloody sheets.”
Veronica: “Fuckin’ A.”
Katrina: “The worst.”
Jasmine: “I’m fertile.”
Kimberly: “Crime scene in my pants.”
Sofia: “Mood swings.”
Ana: “Gigantic poops.”
Alex: “Cheese. Give me all the cheese!”
What began as a fun project to indulge our curiosity and obsession with ~flows~ ended up surfacing underlying themes about menstruation. The reactions ranged from pretty positive to extremely negative.
This got us thinking: Could our own associations with periods influence how our society at-large views menstruation? After all, the way we think and feel about our own bodies partially influences how others perceive it. Is it worth replacing “Oh, shit!” with “Oh, my body is amazing!” or “A bloody mess” with “A bloody miracle” to shift the larger conversation? On the other hand, acknowledging and expressing when we feel like a knife is being stabbed into our ovaries can be powerful and even a form of release.
Tell us what you think, along with your initial reaction to the word “period,” in a comment below.
English Taylor is a writer living in San Francisco. Her work has been featured in publications like Refinery29, NYLON, LOLA, and The Atlantic. English is originally from Nashville, TN and her interests include women's health, yoga, and jewelry design.
by English Taylor