Period Prejudice: fighting for true equality

Desi Arnaiz, Senior Writer

What is a period? Periods are the shedding of lining of the uterus after an unfertilized egg has left the ovaries. This biological process causes bleeding, body pains, and much more. A person does not choose to have a period, so why is there so much prejudice around the topic?

I have a period. There is no shame in saying this. But due to the ignorance of people, it can be. People can be insensitive and don’t understand the things they say can affect people in a negative light. Common ignorant comments include “can’t you hold it?” and “you only need to change your pad once a day right?” For some they might not even know what they are saying is hurtful. Then there are those who know exactly what they are doing.

Many times I have been asked the famous question: “Are you on your period? Cause you’re in a bad mood today.” Each time I have been asked this question it has been by a man and I can say truthfully that every time I have not been on my period. 

My question for them is always “How do you think that question makes me feel?” Silence. That is the reaction I get. 

This example shows how there is no real reason for asking. It only comes from people wanting to make fun of others and put them down. Another response I have to this question is, “Did you know that women produce more testosterone when on their period? So if anything, I’m acting more as you would.” I have no fear when saying this because a person should be called out in some kind of way for their behavior. 

People should feel safe with their bodies and not feel they need to be afraid of who they are and having normal bodily functions. 

Why is there a prejudice towards periods?There is nothing I can do as a person with a uterus to stop myself from having a period besides using birth control, IUD’s, and getting hormone reducers. All of which can cost hundreds of dollars that insurance may not cover. I feel this prejudice stems from the lack of education done in health classes on the subject. The subject of menstrual cycles is becoming less and less taboo to speak about, but is still a source of controversy. 

The way to solve the issue is for there to be more education about menstrual cycles. Not just more education, but more empathy. Empathy comes from understanding, and understanding comes from education.

Instead of treating people differently because of their menstrual cycles, let’s make a new cycle of teaching and teaching empathy so people can feel safe around their peers. Even more importantly, themselves.