Among the vast array of misconceptions that some parts of our society still has, the myths revolving around menstruation are always the most amusing. Before we dive into them, let’s take a little trip down the biology lane. Our lack of understanding of basic “science” is the reason for these absurdities in the first place, after all.
So what exactly are periods?
A period (menstruation/menstrual cycle/menses) is basically a condition every fertile female goes through when she hits puberty. Starting from the age of around 9-14, they could last till the age of 45-55 till women hit menopause – a condition when women, well, don’t get their period anymore, to put it simply.
Your period starts when your uterus is ready to make babies. But by no means does that make it sexual or bayhuda. Having your period is an entirely natural process, with little to no influence from the outside world.
The menstrual cycle is essentially divided into four stages. But I’ll make it even simpler than that.
Women bleed during their period because of the uterus – the lining of which ruptures naturally every month. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are responsible for these changes inside our body, and by no means are they released due to sexual stimulation. Sorry to burst your bubble, but we were “naturally” built to shed these babies (pun intended) and bleed out of our vajayjays.
We have been naturally blessed with two ovaries. They both produce these things called eggs. And no, that doesn’t have anything at all to do with sex. Literally. Trust me. We just have to produce them. We don’t have a choice. Kisi ne poocha nahi tha hum se.
So during our period, these eggs mature and get ready to be fertilized. If someone does have sex and gets their egg fertilized, they’ll have a baby which will start growing in the uterus. Yay!
BUT. if the egg doesn’t get fertilized, you’ll get your period and voila! There comes your stigmatized, badnaam period! The uterus lining and the egg and other shit will start flowing out. This in turn indicates that you are indeed NOT pregnant. Again, nothing sexual here. On the contrary, it could be very non-sexual. Because, you know, having your period means you ain’t pregnant. Which could be because you didn’t have sex. So that kinda works opposite to what some people believe.
Also, we can’t control our period
So it’s not like we get them when we want, or some magical sexual stimulation would somehow open our taps and start the bloody war inside our uterus. No. Just. No.
There is a certain time of the month when we get our period, and whether or not you find it bayhuda, we have to have it. Because, like, it doesn’t actually ask for our permission.
Also, talking about period doesn’t make us bayhuda either
It’s like any other “natural” bodily process. Lack of awareness and the inability of the masses to talk about such crucial matters make matters way worse than they already are.
Menstruation isn’t a stigma; it isn’t something that can only be talked about in sign language. Women shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed about getting a stain or feel vulnerable and awkward buying pads or tampons. And when we openly discuss our period problems, we are seriously not trying to advocate indecency or invoke “sexual desires”. Like, how does that even work? I mean…just how? If you get turned on by a bleeding vag – I mean, I honestly don’t know what to say to that.
Also, we don’t do the whole PMS for attention. Just Google it. IT IS A REAL THING!
We get to experience excruciating pain and our hormones take us for a ride.There’s also the constant fear of staining ourselves. Then, when we do get our period, we deal with having to discreetly change our pads/tampons, uncomfortable sensations, and a cruel war inside our uterus. Cut us some slack. Our mood swings aren’t us throwing tantrums, but a consequence of fluctuating hormones. Too much science for one day?
Also, stop giving us those looks when we want to buy sanitary pads, yaar
Like what even is the big deal? Is that how you view babies when their mothers buy them diapers? I mean, it’s not the same but kinda the same. But the point is, nahi karo yaar. Grow up.
Having our menstrual cycles is a blessing, because without them, our species would probably cease to exist. So if you don’t want to go extinct, try not to be grossed out by something as wonderfully intriguing and fascinating as a period. If anything, educate yourselves and try to empathize with all the empowering women going through all this shit every month like a boss.
And a friendly reminder: we aren’t trying to “sexualize” menstruation. We’re only trying to “normalize” menstruation. Period.
Cover image via getthefacts.health.wa.gove.au