I had an epiphany today.
It happened as I scurried back into class thinking, "Another crisis averted," and sat down still slightly embarrassed.
See, ten minutes into my Women's Diversity class this morning I was almost positive that I had gotten my period. A serious situation that needed to be handled ASAP lest I wanted to become Amelia from 10th grade who got her period in a white skirt and left a pool of blood at her desk.
I mean, I wasn't that far off. It's flaming hot today, so I'm in light work-out shorts, and those suckers are not about to absorb the onslaught coming at them. I was about to be Amelia from 10th grade while my professor talked about patriarchy. Sick joke, right?
So, there I sat, ten minutes into lecture in a classroom full of girls, and I couldn't bring myself to get my pad from my backpack and go to the bathroom for two minutes.
In a room full of girls (maybe two guys), I was embarrassed to be seen walking out the door with a pad in my hand.
Just chew on that.
If you have the biological reproduction organs of a female, you (generally) get a period. You know what a pad and tampon is. You understand that blood gushes from your vagina, and it's disgusting, and painful, but it's totally normal. You understand that every other girl goes through it, too.
But we don't talk about it. We are SHAMED by this NATURAL OCCURRENCE.
We are embarrassed to be seen with a little bandage-thing that sticks to our underwear!
I was about to let myself bleed through one of my favorite, coziest shorts just so a bunch of girls didn't see a pad...and know I was going to use it.
I know I'm not the only one who tries to hide my pad in public places or who doesn't feel comfortable talking about periods in public.
And this is not okay.
Girls shouldn't feel like they have to hide their periods. The pain of cramps should not be devalued, because some days I cannot go to class or work my cramps are so freaking bad, but do professors and bosses understand? Eh, sometimes... if they're women.
It was totally ironic that this happened during talk of patriarchy, because this habit of hiding something our women bodies do is a consequence of our male-valued society.
I know there is more talk today than ever about periods, but there is such a lack in this department...
Because I don't enjoy having my uterus shed itself in the middle of class and feeling like I can't or shouldn't do anything about it.