- Period, auntie flow, the visitor, it’s shark week, on the rag, my mensies… so many words and terms to describe a natural cycle that occurs throughout much of our lives, and yet so many of us (understandably due to our cultures sshushing us) find ourselves still talking in code when ever the topic comes up. Staying quiet about this particular topic, under the understanding that it’s the polite thing to do helps keep this topic in the margins and treats it as a taboo subject in society. And topics that are taboo often come attached with stigma and shame, as well as a ton of misinformation and myths – an unfortunate state seeing as how about half of the world’s population has a bloody shark week once a month when auntie flow comes to town with her rag.
- But why is this OKAY, why does our society praise one gender’s step into adulthood and shame the other?… Why is a boy’s rite of passage into manhood celebrated but a girl’s kept quiet from the world. We slaughter goats and party when the boy gets circumcised but the day a girl releases one drop of menstrual blood the world shuns her. It’s disgusting, you’re dirty… “you can’t participate in this cause of your p…pe….it’s your time of the month”. Why is this so?
- To me the craziest part about this is that fact that the world wasn’t always like this; in fact, centuries ago, there were countless different cultural practices surrounding menstruation that were positive and dare I say it, even empowering. For example, in Hinduism, the great mothers created the universe from “clotted substances” and in Mesopotamia, the goddess Ninhursag used a mixture of clay and menstrual blood to make humans. In Egyptian and Celtic cultures, menstrual blood was thought to turn mortals into gods and goddesses…… in other words, in those days, women were f$%king bad a$$, goddesses, creators of man. But as history progressed, a more patriarchal view of menstruation began to take over, nen such as Aristotle and Hippocrates thought that menstruation was something toxic that must be avoided. Other cultures believed that menstrual blood would turn wine sour, wither crops, and even dull steel. And as years turned into decades and decades to centuries menstruation got an even worse rep.
But thankfully things are slowly starting to change! Women from all walks of life are coming together to remove the stigma around menstruation in society. Women such as Adelle, Anita Nderu, Kambua and myself, with full support from P&G and Always, have spoken out in many different ways about menstruation. All we want is to kill the shame and stigma around periods by having an open conversation. Talking about our experiences with auntie flow aka our periods in hopes that we are making a small difference. All we want is a world where we are not looked down upon all because of a few drops of blood. Because let’s face it. With out those few drops of blood every month the world wouldn’t have a population…. Hell, maybe the anceint Egyptians, Hindus and Celtics were right… we are BAD A$$ES.