The politics of periods

Warning:  Most men will think this is the scariest/grossest post ever so just don’t even bother trying to read it.

No, this post isn’t about punctuation, it’s about…menstruation!  Let’s all try to be like Dave Foley, and have a good attitude towards menstruation, shall we?

Oh if only there was a Dave Foley for every woman.  We wouldn’t have to feel so self-conscious about shedding a few blood cells, am I right?  Hey guys – newsflash – a period does not consist of a clear blue liquid splashing onto a sanitized white cloth.  It’s a messy, disgusting, bloody, smelly and horrible rite of passage that women go through every month for decades.

My mom was lucky.  She had a hysterectomy at 35, and never had to worry about it again.  I remember when I was little, I found a box of OB Tampons in her bathroom and didn’t really know what they were at the time.  Later on I figured it out.

Now, there are three kinds of girls in this world…girls who refuse to use tampons and only use pads, girls who require applicators with their tampons, and girls who either use applicator-free tampons or the Diva Cup.  (Oh, and you girls who use the shots or those pills that let you skip periods?  UNFAIR!)

I was afraid to try tampons for a long time because I was a good little Catholic girl and didn’t want to put anything where the blessed babies were supposed to come from.  Then I realized that I didn’t want babies anyway, and I got tired of wearing pads and feeling like I was wearing a diaper.  Plus, when you stand up and everything sort of gushes out onto the pad in a warm puddle, it’s the most unclean feeling in the world.  

Nowadays, people are trying to be more environmentally conscious.  I recycle as much as I can, and encourage others to do so.  I’m also one of those people who boycott companies for political reasons.  For instance, I didn’t drink Coke from 1987 until Nelson Mandela was freed because Coke sold its products in South Africa, and sponsored apartheid!  (Imagine Bono saying that previous sentence…)

I still boycott companies.  I haven’t shopped at Target or eaten at Chik-Fil-A for months, ever since I found out that both of these companies donated funds to anti-gay-rights organizations.

As sanctimonious as I am, I do draw the line somewhere.  You won’t see me posting about how people should stop body snarking at jezebel.com.  In fact, I try to avoid jezebel.com.  The people at jezebel.com are exactly the type of people who try to get everyone to use the Diva Cup.

Anytime someone on the internet complains about their period, or about having to use pads or tampons, inevitably someone will chime in and start preaching about the everloving Diva Cup, and how magical and wonderful it is.  I know someone who uses the Diva Cup, and I want to preface the following rant by saying that I love you and accept you as a person who uses the Diva Cup, and I hope you won’t be offended by this post.

Look, here’s the problem with the Diva Cup.  I know that applicators contribute to landfills and can’t be recycled, and that the plastic ones aren’t biodegradable.  But you know what?  If I use a tampon, I don’t have to root around in my bleeding vagina to properly insert a Diva Cup, and tilt it at the proper angle.  If I throw away an applicator, this also means I don’t have to surreptitiously remove my Diva Cup, rinse it in the bathroom sink while I bleed into some toilet paper stuffed in my pants, and quickly run back to the stall to root around in my bloody vagina and reinsert it.  Instead of bending over and realizing that I didn’t insert the stupid thing properly and ruining my clothes, I can strut around in comfort knowing that my bleached cotton tampon will take care of bidness as it has for years.

I was looking at the Diva Cup website, and it said that if someone is having problems with the cup falling out, it might be because their muscles are too weak.  The website recommends kegels to solve the problem.  So basically, instead of saying that their product is poorly designed, they are telling women they have a flabby vagina!  Isn’t that body snarking, Jezebels?

Those of you who like the Diva Cup, go ahead and use it.  Just stop trying to shove it down my throat.  (Oh dear, that doesn’t really sound right does it?)  If I want to use it, I will use it.  If I want to make my own laundry soap, I will.  If I want to wear hemp sandals, I will.  However, the likelihood of me actually doing any of those things is nil.

I will compensate for the wastefulness of applicators by being vigilant about recycling, avoiding bottled water (using my reusable bottle at work), and other such noble acts.  It all evens out in the end, right?

It’s too bad that women don’t automatically get days off during their period.  How awesome would that be?  I would love to get a week off, paid, every month, even if it meant I had to isolate myself and bleed in the woods for a week.  (I could still bring my computer, right?)

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10 thoughts on “The politics of periods

  1. thethousandbookproject Post author

    so many period comments:

    1) I buy Tampax with a cardboard applicator that’s flushable/biodegradable but the Pearl ones with the plastic applicators are pretty nice too

    2) my mom used OB and when I was about 11 or 12 I read the instructions and the diagrams freaked me out

    3) ughgh in the mornings when you stand up and get out of bed and it all falls out of you, that’s the WORST

    4) in high school I knew a freshman boy who thought women only got one period and that was it. He was so freaked when we told him it was every month.

    5) kegels? like I want to do any extra work to hold in my period absorber, come on. if I’m doing kegels I’m either practicing for benedict cumberbatch or trying to crush soda cans.

    6) taaaaaaaampooooooooons http://www.nataliedee.com/031804/look!!.jpg

    Reply
    1. mekkalekkah Post author

      It’s comments like this that make writing this thing worthwhile! OMG dying laughing….

      1. I buy whatever I can get on sale or with a coupon, this week it’s Playtex.

      2. I know what you mean about the OB diagrams. I think that’s why I didn’t use tampons until I was like 19 years old. I remember it just looked painful!

      3. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarf

      4. That is the funniest thing ever!! I wish we only got it once, wouldn’t that be great???

      5. LOL practicing for Benedict Cumberbatch. Wouldn’t it be terrible if he had a micropenis? (I’m sure he doesn’t)

      Reply
      1. thethousandbookproject Post author

        GURL DON’T EVEN WITH BENEDICT AND HIS MICROPENIS, his feet are enormous.

        OH ALSO when I was in high school I did competetive speaking and one year I did special occasion speaking and a girl from another school did a speech about periods and all her transitions were like “We’re going to absorb information and get it flowing between us.”

  2. kylie

    hi i’m a sanctimonious cup user! sorry everyone! really though i just find cups so amazing and wonderful and i want all my bffs to know the joy i experience, IS THAT SO WRONG?!

    actually, i just discovered these wonderful organic tampons so i can stop harping on to people who prefer tampons to switch to cups. you can just buy better tampons!

    also i want y’all to know that the reason i prefer these things, cups and organic tampons, is not because of the environment (let’s be real, the environment is boned regardless of what we jam in our vageens.) it’s because regular tampons are super awful for your bits. which is something lots of people don’t realize. i just want your vagina to be happy and healthy! lol!

    Reply
    1. mekkalekkah Post author

      I hope you saw that I put a disclaimer in my blog post where I excluded you from the sanctimonious people category! Because I love you no matter what you stuff in your vajayjay!

      I will honestly check out the organic tampons. I like to do my part when I can. 🙂 And thank you for your concern about your friend’s bits!

      I was talking about people who post at jezebel and such, definitely not you.

      Reply
      1. kylie

        i did see that, lol! boy, that is some unconditional love. i could be stuffing some really weird shit in there, y’know? and you’d still have to love me!

        cool! i really don’t care about women doing their part or whatever. during that week you gotta do whatever it takes. but regular tampons dry up your cooch and leave poisons and residue in there, it’s fucked up! i am a friend to all vaginas. i want your vagina to be happy!

        i don’t ever go on jezebel, they seem to be sort of confused about feminism.

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