Period Shaming: But What's Really Shameful About Having Periods?
Even if you've never heard of the term "period shaming," you've definitely felt it: a trickle followed by panic because your period is early and you're caught off guard.
Embarrassment, shame, and dread, to mention a few, are likely to accompany unexpected periods.
That's because the idea of bleeding through our clothes in public, even as adults, gives us the creeps, and we've been doing it for decades.
If you're an adolescent who menstruates, though, the stress you put on yourself during your period isn't the only burden you have to deal with.
WHY IS PERIOD SHAMING HARMFUL?
What is it about menstruation that makes it so challenging?
Is it truly as horrible as it seems?
Why is menstruation still considered such a taboo subject? Teen and preteen females are taught to hide their periods and speak about them in whispers.
It's bad for their mental health, body image, and self-worth, and it can have long-term ramifications like anxiety. It has the potential to be harmful in various circumstance
Periods can be unpleasant and draining, but whether you like them or not, they are unavoidable. However, teenage girls all over India would argue that the shame and constant harassment they face are often far worse.
Add in outdated beliefs that women are filthy and must be kept in a separate room at ‘that' time of the month, and grown males who don't realize that assuming a woman is PMSing whether she is disturbed, sad, or emotional is impolite.
Young girls should be aware of the changes that will occur in their bodies and how to deal with them.
Young boys should be taught that this is normal and that they can even assist their mothers, sisters, and future wives and daughters in navigating this difficult time.
When parents, children, and educators can have open, meaningful discussions about periods, myths and superstitions lose their influence over us.
There have been talks working hard to alter the status quo by starting meaningful dialogues around menstruation and period safety.
HOW TO STOP PERIOD SHAMING:
1. OPENLY DISCUSS YOUR PERIOD
One of the quickest ways to remove the societal stigma associated with menstruation is to have open and honest conversations about it.
We can generate a sense of solidarity among people with periods by opening up a discourse about our bodies, how we feel during our periods, and the obstacles we experience.
You may believe that what you experience during your period is unique to you, but if you open yourself up to discussing it with friends, family, and your doctor, you'll likely discover that you're not alone.
2. EDUCATE YOURSELF MORE ABOUT MENSTRUATION
Learning more about the full period process is one of the most effective methods to end period shaming.
Learn about the signs and symptoms of PMS, the different phases of menstruation, and the hormones that change throughout your cycle.
It will be a lot easier to educate people who wish to cast doubt on you if you are armed with facts.
3. DON'T RELY ON EUPHEMISMS TO GET YOU THROUGH YOUR PERIOD
Menstruation has over 5,000 euphemisms over the world, according to studies. While the name "shark week", chums are amusing, it also serves as a subliminal reminder that periods are still stigmatized.
We remove some of the secrets by calling it what it is - a period or menstruation.
You shouldn't be ashamed of having a period, and adopting cutesy nicknames merely confirms what we've been taught - that periods aren't to be discussed.
4. LAUGH OFF LEAKS AND OTHER MENSTRUAL MISTAKES
Leaks are unavoidable. To everyone. And it's all too simple to be embarrassed when they do. The best thing you can do (for yourself and for every other woman) to help end period shaming is to not make a big deal out of it.
Simply laugh it off, wipe up your mess, and go on. When we react to situations like these with humiliation, we're only reinforcing the myth that having a period is embarrassing. In your period game, there's no need to be ashamed.
When we talk openly about feminine health issues, such as your menstruation, the negative stigma will fade away.