I Will No Longer Apologise For Being A Woman Who Has Her Period (Men Invited To Read)
Whenever I read about something related to the female cycle, one of the first things I see is an apology: “Sorry guys,” “apologies to the men,” “sorry this is a little disgusting, but-,” “I feel awkward bringing this topic up, but” – and I am SICK OF IT.
I had my first period when I was eleven and I spent the last 13 years tabooing it. The amount of effort I used to invest in keeping my period a secret is ridiculous. It was something not spoken of before men and if it had to be mentioned, it was a “girl’s topic.”
The majority of us women experience our period EVERY MONTH and still many of us feel like we need to keep it a state secret. Nobody is to know that this is something that draws from our energy and that we DO feel it can have an effect on how we feel. That sometimes we wish we had some support or peace, when cramps and/or headaches are crippling us, rather than having to deal with it in secrecy.
We feel it is a sign of our weakness as women.
These examples highlight the conflicts many women face as we balance our presence in the masculine world with our feminine needs and concerns. One response – perhaps the most rewarded in our culture – is to deny our female bodies: to adopt a pseudo-masculine approach that minimizes our bodies’ innate feminine functions. – Tami Lynn Kent
Worst of all, not only do we do this to ourselves, we also ‘train’ men to believe it is something they don’t need to deal with and that there is no need for their compassion.
However, every man in a partnership needs to deal with this. Every brother and son needs to deal with this. How beautiful would it be, if they dealt with this topic with love and support, rather than disgust, repulsion and/or indifference?
Why should a woman or a man ever feel bad or embarassed about buying sanitary products…..? Think about it.
I believe from the bottom of my heart that many men wish they could be there for the women in their lives. That they WANT to be supportive and make us feel good, and that they are not born with an adverse reaction to how our bodies work. They only learn that it is “disgusting,” because the reality of our periods is kept in the shadows of their awareness, like the monster in some horror movie: It’s worse because you don’t see it.
The fact that many of us women believe that our periods are something inherently disgusting ourselves, adds to the public “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” concerning women’s menstrual cycles.
The same goes for talking with other women about our periods. We will look at each other in empathy when somebody confesses that they “have their friend,” (we use as many euphemisms as possible) and when we need to bring up the topic in more detail, it often starts with an apology.
Presently, our root patterns typically reflect cultural or familial limitations, rather than our authentic nature, and often restrict our creative range and deep connection with ourselves. – Tami Lynn Kent
I am not advocating that we all run around involving people in discussions around our blood flow 24/7, or that men need to plan a surprise period-party every month. It is still a very personal topic. However, I do wish that we could just be open about it; that we treat it as something natural, something that is a part of us and how we experience life as women.
I as a woman have created this secrecy and divide in my life and I want to end this cycle of body shame on its most basic level.
A woman disassociates herself from her pelvic sphere as a way of coping with painful associations regarding femininity or her body. – Tami Lynn Kent
I want to explore my feminine experience and embrace it as my reality – without shame.
It was my man who inspired this seemingly radical realisation, as he called me out on my abusive behaviour towards my body. He wanted to be part of my life and felt that I was pushing him away because I was so full of awkwardness around this subject. He could literally feel how I was subconsciously transmitting the disconnect I felt within myself, onto him.
He was so right. And I was shocked when I realised how long I had been doing this without thinking about it. How many times I had encouraged myself and other men to look down on this natural process and despise it.
His words initiated my personal journey towards period pride (yes, that’s what I am going to call it from now on), and ignited my desire to reconnect myself with my core feminine energy. My man honestly WANTED to be involved in my experience as a woman and he couldn’t understand the abuse I was giving myself and consequently ALL women.
How can I feel whole as a woman, when I am not connected to my period, or my womanly parts? No, sorry, my vagina, my breasts and my reproductive system.
Notice how we use euphemisms for topics that we do not feel good about? I WANT to feel good about my body and my reality, and I no longer choose to downplay myself and my body by sharading my authentic experience in euphemisms. I might decide to choose my own terminology in future. Words that make me feel good and strong about my body.
My body and my period are a gift and a guidance system, if I let them be that.
After 13 years of period- and body shame, it is time that I embrace myself on this most basic level- without apologising.
Through this practice,
Rather than [being] a gender construct that narrows our range of expression, the feminine becomes a living manifestation of our wild selves. – Tami Lynn Kent
This post originated in my head as a rant, I hope I was able to turn it into something beautiful and empowering.
What’s your period story? Can you relate to this post, or is this something you feel completely different about?
I would love to know what you think on this subject, share in the comment section below!
All quotes were taken from Tami Lynn Kent’s book “Wild Feminine.”
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