The first time i began menstruating, i was in the 8th grade. I, like many other blog posts i have already read, had my share of embarrassing moments with my period. I’ll never forget the time i left a stain on the chair of my 8th grade math class. When i noticed the stain at the end of class, i quickly used my sweatshirt as a shield to block anyone from seeing the stain on the back of my pants as i left the room. I was filled with embarrassment and annoyed at the fact that i had my period at all and questioned why this happened to girls and not boys. Another memory i have from again 8th grade, is the time i started my period while i was playing basketball in front of the whole middle school. I was so excited that my coach let me in the game that i did not even notice the stares and laughs from the crowd as i ran around freely. My coach immediately pulled me out of the game and instructed me to go to the bathroom with a fellow teammate. I was so confused as to why she was telling me to go to the bathroom, until my teammate told me what had happened. I looked, horrified, into the mirror to find a large red stain of blood all over my white gym shorts. I was mortified.
From then on, i thought of my period with a sense of embarrassment and annoyance. But why does our society think of women’s periods in a negative way in the first place? I found Gloria Steinem’s article on “If Men Could Menstruate” very interesting. I had never thought of my period as a source of empowerment. For me, it had always been an embarrassing topic, but was that only because society made me think in that way? Simone de Beauvoir said “one is not born a woman, but becomes one,” a statement i find truth in. The idea of a “woman” is socially constructed from the time we are born. If men could menstruate, then the idea of getting your period would be a hot commodity because society would find value in it.