I’m currrently reading “It’s about bloody time. Period” by Emma Barnett and it made me really stop and reflect.
I spend my days talking quite openly about vaginas, pelvic floors, bowel movements, menopause and lots of other subjects that others might consider embarrassing or taboo. But rarely do I actually talk about periods unless it’s a specific problem for a client – e.g. if someone has endometriosis. Why is that?
Granted, I don’t need to come skipping into the room when I get my period and announce it to every man and his dog. But it is something that I tend to deal with more discretely than other topics…like hiding sanitary products in my hand / bag on the way to the toilet. Or locking the door when I go to the bathroom at home, which I rarely do normally with two small people around. Habits that have been engrained in me over the years. And ones I’ve never really thought about before.
You might be quite different to me, but I thought the book provided an interesting take on how far we still have to go in many areas of women’s health and normalising our bodies. The fact that many women would rather tell their boss they had an upset stomach than say they have their period and aren’t feeling great is a sad place to be. And the fact that period poverty exists, not just globally, but here in the UK too with all of our wealth is appalling.
If us women can’t talk openly about the normal things that we experience, the men certainly aren’t going to. It’s up to us to ensure that women are not seen as anomalies and our needs are factored in to decision making at the highest level. So without going to the opposite extreme and walking around with a placard, I’ve made a pact to be more honest with those around me as to what I am experiencing each month.
It’d be interesting to hear your thoughts.