The Cramps, The Bloating, The Horror?

In any given day one will see numerous TV commercials pointing out the sheer terror of getting your period. There are tampon ads that suggest that mother nature is a shrewd little woman set out to ruin your entire day. Heat pad ads offer relief from excruciating cramps because, well God forbid you go running on period! Or what about the birth control commercials that portray women celebrating their new found freedom from menstruating every month because in their words, “Who says you need four periods a year?” Well one, nature says. Your body and your entire reproductive system relies on your monthly flow, if it didn’t then we wouldn’t have one.

It seems to me that society and the media are in agreement that one cannot possibly be at her best when Flow’s in town. This is probably why women believe it’s the end of the world when they get their period. Aside from the few who let out sighs of relief upon seeing the rosy indication that they are saved from an unplanned pregnancy, menstruation is viewed pretty negatively. Why? It is really that bad? Or are we as women just getting labeled as being abnormal yet again?

The medical community is always trying to mess with women’s bodies. It’s as if there are doctors in a far away lab somewhere gazing with disgust at a used tampon and saying to each other, “That shit just isn’t right.” So they create medicines like Midol and Pamprine to “fix” the problem. The problem that ensures life on this earth and may very well be the most natural thing in humanity.

I’m a woman, I understand that continuously changing your tampon and constantly worrying if you will end up ruining yet another pair of underwear is a hassle, but come on. Ads that incessantly shove the idea that women cannot function properly with out medicine or “scented” tampons down our throats is just too much! Most of the medications meant to alleviate PMS are probably closer to sugar pills. The birth control we take to help “regulate” or cycle often does more harm to our bodies than good. Finally the products that are the most convenient for us to use are packed with harmful chemicals including bleach. That’s right ladies, big tampon/pad companies believe that we will be less willing to use a tampon if it’s not at it’s whitest. This seems hilarious to me considering it’s unlikely that it will stay white for very long.

The thought that we might celebrate menstruating seems vulgar and ridiculous, but aren’t our bodies worth celebrating? I’m not saying that we should run around swinging our tampons and pads in the air singing at the tops of our lungs, but we should at least not act like it’s the end of the world. Remember that long ago, some old coot probably said to a woman, “Ew you’re bleeding, that’s foul. Go sit on that hay stack over there and don’t come out for 5-7 days.” This could actually be my hormones talking, but tell that old coot to go fuck himself because there’s nothing wrong with our bodies or the way that they function.

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