Stop joking about periods

Stop joking about periods

Reagan White, Contributing Writer

Menstruation is a normal thing all women have to go through. The problem is they get bullied for it. Not only that, but it can be extremely painful. Sometimes it is so bad that girls have to miss school or can’t even get out of bed. Medicine doesn’t always work. To combat this, it is important to spread awareness about a topic that should already be taught to the boys. It’s not always just boys, but girls can be cruel about it, too. Boys need to learn that their “jokes” are hurtful and annoying. 

Women of all ages have had experience with questions or comments about their period that have made them uncomfortable. Most wished to remain anonymous, but they wanted to share their stories. Comments from boys are mentioned on a daily basis and it’s something women shouldn’t have to put up with. 

Several girls of various ages were asked whether or not they have had a boy make comments to them about a girl’s period and here are the responses:

For example, one anonymous student said, “Yes, and ‘Like when you’re bleeding, can’t you stop it whenever you want?’ or ‘How do you use one of those cup things?’ They make me uncomfortable.”

“I’ve had a lot of boys ask if I was on my period implying that I was moody/rude and a lot of boys have made weird remarks about it in general,” another student commented. She continued, “Or be scared to touch an unused wrapped tampon.”

Another girl said, “Unfortunately, I’ve gotten this a lot, but when I’m in a bad mood, ‘must be your time of the month.’ Also one time I was talking about [periods] with another girl and a guy that was there was like ‘that’s disgusting’ and being dramatic even though it’s normal.”

“Yes, I have. Many men, many times. Their favorite comment to make when you are in a bad mood is ‘Are you on your period or something?’ And it is very rude. We’re allowed to have emotions and feel without it needing it to be our time of the month,” said another girl, who has a lot in common with the others mentioned. Continuing, she said, “Also when I’ve needed to leave to go to the bathroom while having a male teacher, they don’t let you go. No matter how many times you’ve said you needed to go for personal reasons they still don’t let you and insist you ‘hold it’ as if it’s something we can control.”

This last girl was teased relentlessly and she said, “I’ve definitely had a boy make some weird comments about my period. I think the last time this happened was when I came to school upset, and I could hear a group of boys saying things like, ‘Sounds like someone’s on their period,’ and, ‘Does someone need some chocolate?’ They teased me and blamed everything on my period the entire day.”

Six girls and all bad experiences with something that they can’t control. There are many more girls that go through this and don’t like to speak up to authority because then they will get harassed about it and be told, “It’s just a joke,” or “You’re being too sensitive.” They are not being sensitive when those “jokes” go on for years and years. Don’t you think they would hold it in if they could? But sadly, it’s not how it works.

There are solutions to some of these problems. The “jokes” may never stop completely, but it doesn’t hurt to try. The school district could start teaching the boys about menstruation during health class. Doing this could eliminate some of the snarky comments they make and prove them false. When someone asks to use the restroom, teachers should stop asking questions and just let them go. It’s embarrassing when the teacher doesn’t let you go and you have to shout out in front of everyone why you actually need to go. Women shouldn’t feel embarrassed, but society has made menstruation seem disgusting and something personal. Even having an assembly for the boys could work. Not having to make girls pay for pads and tampons in the girls bathroom. Any of these three would help a tremendous amount.