I find this word so frustrating because the expectations are so varied and absurd. I’m a woman. And the word “feminine” means so much and so little.
Why must we hold back from talking about our bodies? Why are periods a secret? Every human on the planet is here because some woman was having periods (or didn’t have one, actually).
Yet we are expected to pretend it’s not there: hide thee supplies, pay taxes on tampons like they are a luxury, pretend our bodies aren’t crying out for rest and a recharge during the most exhausting week of the month while we are doubled over in pain (among other symptoms).
We are expected to put a smile on, hide the “distasteful” and be pretty and presentable.
How about instead, we acknowledge the fact that half the planet spends over 500 weeks of their adult life bleeding so that maybe life can continue. Then those same people spend another 500 weeks preparing for it, waiting for it, or cleaning up after it.
This happens to half the world. 25% of the world is menstruating right now. [source].
Why are we (women) measured by our compliance with hiding what our bodies were made to do?
What’s a girl to do? Our own little part.
For me, that means raising my boys in an environment that normalizes and talks about what our bodies are meant to do. I leave my tampons in piles in the bathroom, not tucked in the drawer. My boys know what panty liners are and that most moms wear them.
I’m not perfect. I still have my own shame in waves. But change starts with people speaking up, and having conversations. I’m not the first, not even close.
But I’m joining the voice.