Menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of

Lyn Jarrell breaks down the barrier and speaks out about the taboo subject of menstruation


Jahlea Douglas

Freshman Lyn Jarrell is a first year staff writer on the Elkhart Memorial GENESIS staff. She specializes in opinion columns.

Lyn Jarrell, Staff Writer

In today’s society, women have come a long way from the horrors they had to go through in the past; yet, we still aren’t fully ‘welcomed.’

Despite the accomplishments we’ve had, we still have setbacks. One thing that is definitely not accepted or openly spoken about is menstruation.

Women feel a high pressure of keeping the topic of menstruation out of the ear shots of others. We feel as though we need to be secretive about it, and that we should never speak openly or publicly about it.

But we shouldn’t have to feel that way. Society makes menstruation a taboo topic, leaving women feeling ashamed of the fact that it naturally occurs.

Most guys will say that menstruation is disgusting, or that they don’t want to hear about it.

They’ll say that it makes them uncomfortable, or that it is just something no one should openly talk about. Guys tend to make jokes about it or make fun of it.

Whenever a girl speaks about it, most guys tend to completely shut them down, or say things that end up making women and girls feel ashamed or embarrassed.

“Honestly, I’m down for women and girls talking about it,” Freshman Kadence Sullenger said. “If guys can talk about their bodies in public, then women and girls should be able to talk about menstruation in public as well.”

When a girl in school has to grab a feminine product, we feel as though we have to be secretive about it, that we have to hide it and be quiet when opening the packaging or we even become scared to talk to the teacher about our needs.

Guys create stereotypical assumptions about menstruation, and when they see feminine products, they become judgmental and tend to make fun of the women and girls who have it.

For example, one time in eighth grade, I had a tampon in my back pocket, because I knew that I was going to need it, at least some point during that day, and as I was walking back to my desk, a few papers fell off of the teacher’s lab, so I bent down to pick them up, and my tampon fell out of my back pocket, in front of the entire class.

When that happened, all the girls that were in the class, went completely silent, whereas all the guys in the class, all busted out laughing and making jokes about needing feminine products.

The whole time I was in the class, guys kept asking me, “It’s that time of the month again, isn’t it?” and they would say things like, “It’s Satan’s river,” while laughing at me.

In all honesty, I felt ashamed. I was embarrassed. And I was even more ashamed of the fact that, none of the other girls had spoke up about not needing to feel embarrassed.

There is a difference between CHOOSING to be discrete about menstruation, versus feeling as though we HAVE to be discrete.

We hear men talk about things that make some of us uncomfortable, yet, guys don’t care. They talk about the crude things they do with their bodies, and we have to hear them, yet, when girls talk about their bodies, guys go ballistic.

Guys make jokes about themselves and their bodily issues, so why can’t girls? If we want to make a joke about our uterus shedding, we should be able to make that joke because menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of. It is something that occurs naturally, and it is not disgusting. Menstruation should be embraced and welcomed into the norms of topics within society.

Menstruation should be talked about more openly. It’s a struggle all women and girls face. We shouldn’t feel like we have to hide it.

I’m not saying that we announce to the whole world about our cycles, I’m just saying that, if you WANTED to, you should be ABLE to.

You can choose to speak openly about it or not. But the fact is, that if you do choose to, you should be able to feel supported and understood. You shouldn’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed.

Menstruation is not fun, but it is a process that allows women’s bodies to produce life. And that itself is worth talking about.