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  • Writer's pictureRissa

A Call to Action: Tweet Your Period

Amateur oil painting of a cross-sectioned uterus with attached fallopian tubes and ovaries. Blood leaks from the uterus through a cross-sectioned vaginal canal. As it flows out of the vagina, the blood becomes dark red flowers. Blue, nondescript background.
A painting of mine from 2006. Actual period doesn't look precisely like this.

For the past few months now, I've had this idea. You see, over 50% of the population of the entire human world menstruates, has menstruated or will menstruate. Not exactly a newsflash. And yet, we never talk about it. Not with as much openness as I think the experience warrants.

Why not? Why do we never see it? Why do commercials for period products feature blue water? I'll be 30-years-old on Thursday, and not once has blue water come out of me, no matter how many Blue Hawaiians I drink. The narrative of our menses is largely hushed out of popular cultural space.

It has always bothered me that the period is so taboo when it's not a proclivity, a defect, a perversion or even a problem. It's a normal, biological process. I'd like to live in the kind of world where we can speak openly and frankly about our periods, not be shamed for having them.

So since the start of my period on Thursday, I have taken to live-tweeting about it, sharing updates on what's physically happening, ruminating on the shame I still feel while it's happening, explaining some of the difficulties that come with it, and of course, occasionally posting a photo or two. (As a writer, I guess I'm used to sharing.)

This shouldn't be shocking, offensive or even noteworthy. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the same process that gives us adorable babies is systematically maligned when we don't particularly want to be pregnant in a given month.

Let's change the narrative. Let's put our bodies front and center on our own terms for a change. Physical female perfection will always be the standard to strive for in a culture where men won't even acknowledge what happens to us once a month. Let's start a conversation. Let's make this a #RedSummer. Be brave, and join me when your time comes.

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