TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


February 12, 2018

Dodgey Discourse: A Period Piece


When I was a freshman in Fitness For Life, there was a week where our class was supposed to swim everyday. One of my friends was on her period that week, and I’ll never forget the interaction she had with our P.E. Coach. When she tried to tell him why she wasn’t able to swim that week he was baffled. “Can’t you just, like, hold it in or something?” he asked. (In case anyone reading this also doesn’t know, you can’t hold your period).
If you have an uterus, chances are high that you’re going to deal with getting your period at some point. I have never understood why a normal bodily function affecting more than half the population is so hard to talk about.
To clarify, it’s not difficult to talk about it, but the subject has become a source of taboo. Speaking about one’s periods is often regarded as unladylike. To acknowledge its existence is deemed crass or rude (for the purpose of this article I will mostly talk about cisgender men and women, but I realize my experiences are not universal).
If I were a betting woman, I’d be willing to bet that everyone who menstruates has experienced the grip of fear that comes when one’s period catches them completely off guard.
Bleeding through my pants is definitely one of the top three things I’m most afraid of, personally. Yet when it is necessary to ask around for a spare pad or tampon, I’ve noticed a lot of girls are bashful or almost ashamed. They don’t want to mention it if they’re in public and GOD FORBID they say something to their friend during class. Personally I’ve given up on the whole charade of hiding a tampon or pad up my sleeve when I leave a classroom. It’s ridiculous to continue pretending that this bodily function doesn’t exist. Who does that fantasy benefit? Certainly not those who are actually affected by it.
There is a misconception that menstruation is dirty or unhygienic, and that is simply not true. The process might leave your nether regions looking like a butcher shop but scientifically period blood is definitely cleaner than any wound. Unfortunately because of the taboo surrounding menstruation, misinformation is quite frequent, and men who aren’t affected by periods are often clueless as to what’s going on.
The path to taboo-free menstruation is paved via education done right. In this day and age, I don’t see a point in teaching boys and girls about puberty separately.
Why are we barring them from knowledge about the opposite sex, Health & Safety is a required class once they make it to high school anyway. Early education about puberty in its entirety–not divided by gender–will lead to a generation of people who understand their bodies better, and understand each other better.

About the Author

Charlie Dodge


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