In my school, we had a sex education seminars occasionally and I distinctly remember that the boys were sent outside when it was time to discuss “periods”. In college, I realized it was the same in every school! So, it is safe to say, the educators haven’t done a good enough job (or at least, back then) educating the boys. It’s 2022, and thanks to the internet, rather sending the boys out of the classroom, there are conversations that invite them in!
A Reddit user asked, “Women of Reddit, what’s one thing all men should know about periods?” and here’s a list of our favorite insightful responses from the thread and what our community had to say:
1. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome is just as painful if not worse.
2. It’s nothing like the ads sell it.
3. We CANNOT control it.
4. It can have severe symptoms, more than “just cramps”. And doctors refuse to give proper treatment because of preconceived notions.
5. These products are not accessible to everyone yet.
6. Cramps hurt like hell. Really. And they’re in places you can’t imagine.
7. How you react to it sets the tone of your relationship.
8. It can permanently and physically change our bodies.
Answers from the community:
“A myth that I would like to break. In many rural areas, it’s still a tradition to shun the woman to a corner when she is on her period. The tradition was solely started for the woman’s comfort but over time sick people have twisted it and given it a religious aspect. Many people have unfortunately used it to suppress women, not in a position to defend themselves.”
– Prajakta Baddadare
“Period stains are not gross. You don’t use just one pad per day, and no you can’t “make do” by using fewer products. Three days is a myth. Tampons don’t take away your virginity, and what even is virginity anyway? And it’s not our “stomach” that hurts. Drinking hot water won’t help everyone. Wearing pads is uncomfortable!”
– Noopur Rahane
“Every person’s periods are different. For example, the changes in their bodies, moods, cramps, and the number of days they last. It really sometimes puts us at a disadvantage and it hurts! It shouldn’t be called ‘impure’. For me personally, the first two days hurt like hell. I am just lying in bed. Crying and trying to fall asleep so that I can escape from the pain. I have cramps from the stomach all the way to the legs as well as the back. I also lose some weight.”
“It’s unhelpful when people who don’t experience menstruation give their unsolicited opinions on how we should handle the pain and discomfort, or how we should express our frustration with it. Be willing to listen and learn instead!”
– Parnika Agarwal
To sum it up, while the experience differs from person to person, there is one thing we ALL want you to know: Periods are not shameful, it’s a natural, BUT in varying degrees.