Why is menstruation deemed "gross" and "disgusting"? Why is something that is natural and healthy looked down upon?


Amazing question. I want to say, “Because some people are idiots,” but that’d be mean and honestly, I’m not really sure of the answer myself. Why is something so natural looked down upon? Or worse, made fun of and made into a joke? No idea. Completely baffling, right? You’d think that because half of the world’s population goes through it, it’d be less taboo. Unfortunately not. I think that the problem is that even women and girls look down on menstruation. There are girls and women out there who are embarrassed of their periods. This, I think, sets us back in our movement to show people that periods are neither the warning signs of an apocalypse or reenactment of The Exorcist, but rather, that they’re simply periods. It’s hard to show boys and men that periods aren’t something shameful when there are girls and women out there who aren’t able to embrace that fact themselves. This is what this campaign is all about. It’s so awesome of you to see your period for what it is, natural and healthy, and for what it’s not: gross and disgusting.


What a great question. Unfortunately, there's no great answer. You may want to read Elizabeth's article A History of Menstrual Messages. In ancient times, menstruating women were even thought to be possessed by the devil. Sounds crazy, right? I think it was just a lack of understanding then and there's still a lack of understanding today. Many people think a period is something that needs to be hidden and that we need to be “protected” and “kept clean.” All of those things can lead to girls feeling ashamed of something that's perfectly natural. If all of us that view menstruation as something that's natural and healthy keep talking about it, hopefully society will eventually become more comfortable with it.


This is a great question! Throughout history, women’s periods have been considered “taboo”: something that must be kept hidden from others because is it unclean and shameful. Though our knowledge of why menstruation occurs has progressed, and we now understand that it is a critical component of women’s reproductive cycles, these old attitudes are hard to change. Perhaps nowhere is this as evident as it is in advertising for “feminine products” such as pads and tampons; which cannot even use the words “menstruation,” “blood,” or “vagina!”

Many girls are creating new dialogues about menstruation and women’s bodies. They are speaking out against these old-fashioned practices, and sharing a sense of pride in their bodies with others. You don’t have to write a blog or a newspaper column to speak out, though. Sometimes being a role model for other girls, particularly those who are younger than you, can be a very powerful agent of change. So, the next time you find yourself feeling ashamed of your period, or see a ridiculous ad on TV, think of it as an opportunity to create a new conversation about periods. Who knows? Perhaps the next generation of girls and women will laugh when they hear about how “old fashioned” we were when it came to talking about a normal, healthy part of the female experience.


AMEN SISTER! I hear you! Its something that has been totally taboo in society. Many people have been raised in a society that stops them from communicating comfortably about something that happens to half of the world's population for 3-7 days every month that is completely and utterly healthy and normal. Its just a change society needs to make and we're slowly getting there. Especially thanks to projects like the Period Pop Up Shop and Power to the Period :)

" - FeminismandEquality
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