Do I Not Bleed?


At my first full time job I had a desk next to a beautiful woman called Suki. She was competent and confident. She always looked pristine and never came to work in a jumper she had fished out the wash basket and Febreezed the sh*t out of, I'm sure. I immediately decided she would be my mentor; I observed how she answered customer queries in a warm but firm manner and made note of when she made little notes in her leather bound filofax. She was happy to share her wealth of knowledge; she took me to the grotty cafe that made amazing bacon sandwiches and gave me access to her secret highlighter stash.

One morning I asked her yet another moronic question and she listened patiently before saying, 'Hang on I've just got to pop to the loo.' She reached into her handbag, pulled out a tampon and casually carried it out the room. I said nothing but in my head I was like, what the ever living crap was that?! She had just revealed her shedding uterus status to EVERYONE. At that point I had been getting my period for about a decade and I had a lot of thoughts about it. I thought it was messy and painful and unfair but most of all I thought that no one should ever know about it. I'm ashamed that that moment, rather than increasing my admiration for a woman I looked up to, made me regard her as a bit of a weirdo. 

For the years that followed I continued my covert operations every month. I might mention my menstrual status to close friends, close female friends, in specific circumstances e.g. I feel like crap, I'm not pregnant but other than that it was just me and my monthly against the world. And I didn't hear about periods from anyone else, so I figured that I was toeing the line and if there's anything women are good at it's being unobtrusive and inoffensive, even when they feel like hell. 

Then recently I was at work (I'm a youth worker) and my (male) colleague and I were debating which one of us should go swimming with the kids that day. After a few minutes of back and forth I said to him, 'Look mate, I wouldn't usually try and get out of it but I'm bleeding like a stuck pig.' At the mention of my blood, his drained from his face. And okay, my delivery might not have helped the situation but I'm fairly sure most of his discomfort was that I had spoken the unspeakable. It's just I'm sick of whispering about it; I'm sick of dancing around the subject. A woman will have approximately 450 periods in a lifetime, that's a lot to keep quiet about. More to the point shouldn't it be a source of pride? If my colleague had come to work and stated that he was happy to work but could I be mindful that he had been bleeding from the ear for the last three days, I would have offered him nothing but support and sympathy all day. Just because periods happen to many of us, for many days of the year, it doesn't mean we aren't badass for just getting on with it. So maybe it's time to own that? Do you think it's time for women to stop being strong and silent? 


Twin Mummy and Daddy

17 comments

  1. I think given the fact that half of the population have periods, its something we should all be more open about!!

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  2. We should be more open about periods....My teen was packing her school bag and put sanitary pads in but hid them away in a make up bag, inside a pocket in her bag because she was embarrassed. I really don't get why. Most girls in her year group have periods. It is nothing to be ashamed about! We do need to speak more about them x

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  3. It's true - it's something that should be openly spoken about and certainly have no level of embarrassment around the subject!

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  4. Interesting post, I think with social media and the like women are far more open to talking about this sort of stuff to their peers

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  5. I love the comparison you made about a male bleeding from the ear for the best part of the week - if only more people would see it that way!

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  6. It's so true! When I worked in an office it was a whole mission to get the tampon out of bag and discreetly into my pocket without anyone knowing. Looking back it is all a bit ridiculous and we should be more open about it!

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  7. I must admit I do feel uncomfortable talking about periods unless around someone I'm comfortable with. I think its that way as it seems the norm to be discreet however its such a normal thing us women go through.

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  8. It's normal to talk about and it's strange why it makes men uncomfortable never understood that great read Thank you for linking to #ThatFridayLinky Please come back next week

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  9. When I first starting working at a supermarket at the age of 15 I nearly died of embarassment everytime someone bought sanitary products. Doesn't phase me at all now thankgully

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  10. Like you, I never mentioned a word of it to anyone at all. It wasn't until my 40's where it even began to feel comfortable talking about it, with women friends. Then, what the hell, it's a bodily process. I let my hair down and and the secret curse was over. Open, honest, and monthly. Until it stopped. Surpriesed that I was saddened. I alwasy thought I would jumpr through hoops and shout from the rooftop. Nope. Now I can freely discuss hot flashes. Women Unite! We bleed, and so the race, the human race propagates. #ThatFridayLinky

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    1. Isn't it amazing! I can understand feeling a little sadness at it ending x

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  11. My mummy has endo so she's had to be open with her male boss and her make co-workers. It was awkward at first but now they know when to stay away from her especially as she brings a hot water bottle to work! Lol

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    1. I love that! Hot water bottle, the silent signal

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  12. This is brilliant! I have no privacy now I have kids so they know all about periods but I remember I used to feel really embarrassed about it especially when I was a teen. I hope my daughter is braver than me

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  13. At school I hated the thought of being on my period, I would go to the toilet and quietly unwrap the packaging and make it as quiet as possible.....why?! I was in the loo with all girls who were probably going through it as well! I quite agree we must be open about it. I have always been open about it with my kids, and when they ask questions I answer them with the truth. Hopefully my girls won't feel like I did about it

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  14. It's funny that it's still such a taboo in this day and age isn't it!

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