Even though it's 2017, some people still think a woman's period is gross, and Janelle Monáe is here to remind us that in fact, it's not at all.
On Friday, the "Hidden Figures" star tweeted "Menstrual Period Blood. #WomensHistoryMonth" to remind folks that periods are a naturally occurring, and essential, function of women's biology.
Janelle Monae arrives at the 89th Annual Academy Awards on February 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Dan MacMedan/Getty Images)
Menstrual Period Blood. #WomensHistoryMonth— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
She then added, "It's sad that there are prob folks more grossed out by and/or ashamed of menstrual period blood than they are the current administration."
It's sad that there are prob folks more grossed out by and/or ashamed of menstrual period blood than they are the current administration.— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
Then she tactfully reminded us that periods allow women to give birth.
Never forget girls & women birthed the human race and hold the power to unbirth it. Y'all gone learn. #WomensHistoryMonth— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
"Never forget girls & women birthed the human race and hold the power to unbirth it. Y'all gone learn. #WomensHistoryMonth," she tweeted.
However, some Twitter users commented that periods were "disgusting" and "gross," which made Monae retweet their comments and reiterate that they're a normal.
Elaborate further pls? https://t.co/6VzyAQ29TL— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
Elaborate further? Tell the world why you think menstrual period is gross again Tiara? https://t.co/trr8IOJqU4— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
Taking a diff approach. What if your dad and mom had this mindset & didn't like the bodily fluid called sperm&squirted U in a napkin? 🤷🏾♀️🌺 https://t.co/H52CswEOzn— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
But fortunately, many people defended the "Moonlight" actress and clapped back at the period shamers with some education.
oh hell no-i would rather shower in menses twice a day than acknowledge those whacks. Also, menstruation is natural-folks need to grow up https://t.co/b1AawszCrT— Weidle (@EdwardWeidle) March 3, 2017
One of them is icky and horrible, and involves stuff leaking out. The other one is a perfectly natural aspect of female biology. https://t.co/AStdwzNGMg— Purple Winthercle (@madswinther) March 3, 2017
While others pointed out that girls are still taught to be ashamed of their periods.
@JanelleMonae for so long girls are taught to hide the fact that we even have a period, it's draining AND I'M OVER IT— kenz (@kenzie_ousley) March 3, 2017
@JanelleMonae I think the way many adults whisper about menstruation to girls, like it's something to be embarrassed about, needs to change.— Caroline R. Curran (@CarolineRCurran) March 3, 2017
And other Twitter users said they had no time for men who are uncomfortable with the fact that yes, most women bleed every month.
@JanelleMonae i'm super over men feeling uncomfortable if i even bring up periods as if my physical burden is unworthy of their sympathy— kels 🐶 (@kfrustere) March 3, 2017
Monáe then doubled down on her point that by calling periods "gross," you are in fact period shaming.
Haredasmiles in this instance she did. She used the word "gross" (unpleasant, repulsive, disgusting) 2 describe blood which in this instance— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
"Gross" this causes the person on the receiving end to feel ashamed, embarrassed, humiliated, etc. therefore leading to "period shaming".— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 3, 2017
And Monáe is spot on: it's about damn time we stop shaming girls and women for having periods because guess what? They're not going away (until, you know, menopause), they're nothing to be embarrassed about and they're an important part of a woman's biology.
As Refinery 29 points out, "Not being able to openly discuss periods can be harmful — those who suffer from endometriosis, (a disorder that involves painful periods), for example, can have a hard time seeking help when they need it, because issues involving menstruation are too taboo to talk about."
Like Monáe, other women are trying to put an end to the stigmas surrounding periods by being more open about them in public.
In 2015, Kiran Gandhi ran a London marathon without a tampon while on her period, hoping that by showing menstrual blood on her pants, periods would be more normalized.
"As I ran, I thought to myself about how women and men have both been effectively socialized to pretend periods don’t exist," Gandhi wrote about the experience. "By establishing a norm of period-shaming, [male-preferring] societies effectively prevent the ability to bond over an experience that 50 per cent of us in the human population share monthly. Everyone was running for their own personal mission. And all of a sudden it felt entirely appropriate that I got my period on marathon day."
And last year, a Torontonian launched a campaign called "No Shame" in a bid to end period taboos.
"Tampon showing – her friends are going skinny-dipping, she joins in and doesn’t care that her tampon string is hanging out against her thigh."
"I believe menstruation is still something that's looked on as taboo within our society," Alyssa Bertram, the campaign's founder, said. "We all know it happens but no one cares to talk about it."
So ladies, wave those tampons and pads high in the air cause you've got nothing to be ashamed about.
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