Free Essay

Periods and How Society Views It

In: Social Issues

Submitted By chunkielover75
Words 1215
Pages 5
Most of the female population at Mountain View receives a monthly visit from dear Mother Nature in the form of menstruation. We bleed from our vaginas and have hormonal fluctuations. This is completely normal for teenage girls and women, but the topic of menstruation is considered taboo. According to Hygiene and Health Experts Chris W. Williams and Kersti Strandqvist, around two billion women menstruate monthly. People should know about periods and what the body does during menstruation. This is sadly not the case. From my experience with periods, no one wants to talk about it. This is possibly due to misogynistic attitudes or because periods are so intimate. Advertisements for the products that women use during their periods -- pads, tampons, menstrual cups -- avoid the word “period.” Instead, they use euphemisms like “time of the month” to downplay the reality of the female body. Women are put on a pedestal of femininity. They are stereotyped and conditioned by media to be docile. This is one reason that we don’t talk about periods. In tampon and pad commercials, the actresses are often wearing smiles on their faces and white clothing on their bodies. They are model-like to perpetuate the idea that women are not real people with real problems. This pushes the “feminine female” stereotype and dehumanizes women. Pad commercials are also infamous for using blue liquid to simulate period blood. Since girls don’t leak blue liquid, how can they connect to those commercials? This censorship is outrageous, as blood is shown on television all the time. The televised blood may not be real, but the image is accurate. The reality of periods should be taught to all people. In addition, the hush surrounding periods poses a health risk. “Endometriosis” and “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder” are very real, but not widely known, disorders that may occur during menstruation. These types of disorders are characterized by severe cramps and mood swings that may be physically and emotionally disabling yet, when a woman goes to the doctor’s office and complains about pain, she may be dismissed. The 2001 University of Maryland study “The Girl Who Cried Pain” reported “[gender] biases have led health-care providers to discount women’s self reports of pain at least until there is objective evidence for the pain’s cause.” This also applies to outside of the doctor’s office. When a woman shows any indication of frustration or irritation, people may make snide comments. This further pushes the misunderstanding of periods and patronization of women. It also invalidates women’s emotions, turning our feelings into just another “case of PMS.” We have to learn that the female body should not be shamed. To do this, instead of being scared about the subject, we should embrace that it is a natural body function. We should also stop downplaying the reality of menstruation by not making jokes that invalidate a woman’s health.

________________________________________
A majority of the female population at Mountain View receives a monthly visit from dear Mother Nature in the form of menstruation. We bleed from our vaginas and have hormonal fluctuations. This is completely normal for teenage girls, but the topic of menstruation is considered taboo.

According to Executive Director of the Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council Chris W. Williams and Senior Vice President of Group Sustainability for Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget Kersti Strandqvist, around two billion women menstruate monthly. There should be general knowledge about what it is and what happens to a body during menstruation. This is sadly not the case.

From my experience with periods, no one wants to talk about it. This is possibly due to misogynistic attitudes or because periods are so intimate.

Advertisements for the products that women use during their periods -- pads, tampons, menstrual cups, ... -- avoid the word “period.” Instead, they use euphemisms like “time of the month” and “shark week” to downplay the reality of the female body.

Women are put on a pedestal of femininity. They are stereotyped and conditioned by media to be docile. This is a reason why we don’t talk about periods.

In tampon and pad commercials, the actresses are often wearing smiles on their faces and white clothing on their bodies. They are model-like to further perpetuate that women are not real people who have real problems. This pushes the “feminine female” stereotype and dehumanizes women.

Pad commercials are also infamous for using blue liquid to simulate period blood. I don’t know anyone who has ever leaked blue liquid, so how can a young girl connect to those commercials?

This censorship is outrageous, as blood is shown on television all the time. Although the televised blood may not actually be real, the image is accurate. The reality of periods should be taught to all people of any sex.

In addition, the hush surrounding periods poses a health risk. “Endometriosis” and “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder” are very real, but not widely known disorders that occur when women are menstruating.

These types of disorders are characterized by severe cramps and mood swings that may be physically and emotionally disabling. When a woman goes to the doctor’s office and complains about pain, she may be dismissed.

The 2001 University of Maryland study “The Girl Who Cried Pain” reported “[gender] biases have led health-care providers to discount women’s self reports of pain at least until there is objective evidence for the pain’s cause.”

This also applies to outside of the doctor’s office. When a woman shows any indication of frustration or irritation, people may make snide comments.

This further pushes the misunderstanding and patronization of periods. It also invalidates women’s emotions, turning our feelings into just another “case of PMS.”

We have to learn that the female body should not be shamed by holding substantial health lessons at school.
________________________________________

Notes
Dr. Anders Juul, head of the Department of Growth and Reproduction at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, said that girls are hitting puberty younger. This is a bigger incentive of increasing and normalizing menstruation education. Instead of having flimsy sex education classes that focus on abstinence in high school or middle school, the American education system should teach children about puberty and their natural body functions in elementary school, where their bodies are already changing.

As many as 87% of women who complain about chronic cramp pain may have endometriosis, according to a 2008 Nurs Womens Health article. The doctors of these dismissed women may not be fully aware of the

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/18/period-cost-lifetime_n_7258780.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096669/ http://www.healthline.com/health-news/personal-painful-ordeal-of-women-with-endometriosis-061815#3 https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-stone-age-mind/201202/why-are-girls-getting-their-periods-so-young http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/29/if-your-doctor-isnt-taking-your-endometriosis-seriously-its-time-to-find-a-new-one http://menstrupedia.com/blog/only-if-schools-taught-about-periods-at-the-right-time/ http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/u-s-girls-hitting-puberty-earlier-study-article-1.1506143 http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/05/opinion-lets-talk-menstruation-period/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=opinion-lets-talk-menstruation-period http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11948057/Lady-pains-Are-doctors-not-taking-womens-pain-seriously-enough.html

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