Why are periods so often associated with shame?
It’s time for our podcast post, and today’s podcast features Rebecca and me jumping around all the topics we’re going to cover about periods this month (well, just about all!). We opened our series on Monday and Tuesday talking about the shame girls often experience as teenagers around summer and going to the beach, and then we looked at how we can help men and boys be more sensitive and aware with what girls go through with periods.
This was a fun one–and you can either listen to it or watch it on YouTube! And it honestly had some really funny moments in there–especially when Rebecca was explaining the difference between being empathetic and being creepy.
And here it is on YouTube!
And if you’re wondering why we’re surrounded by clothes, it’s because we filmed this one in my closet. We’ve been having sound issues, and we’re really working on it behind the scenes. We bought some great foam sound proofing for our studio, but it’s not set up yet. And the closet has great sound. So there you go!
Some quick thoughts:
Sometimes a Vagina is Just a Vagina
As we said on a podcast a while ago, sometimes a vagina is just a vagina. And yet in the church we often equate everything about vaginas with sex, which is why I think periods become so secretive and shameful, and why people often say that using a tampon impacts your virginity (we had a lot of fun discussing that one on the podcast! And you’ll hear way TMI about my last pelvic ultrasound, too. But it’s pretty funny).
No adult man should work with preteens or teenagers without at least understanding this stuff
The number of girls who were shamed because of adult men, or put in untenable situations at camp or youth group because of adult males, just needs to stop. Seriously. Half the world goes through this, so all youth workers, teachers, camp leaders, and more should know how to be sensitive to girls’ periods.
And a great place to start with that is to raise your boys to understand it now! In our Whole Story puberty course, we explain about periods in detail to the girls, telling them how it works, how tampons work, how to create an emergency kit, and more, but we also explain it to the guys so that they can be aware of what girls are going through, and so they can treat girls properly around their periods.
And it’s got special COVID pricing right now!
You're telling me WHAT goes WHERE?!
Talking about sex with your kids doesn't always go smoothly.
That's why we created The Whole Story, our online course that walks parents through the tough conversations and does the hard parts for you!
Sometimes other women are the least sympathetic
Because we don’t talk about periods well, we don’t understand what others go through. And if some women are blessed with easy periods, it’s easy to assume that women with heavy cramping or bleeding are just whiners.
And female physicians can even do this! The number of women (Rebecca included) who have gone in complaining of pain who have been told, “every woman goes through that; you just need to learn to manage it” when there were real issues going on is just too sad to contemplate. If your pain is affecting your daily life, or your bleeding is so heavy you need to double up on pads and tampons or sleep on a towel, that isn’t normal. We’ll be talking about that more next week, but sometimes you really have to advocate for yourself to get the medical help you need!
And again–we had a special plea in there to women to be sensitive to others, because some people honestly have worse cycles than others.
This was a fun podcast to record–and I’ve loved all your feedback and comments this week, both on the blog and on Facebook! Please listen in. I think you’ll like it!
Let’s keep them coming–and get ready for our post next week on when to see a doctor.
Our Period Series:
- All about Periods, Going to the Beach, and Teenage Embarrassment
- How Can We Help Boys/Men Be More Sensitive about Girls' Periods?
- The Period Podcast!
- When Should You Call the Doctor about Your Period?
- What Should You Do About Sex During Your Period?
- Why We Love Diva Cups
- 10 Things to Know about Old Testament Laws and Periods
What stood out to you today? Do you find other women to be sources of shame to you around your period? How can we be kinder to one another? Let’s talk in the comments!
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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