The Vagenda

Misogyny Myths #2: Period Propaganda

So, last time we tackled the notion that having a guy jizz on your face is good for your skin. This time it’s all about rising the crimson tide/having the painters in/getting a visit from Aunt Flo/Being on your fucking period.
There’s a lot of stuff going round about periods at the moment, kind of like at school when you used to hang out near the radiators and the polyester of your school jumper would melt and turn to static while Stacey told you about how you could get pregnant from a tampon (substitute ‘Stacey’ for ‘Lavinia’ and ‘polyester’ for ‘cashmere’ if you went to private school). Two girls from my school actually stopped talking to each other because of periods. One was like, ‘when I have my period I can totally feel the blood coming out of me’ and the other was like, ‘ew, that is so gross, I can’t believe you just said that. No you can’t.’ True say. I don’t think they ever spoke to each other again. Thankfully we’re here to stop that happening to you. 
Myth 1: Being on your period makes you less sexy
Studies claim that men can actually smell when you’re on and when you’re ovulating. And they are more likely to bang you when you’re ovulating. Like, duh, it’s evolution, right? Well, not if you’re shagging someone where the worst thing ever that could happen to them, bar them getting a third class degree, would be your becoming his baby mama. This is the guaranteed only time that you can (probably) not get pregnant, folks. Little need for condoms (assuming you’re both fully checked out, obv), little need for the pre-sex abortion handshake- everyone wins. Make the most of it. Plus, it is a truth universally acknowledged that if you are on your period/haven’t shaved your legs/just came off the pill that some hot guy will be after your goodies faster than you can say ‘fuck me right now.’ It’s like the Murphy’s Law of Menstruation. 
One of these studies found that women strippers got fewer tips when they were on their periods. But I am reliably told that strip club regulars actually ASK beforehand if that is the case (if you’re in the comments section and you can refute/confirm this, please do). So, yeah.  Fact is, almost every woman I know feels UBER HORNY on her period. And according to those boffin types at Cosmo, being horny makes you sexier, because, like, your pupils dilate or some shit. Word. 
Myth 2: Period sex is like, totally gross and disgusting
Really? I mean, some of us may not feel like humping when we’re lying in bed with a hot water bottle between our legs and losing so much blood it makes you dizzy. If that’s you, fair fucking play. Don’t have sex for the hell of it. But period sex in and of itself is not a BAD THING. It’s like normal sex, but squishier. Big whoop. Plus, you can pretend you’re losing your virginity again, cry afterwards, and blame the hormones. 
It’s hard to see how religious doctrine hasn’t played a part in this myth. The Torah says sex on your period is a no-go. Basically, you have to go sit on your own for seven days, but unfortch everything you sit on/touch with your vajayjay becomes impure too. Oh, yeah, and there’s a Jewish custom that your mum should slap you in the face the first time you get your period. Bummer. If you’re Muslim, you can hang with your husband as long as there is no funny business, and you can’t do certain prayers. I’d be interested to know if these rules are stringently applied still outside of orthodox communities, so holla at me if you know.
Myth 3: Grizzly bears will eat you
If you’re on the blob, time to rethink that camping trip, because a bear will almost certainly eat you. Except they won’t (Herrero, 1985). Evidence shows that Black Bears also couldn’t give a toss. Yellowstone National Park actually tells you to stay the fuck away if you’re on your period, despite there being little evidence that you will get eaten if you’re menstruating. Basically, if a bear wants to eat you, it will fucking eat you, period or not. My advice would be: if you don’t want to get eaten, maybe just don’t go camping? Yeah? The same is true of sharks. They don’t care (and in that sense, are superior to some men). The only person who cares about your period is you. They’re too busy doing other stuff. But the same advice applies: if you swim in shark-infested waters, you may get eaten. 
Exceptions: Polar Bears. Polar Bears like menstrual blood. Polar bears will eat you. 
Myth 4: Being on your period makes you mental
It’s something to do with us all being connected to the moon. Tbh, I couldn’t tell you what the moon was doing on any given day if you asked. I am far too self-centred. But then, I believe my horoscope so you probably shouldn’t be listening to ANYTHING I say, ever. But yeah, even this moon stuff is far too new agey for me. Nature is freaky-deaky enough (syncing with your flatmates, anyone?) without bringing celestial bodies into the mix. Some new age nutjobs actually believe that your ‘psychic powers’ increase when you’re on your period. Yeah. Not only do you have to deal with debilitating cramps, ugly knickers, and feeling dizzy, but you’re also being haunted, and probably by someone who you would really rather didn’t know about the mechanics of your lady area, maybe even someone really hot like Young Elvis. But you can’t shag a ghost so no biggie. 
Seriously, though, some women do suffer from debilitating PMS and it is a real condition with real problems. But being on your period is no excuse for being a dick. You can’t tell someone they’re a cunt and that you never loved them and then be all, ‘sorry, I was on my period.’ That kind of behaviour is just contributing to the annoying problem of men going ‘are you on your period or something?’ when you’re feeling a bit bitchy. Don’t buy into this shit. 
Myth 5: ActiPerls
Always have brought out some new jam rags which smell of sweet perfumery stuff that mask the shame of your natural odour. Except they don’t mask it, they ‘neutralise it’. Right. DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES! You smell just fine, and if you don’t, have a wash and change your pad. There is nothing shameful about your natural smell. ActiPerls are just some gimmick invented by a roomful of marketing twats who don’t feel the maxipad market is saturated (eeew) enough. Also, much like bifidus digestivum and the ‘free radicals’ that Grazia keep banging on about, they don’t exist. THEY ARE THE BIGGEST MYTH OF THEM ALL. Most doctors are in agreement that putting anything scented near your vag is a medical no-no. It fucks with the natural balance of your vagina and makes you itchy. Even Cosmo knows this, ffs. 

13 thoughts on “Misogyny Myths #2: Period Propaganda

  1. Another (rumoured) advantage of being on the blob: ability to smuggle drugs past sniffer dogs in your knickers. Should one wish to do so. ALLEGEDLY.

    Festival season’s coming up…

  2. In possibly the most random comment I will ever make on a blog, ever:

    I’ve discussed the whole bear issue with my ladyfriend, who is an experienced outdoorswoman, currently walking the entire length of the US pacific coast from Canada to Mexico alone. (Yeah, I basically date Katniss from the Hunger Games. Cool, eh?).

    I can confirm from her that there’s no truth in it. Bears are not attracted by that at all. They are most likely to try to get processed food left lying around – in short, they’re good at getting their own meat, not so good at say, baking muffins.

    As for what to do if you do if attacked by a bear, according to the Outdoorsy girlfriend, is spray it with bear mace. “Bear mace?”, I hear you say… It’s like normal rapist mace, by about 6-7 times stronger. So, yeah, even if you have a froo-froo that bleeds baked goods for some reason, not a problem assuming you’re properly prepared.

  3. Those damn ActiPearls smell much worse than an unscented pad with some blood ever could. I changed pad brands because of them!

  4. I actually have no idea why women still have to PAY for tampons etc. I’m not choosing to do this every month, but I do choose to have sex. So why are condoms free and not Tampax?!

  5. The other thing about people who blame their horrible behaviour on having their period at the time is that they’re talking rubbish. Premenstrual syndrome is PREmenstrual syndrome – the symptoms stop once the period starts.

  6. “Little need for condoms” – Just to point out – if you don’t want to get pregnant, still use condoms even if you’re on your period! You can definitely still get preganant. Seriously. That was…terrible advice.

  7. “But being on your period is no excuse for being a dick. You can’t tell someone they’re a cunt and that you never loved them and then be all, ‘sorry, I was on my period.’ That kind of behaviour is just contributing to the annoying problem of men going ‘are you on your period or something?’ when you’re feeling a bit bitchy. Don’t buy into this shit.”

    This gets my Win The Internet Award of the day. Thank you so much.

    Also, yay for period sex. All the blood is primal and raw. It’s a real caveman experience, and definitely sexy.

  8. I also find it odd that tampons/pads aren’t free on the NHS, a la condoms. I mean, I don’t mind spending two quid a month, but as an above poster mentioned, I have no choice on that two quid if I want to be at all presentable. My college has a ‘tampax mountain’ that is for use in emergencies, and several times I’ve heard gents in the college complaining that it comes out of common levies (probably everyone ends up paying something like 20p for the tampax for a year!). I think it’s an excellent arrangement, personally – after all, periods are a ‘symptom’ of the reproductive system from which we’ve all benefited, so why should women, in addition to having the cramps and discomfort, also be the only ones paying for them? :P

  9. If you don’t want to buy tampons every month get a moon cup – i’ve never gone back since starting to use them 8 yrs ago. WAY nicer/fresher and cleaner than tampons. plus you’ll save lots of money – 17 quid for one and it will last ten years if you look after it (its also not possible to get TSS using it).

  10. Also would like to add to Gillian’s post – YOU CAN GET PREGNANT ON YOUR PERIOD!!! ABSOLUTELY!! DO NOT give out this crazy and untrue advice.

  11. I was going to say the same, getting pregnant on your period is less likely but my no means is there really “little need for condoms”, it would still be risky.