The Vagenda

Blushing and Bleeding: Why I’m Sick of Period Apology Culture


 They’re there. In the trolley. With the pork loins, the lemon curd and the Hovis Best of Both. You unload your items onto the conveyer belt with frenzied haste, concealing that little box of disgrace in a tent-like structure of sausages. The structural integrity of the sausage-packet-tent is compromised as the conveyer belt jerks forwards. It finally collapses when the spotty youth at the checkout seizes a packet to scan. The little box of disgrace screams and screams, and you, the spotty boy and the man behind you are humiliated. You pay, avoiding all eye contact, and thrust your box of tampons into a carrier bag, out of sight.

Sadly, this decidedly ridiculous scenario isn’t far from the collective female humiliation of having to buy sanitary items. Every time we purchase a box of tampons or sanitary towels, embarrassment is thick in the air, if not from us from those facilitating the transaction. The same can be said for having to ask staff to restock the toilet vending machine, or stuff your crotch full of tissue. Or having to excuse yourself from a meeting or a lecture or an interview, handbag in tow; oh, she’s ‘on,’ everybody realises in mild disgust. Not to mention the mortification of starting your period mid-sex. ‘But it’s only blood!’ you call after him as he bolts down the stairs with his shirt on backwards. All of this feeds into the culture that is period apology; I’m so sorry for my treacherous womb and I’m so sorry for the way it discharges blood once a month. The prevalence of period apology culture makes it difficult for us to talk about the absurdity that is tax on women’s sanitary protection products.

Women’s sanitary protection products have a VAT rate of 5%. Great, only 5%! You would think. Actually, no. We’re still being taxed, and on items that are essential. More essential, you might argue, than military aeroplanes, the sale of which accumulates 0% VAT. Or lottery ticket sales, exempt from VAT altogether. Mysteriously, condoms, which are also taxed at 5%, are free and abundant in any family planning clinic. Funny that.

HM Revenue and Customs tell us that, ‘the reduced rate applies to the supply of any sanitary protection product that is designed and marketed (note the bold font) solely for the absorption or collection of menstrual flow or lochia.’ Let us bear this in mind whilst we talk about the design, marketing and advertising of sanitary protection. Always, one of the leading manufacturers of sanitary products, are ingenious. Those cute tin cases they sold us to pop our pads in were so noble in their purpose; never again would the hideous faux-pas of a visible sanitary towel plague our businesses, our schools, our streets! And oh my, let us not forget the Always Radiant Infinity collection, for an ‘out of sight period.’ Thank you Always, for concealing our shocking secret. I think my personal favourite is the Always scented range. Since the purpose of this ingenious product extends beyond ‘the absorption or collection of menstrual flow or lochia’ and gives my vagina a heady aroma of sea breeze, or new car, the VAT I pay is increased. Always have a happy period? Always have a happy profit. And Always perpetuate period apology culture.

There are efforts to quash the expenses attributed to sanitary protection, and the string of apology attached. Free The Tampons is a non-profit campaign which encourages businesses to stock free tampons in their bathrooms. Founder Nancy Kramer asks the question: ‘Who decided that toilet paper was free but tampons weren’t?’ Whilst the question was probably rhetorical, why don’t we credit it with an answer?

Remember the supermarket checkout; who facilitated your transaction of disgrace? Who bolted it down the stairs away from the pyroclastic flow of your menstrual blood? Isn’t the CEO of Proctor & Gamble, the daddy company of Always, also a man? Funny that.

56 thoughts on “Blushing and Bleeding: Why I’m Sick of Period Apology Culture

  1. Good article. We need to talk about periods more, period. I always make a note to be very open about menstruation with my boyfriend – going into detail about my cycle, etc – and it has paid off because he is far less mystified by it all now and he’ll even buy tampons for me – HOORAH! No one should ever be embarrassed to buy sanitary wear. I’ve generally found that the more confidently you plonk that tampon box at the till, the less of a shit they’re gonna give (man or woman). Take it in your stride.

    And lastly, so much yes for the whole tax thing. We accept it as a sad fact of life, but whenever I mention it to a male friend they are always so shocked, and really, why shouldn’t he be? These are absolute essentials godammit! I doubt if men had periods these sanitary products would still be treated in such a way.

  2. Thank you for this. The thought of any natural bodily function being viewed as disgusting really irritates me. The point you made about the free toilet paper and condoms was particularly interesting.

  3. I feel that as a sex we should just stop wearing sanitary products altogether, in protest against the fact that they are a) ridiculously expensive and b) are, at the end of the day a man’s invention to regulate female bodies.
    Let us stand tall, women and let our menstrual flow run free down our legs and on to the streets where men must walk!
    If a man has a problem with something a woman’s body does naturally, then he has a problem with women’s bodies altogether.
    (The same applies to body hair, but that’s a different argument, of which I’m not going to get into here).

  4. I think many of us have internalised the culture you’re talking about and it affects the way we feel about our bodies and menstrual cycles. Personally I got a mooncup a few years ago and it has utterly changed my whole relationship with my period, and actually totally changed my life… That might sound melodramatic but honestly it’s how I feel. With tampons or pads, menstrual blood feels like something disgusting that has to be soaked up and quickly and secretly thrown away. With a mooncup you’re much more connected to the process, you see the blood as the liquid that it is rather than a stain on a piece of cotton, which for me stopped it feeling at all dirty, and you can notice any changes so you’re more in touch with your body, it is just a completely different experience, or it has been for me anyway. It has also made me have more conversations about periods because I want to spread the joy of mooncups – but also I have had loads of conversations with guys about it, most of whom were able to engage without being childish or disgusted. Also in terms of the financial side, I’m sure it’s taxed the same as tampons, but it’s a once or twice a lifetime purchase (depending on the age you buy your first one and whether you subsequently have kids) which means you aren’t shelling out every month to enormous multinationals just for the privilege of something to bleed into. There’s also a HUGE environmental argument about landfill but I won’t go into that!!
    Sorry to write an essay, I’m a bit obsessed – I appreciate they may not be for everyone and it does sound/feel a little strange at first but they are definitely worth a try!

  5. I’d highly advice a mooncup (which you’ve had a post on Vagenda about previously). Then you’re not only not paying tax every month on ridiculously marketed products, you’re also not polluting with pads.

    I know this isn’t relevant to the overlying problems in society you discuss, but it is going to save you money.

    Also, since buying a pregnancy test at boots when I was 16, I’ve never felt embarrassed when buying tampons (more rejoiceful that I didn’t need a pregnancy test).

  6. I brazenly walked into Boots the other day purchasing only a box of Always pantyliners with a voucher. The thrill of getting something for free outweighed any embarrassment! I’m going to be *that* person and advocate the mooncup. Been using it for almost a year and it’s far from perfect but suits my feminist hippy vagenda :)

  7. Yeah I’m going to agree with you here June and advocate the Mooncup too. I’ve been using mine for a few years now, and while I do need sanitary towels occasionally, it certainly beat having to fork out all the time.

    Sadly your article rings very true.

  8. I must have missed something – I never realised I was supposed to be “humiliated” when buying tampons. Really?

  9. I use menstrual cups (no toxic shock!) and fabric reusable pads (fun prints!), so I’m free from shop embarrassment, but I still get a case of the awkwards if I have to let people know I’m bleeding from my crotch. I’m admittedly bias and think cups are superior to tampons, but as I now think about how much the valueprice tampons probably cost to produce, they could definitely be more widely available for free. The clearest way to solve this is to refuse to use menstrual protection at all – they’d be a lot quicker to have tampons available in offices etc once there was blood on their chairs…

  10. I 100% agree with everything said here and think this is a severely underdiscussed instance of institutionalised sexism (another fun fact, men’s razors are, unlike tampons and ‘women’s’ razors, considered essential items and thus are VAT free) however I don’t think Always will make more money because their products are taxed more heavily, I think their scented sanitary towel thing is an excuse for them to up the prices by selling *special* towels but the increased VAT goes to the government surely

  11. Yes – mooncups all the way! So much cheaper than towels and tampons and an absolute lifesaver for those of us who, to be frank, can get through a super plus tampax in less than an hour on a “bad day”.

    Not perfect, I agree with TH, but a vast improvement to my life.

    Hopefully one day in the future, society will have developed to a stage where needing a bit of lady-time to deal with an unexpected period won’t require a carefully thought-out cover story for why you are suddenly dashing out to the shops (or why you keep emergency pants in your desk or bag).

  12. P.S. On that note, a male colleague once got a nosebleed at work and had blood on his shirt. I knowledgeably told him to get salt from the kitchen and run the salty bloodstain under a hot tap. He returned, and asked innocently, “wow, that really worked. How come you’re so good at knowing how to get blood out of fabric?”

    Awkward silence…

  13. ::shakes head in bafflement:: Embarrassed or ashamed when buying pads? Nope, never, and I’m past middle age. I’d be mildly surprised if the lad at the checkout gave a hoot, either. He’d see them all the time and most of the checkout staff at my supermarket – whatever their age or gender – are more interested in getting things through and having a quick chat.

    Why do we have to buy into the idea that we’re either ashamed of our periods or gaily flashing blood-stained clothes around? I don’t buy clothes for them to get bloodstains on ‘em, any more than I want feces or urine or vomit. I’m not ashamed of any of those body fluids, but neither do I want to have them on my clothes or skin. Wanting to be clean and comfortable isn’t the same thing. I know there’s a degree of hyperbole in these articles, but it always seems to come down to the same thing.

    Oh, and mooncups: fine if you can use them, but not everyone can, same as tampons.

    5% tax: damn, ours should be so low in Australia. Sanitary products are hit with the full 10% GST, under the reasoning that they are cosmetic. Yes, you read that right, the men who introduced that tax called them cosmetic.

    Needless to say, Viagra is not taxed.

  14. I am more embarrassed that I was unaware of the tax we are paying on these items! For fucks sake!!

    I’ve been curious about the mooncup for a while now….I think it’s time.

  15. I have never felt embarrassed to buy sanitary products. Why would it be any more embarrassing than buying toilet paper?
    I think this “apologist culture” is only there if we perpetuate it. Choose not to.

    I do absolutely refuse to buy “scented” sanitary products on principle though- why are they trying to convince us our menstrual blood is smelly?? Its just blood, therefore it smells like…just blood. We know this because we see it and smell it every month and it is not unpleasant. Sanitary companies must forget this fact- we are familiar with our own menstruation because it happens to us and it happens every month….and we know it doesn’t smell- so stop it!

  16. It CAN smell. That’s not to say I agree with scented products, but it can and does smell sometimes, so I understand entirely why some women might want to purchase these products. Perhaps some women simply don’t like the smell of blood.

    I use a mooncup because I have heavy periods and get bored of going to the toilet every hour and being paranoid about leaking, not because I’m ashamed I’m on my period, but blood can be a b*itch to get out of clothes and bedding. I use disposable pads at the same time because sometimes even the mooncup gets full so quickly I leak.

    It doesn’t matter if you use a mooncup, tampons, three pads arranged in your knickers at angles (as a friend does), kitty litter or dishrags. I agree with another poster – the only embarrassing thing is that they’re still taxed and we still have to be asking why.

  17. I think this depends much on your social group. I had no idea people found buying sanitary products embarrassing and periods have always been discussed in depth by my friend circle.

    The inconsistency in taxation is awful, though. I would like to see that fixed, though perhaps only making sustainable products (mooncups, reusable pads) entirely tax free. Tampons and plastic pads are just so wasteful.

  18. When I started my period my step mum made a very big effort to make me feel prepared and well equiped, by buying lots and lots of sanitary towels. However, the entire time, she did so with a very ‘hush, hush’ attitude, going to great lengths to shield my younger brother and dad from the shameful endeavour. One day, not to my knowlege, my tampon didn’t flush, which my step mum decided was unnaceptable (god forbid my brother had seen it and suffered emotional trauma, ya know) and I recieved a lengthy and highly embarrassing lecture.
    Fortunately for me, i have a much more balanced and outward thinking mother, who managed to salvage my dignity throughout those akward years and I have remained very open and unashamed of my period. Yet it still astounds me when I think that my step mums attitude is pretty widespread and accepted, its a shame.

  19. I remember badly needing some towels as a teen, and being out with two friends – 1 male, 1 female. It was treated like a military operation, my female friend distracting the male friend while I made my purchase. Only when we got outside he said he ‘I know what you got, I live with my mum and two sisters’ shrugged and wandered off.

    I think we are taught to be ashamed, but I also think most men probably don’t give a hoot.

  20. I have honestly never been embarrassed about buying pads or tampons, there is no reason we should be! From my first period at 13, I remember being in Superdrug with my mum a few days afterwards and proudly perusing the pads and weighing up my different options, not caring who was around – because I felt womanly with my new body function.

    I had never thought about the argument about why toilet paper is free is bathrooms but not sanitary protection but found myself “uh huh” -ing out loud as I read the penultimate paragraph – it’s all clear to me now – where there is free toilet paper there should be free tampons and pads!

    Loved this article – it made me feel all righteous and period-proud :-)

  21. I don’t feel any embarrassment about it. Whether its when I’m buying or wearing, having to take my bag to the toilet – yes so everyone will know “I’m on” – so? I’ll talk openly about trying to find protection etc. I really don’t see what the problem is – it’s just a part of human biology.

  22. I’ve been using a mooncup for 15 years now, and would never go back to tampons, ever. Tampons are only slightly less disgusting than sanitary towels.

    What’d I’d like to see now, is all large public establishments to have a washbasin in one cubicle in the loos, for those occasional times when you need to rinse out your mooncup or wash your hands without having to walk over to the washbasins with sticky fingers.

    As for VAT on sanitary items, I fully agree that they should be VAT. This is not a ‘lifestyle choice’!

  23. Uh, no. I wouldn’t urinate or defecate down my legs so I’m not going to make a mess with blood either. Jeez, do people really think this is a good idea!?

  24. “If men had periods each month you can bet all that shit would be free as fucks”

    Men need to eat too. Last time I checked Dominos don’t do 100% dickscount for men.

  25. Years ago, I rid myself of the ridiculous shame around menstruation – it just seemed so utterly silly to me – and began to talk about it naturally and openly. The horror that other women expressed at my comfort in talking about my period was most instructive. Interestingly, men seemed to have less quarrel with the honesty than women did, which I found an instructive indicator of just how messed up societal views really are.

  26. The thing I can’t get my head around with mooncups (or tampons) is the hygiene element. If i’m out and about with a period on im put off by the idea of my hands not being as clean as they could be when at home. I never want to compromise the hygiene in that area. It’s just too internal to be blasé about it.

    Also there’s the argument that this blood should naturally be flowing out of your body, not held up by a device or being absorbed internally like with a tampon. Any woman who has ever given birth knows that with lochia the blood MUST not be kept inside the body and must flow out along with a number of waste products. This makes me think periods shouldn’t really be treated any differently. This is just from my life experience.

    What are people’s thoughts on this? I’m really keen to know.

  27. Oh and I don’t really feel embarrassed by buying sanitary products anymore, i realised the less i cared the less anyone else seemed bothered by it. I suppose its a part of growing up and casting off adolescent insecurities & odd marketing agendas… and my husband always offers to buy it for me when he is out so doesn’t seem like he cares either!

  28. Razors = essentials??? what rubbish, this society is messed up.

    I wonder if babies nappies are charged vat too??

  29. Hi Maria,

    A mooncup isn’t for everyone – you do need to be ok with getting blood on your fingers and I accept not everyone is a big fan of that idea!

    I understand that you might be worried about hygiene when you are changing it on the fly, particularly because when you change a mooncup, you need a sink to rinse it out properly. A big plus is that you have to change it a lot less regularly than tampons, particularly if you don’t have heavy periods, and unlike tampons, it won’t cause toxic shock syndrome so you can leave it in all day if your flow is light enough.

    If that is the case, you are unlikely to need to change it while you are out of your house, so that should solve the issue. However, from experience I know that when you do need to change it and you can’t find a bathroom with a toilet and a sink in the same cubicle, it can be a bit frustrating!

    If you’ve been on public transport and you are worried about germs on your fingers, then a quick squirt of hand sanitizer or simply washing your hands before you remove it should do the trick. I’ve used mine for years and have never had an infection!

    In regards to blood being kept inside the body, as far as I understand it, the issue with lochia is that the womb is recovering from birth and doesn’t have the defence against bacteria that it would normally do, so it’s a bad idea to use internal products. With normal periods, as long as you give your mooncup a good clean between periods, or pop it in boiling water to sterilise it, then your body should cope with it just fine!

    The website is a good source of FAQs if you are considering it:

  30. Toilet paper is free because you need it every day, every time.

    Condoms are free not to give men a tax break, but to encourage safe sex. You probably don’t need as much encouragement to deal with your period.

    I agree that there is no need to be embarrassed, but that comes from the individual, not the government (or a profit-seeking company like Always, for that matter)

  31. OMG you are so right. I always thought the feelings of embarrassment and having to hide or conceal what was up was awful. Oh, and that feeling I got when confessing to my boyfriend that I’m not up for being ravaged right now because I’m too busy bleeding and feeling like shit. Good guys are the ones who know that they can at least be a hero for you during that time and be perfectly willing to purchase these products if needed just as if it were the same kind of basic as toilet paper. That feeling like the clerk looks at you after you pick those up like, oh, you poor thing. This is indeed a natural bodily function and it sucks that we are conditioned to feel bad or embarrassed about it. I never thought about tampons and the tax….that’s an interesting point indeed.

  32. Thanks so much for this article. I have no idea why, but growing up I always felt deeply ashamed and quite freaked out by my periods. Maybe it was because of a rumor that started at school about a girl in the year above who had gotten Toxic Shock Syndrome because she got her tampon stuck, but I distinctly remember there being a vibe at school about periods as being gross and something to be ashamed of.

    I remember being horribly embarrassed whenever I bought tampons or towels and feeling paranoid that random people in the street would be able to tell I was on my period. SO weird! I’ve definitely gotten over that now and for the most part, I’m totally relaxed and happy about my periods. They’re natural and I’m glad I still have them! I really wish I could’ve been taught from an early age that periods are nothing to feel dirty or ashamed about.

  33. Using smelly pads advertises the fact that the woman menstruates to anybody with a nose and who knows the DISTINCT smell of these products.

    For any women who uses these to hide the fact of, it’s clearly counterproductive.

    Well, the article makes a point of not feeling ashamed, so of course you can just continue to use them if you like the smell for how it smells.

    I also wondered what the scent (or other byproducts) would do to her skin.

    I always appreciate women who did not make a fuss out of menstruation. They satisfied my curiosity about the mystery and helped make it a just normal matter.

    So big thumbs up for this article, I definitely totally agree with it.

  34. Yeah everyone knows you get periods if you’re a woman so people needn’t freak out when they see your tampons/pads on the conveyor belt. Sure, try telling that to whichever teenager’s operating the till, but if you don’t give a f*** other people will start giving less of a fuck. IHowever, the constant need to buy sanitary stuff reeeeeeally pisses me off. I didn’t ask to bleed, and my body’s already paying for it in pain without my bank account feeling it too.

  35. I don’t see any reason to feel embarrassed when I buy tampons or pads. It’s just my body doing its job every month and I’m glad about it. My parents never made a fuss about it and it’s no problem for me or my mum to say at home that one of us is “on”. My Dad and my brother are not disgusted, they rather pity us when we’re grumpy and in pain all day. I’m glad they react that way but some of my male friends behave strangely when they find out I’m on my period, like they would rather forget that they’ve asked why I couldn’t go to the pool with them. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, girls, your body is only doing its job and it’s a sign it’s working! Don’t apologise for your body doing its goddamn job. Men don’t apologise for farting and they almost shove it in your face.

  36. Ha! I’ll go you one better – I once had a male friend mansplain to me how to deal with blood on fabric.

  37. Great article and comments – thanks to the person who posted that petition link! Just wanted to respond to a couple of people mentioning heavy bleeding – after years of increasingly heavy periods (but not feeling like I had a bad enough deal to seek help) I finally complained to a GP and was prescribed tranexamic acid tablets – absolute game changer. I now take these little beauties for the first few days of my period and they’ve cut my bleeding by about 40% – no more leaky mooncup. I’m annoyed that I didn’t ask for help years ago – in no small part because of the culture we’re talking about here.

  38. Yes, great point! I’ve finally been prescribed tranexamic acid. Alongside my trusty mefenamic acid for the pain, it’s made my life so much easier. However, I had to experiment with four different types of Pill (results: heavy, really heavy, lighter but suicidal, back to heavy) before I got fed up and just asked about a non-hormonal alternative – I wish the GP had mentioned it years ago!

  39. Great article, honestly didn’t know we got taxed on them, never really thought about it. Perhaps the tax we are made to pay could be made to those ‘worst period of her life’ adverts we see on the train, instead of into the pockets of men so repulsed of where the money has come from. That or we can slap them with dirty pads until they stop making us pay for something as necessary as sanitary products!

  40. Thanks for replying and for the info. Yes I’m one of those who likes to minimise icky mess on my fingers as i have very heavy periods – Its killer, but its fine so long as I know my body & what is taking place! Also living in London and using public transport makes me extra cautious about hygiene so that’s why I’m put off inserting anything. Thanks for your honesty & time.

  41. First, as has already been mentioned, everyone should get a moon cup, they take a little while to get used to but are life changing and save you an enormous amount of money in the long run.

    Second, as an Italian I have always been so surprised by the way menstruation is treated in the UK (don’t get me wrong we have ridiculous adverts and marketing in Italy too) but no one is ashamed of their period. I was 15 when I got my first period on the beach in Italy. I immediately rang my mum who proceeded to call my entire extended family, uncles included telling them the wonderful news. I received more phone calls then on my birthday and we went out for dinner to celebrate that night!

    Perhaps my family is a bit excessive but menstruation is treated as a rite of passage and something to be proud of, not ashamed. I highly recommend this approach as I have never had any problems talking about menstruation with boyfriends, friends or my dad and am always so surprised by my female friends who go to extreme lengths to hide it from their partners.

  42. I have been trying to be a personal antagonist against the menstrual shame machine since my adolescence. I took to shock tactics and spoke graphically about what has happening to me every time I menstruated, particularly targeting my male friends. Though I doubt I converted them to a more progressive view I felt like at least I was doing my bit for the cause!! Mind you I have also been guilty of doing the walk of shame with my bag/products up sleeve/jammed conspicuously in tight pockets sheepishly scuttling to the bathroom when needing to sort myself out, often in work situations, but I am actively trying to stop doing that too. I think that stems from being in situations where you would be more embarrassed at someone’s shameful horrified reaction than what you actually need to do.
    Regarding shame buying menstrual products, I couldn’t even fathom caring about it; the last time I bought tampons (the 99c supermarket own brand kind, which are just fine!!) I bought 5 packs as I was so angry with myself for almost running out last cycle. I don’t even recall if the checkout assistant noticed, I don’t recall noticing myself apart from my boyfriend claiming that it seemed like slightly mad behaviour? However I assured him that since he had no experience of ever needing or running out of such products that his opinion was entirely invalid. I’ve had adverse reactions from men in the past regarding period sex, but my boyfriend of 13 years has absolutely no problem engaging in bloody sex. If I’m game for it, as in not too pain filled or feeling yuk, then he will happily get down to it. We have even had occasions where we’ve both ended up slightly smeared with my menstrual blood; frankly I think it can be quite erotic, I believe he feels similarly. The scented pantyliner/sanitary pad thing really gets my goat, the scents are vile and having (accidentally, as in bought or been bought the wrong kind) used such products in the past I can attest to having a nasty allergy to them also. So I would rather stink (although I really have never experienced anyone’s menstrual musk being that pungent, including my own) than have an itchy vagina.
    The tax thing is appalling, I’m not sure how it works here in Ireland but no doubt we are being royally screwed on VAT for “female hygiene” products somewhere along the line.

  43. Disabled toilets usually have a wash basin that could be used for rinsing? After months of contemplating, I am now sold on giving moon cup a try, thanks!

  44. When I was younger I used to get so angry about the fact that women and girls had to deal with blood gushing out of them every month – especially on holidays when it would prevent me from freaking swimming which I love more than anything (I was scared of tampons). Menstrual blood staining things and leaking and the constant anxiety about a leak, and male family members getting all flustered if I mentioned anything. They are real inconveniences and it made me so angry to be a woman – especially because I don’t want children.

    Now I realise that all along I should have just been angry at the way they are dealt with by society, particularly men. I think boys should be taught everything about periods from age 13 + so that they are as familiar with the idea of them as young girls are, and a support system would exist instead of a culture of shame and guilt for the process that allows PROCREATION for god’s sake.

  45. This is one of my biggest rants, how period products are so expensive and how I have to carry around a makeup bag with extra large pads because I can’t pop a dainty pad in a tiny compartment to be discreet, I have a heavy flow dammit and these tiny things don’t work. And to unexpectedly get your period abroad and have to pay a quarter of my meal money in a holiday on measly little thin things that don’t help a bit. Really made my holiday to Athens a misery

  46. I was told by my (ex)boyfriend not to leave a tampon in the bathroom in case his younger brother (aged 16) saw it!

  47. This site is the female power equivalent of the kkk (White Power) chat forums.

    A boy is equally as embarrassed about purchasing condoms from a menopausal supermarket checkout woman who hasn’t been touched in the last decade. In Ireland, condoms are not free and they are subject to 21% VAT and men are expected to buy them, as if it wasn’t a shared experience.

    As a man I will tell you, we don’t give a crap that you are either buying tampons etc or going to the toilet with your handbag, most think you are touching up your make up. Your own paranoia is not the fault of all mankind.

    BUT talking to anybody, including men about your flow is like a bloke telling you how big his shit was. We know it happens, nobody wants the details, that why you deal with it in private, if it was a public matter we would be defecating in the street.

  48. I think menstrual pads are more essential than toilet paper.
    Menstruation involves constant bleeding that doesn’t stop when we’re in public.
    We spend more time bleeding each month (ie: 5 days straight) than peeing (probs 1 minute per each time we go to the restroom).