Opinion: The detrimental stigma around periods


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Graphic of a woman holding feminine products

Even in the year 2023, the world lives in disgust of the only blood shed that isn’t in the form of violence. Women have dealt with periods since the beginning of time, yet menstruation is still a topic many don’t feel comfortable talking about openly. 

Menstruation happens once every month for women who have gone through puberty. Many people believe periods are dirty, and should be kept a secret. But it’s time for that idea to change. 

“There is definitely a stigma to having a period even though it’s something that pretty much anyone with a uterus experiences,” Sarah Knudston, AICE Digital Media and AP art teacher, said.

Women go through painful and uncomfortable feelings for around 7 days, and yet still go to work, school, take care of children and a home. We should make things a little easier for women all over the world. The start? A conversation and an education.

“We’ve normalized things like extreme cramping or feeling sick. And mental health disorders that are worsened with your menstrual cycle. We’ve normalized just asking ‘is it that time of the month?’ to any girl feeling upset,” Knudston said.

Sometimes a woman will make the personal decision to go on birth control, specifically to help cramping, nausea and overall feelings of sickness. Birth Control can be helpful, but for some there are side effects: weight gain, headaches and mood changes. 

“Some girls need birth control to manage the pain. Birth control is a very personal decision, but it can help a lot,” Alex Storey, registered nurse, said.  

It seems like women are still considered less than men, but at Jupiter High School, many clubs want to eliminate the stigma. Thanks to Ryan Choe and Mina Robinson, their Period Club does just that.

“The club, Period, at our school is looking to have members of our club and sister clubs put red keychains on their backpacks to basically signal to girls that they have products for you in a subtle way for those who struggle to ask,” Robinson, co-founder and junior,  said.

It’s felt that many people all over the world are not educated on women’s bodies, causing women to feel the need to hide. One example of that is the lack of menstrual products in public bathrooms. 

“In Florida it’s illegal to have dispensaries for tampons,” Robinson said. In many states, menstrual products are luxury taxed,” Robinson said. 

The ideology that women are “impure” or “dirty” while menstruating is a small minded thought that many maintain. This idea is thought of all over the world. In the Solomon Islands located in Oceania, periods are still taboo. Girls must not let their brothers know–it’s a secret that must be kept. 

Women need more credit. Their bodies are made to carry babies for 9 months and create food for their newborn. Yet, many girls are considered “gross” while their body is going through a natural bodily cycle.

“The reason everyone is on the earth is because of a woman who has had periods. It’s something that needs to be normalized,” Storey said.