Tag Archives: feminism

101 Thoughts I Have While on My Period

Periods suck. Unfortunately, half the global population deals with them–or dealt with, bless you souls–on a monthly basis.

Please enjoy this stream of consciousness list of thoughts I have every month. Note: This is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.

  1. Are you gonna eat that?
  2. Someone please carve out my uterus.
  3. Oh, great, diarrhea.
  4. If men had ovaries…
  5. *Sobbing* But that puppy only had three legs!
  6. Am I dying?
  7. Pretty sure I’m dying.
  8. Wow, I have reached a new level of cranky.
  9. How do men put up with hormonal women?
  10. In need of a sign that says, “Get out of my way, I’m menstruating.”
  11. Why is everyone so loud today?
  12. It’s really only been 7 minutes since I last ate?
  13. My bloated stomach looks like a loaf of bread.
  14. Look at me, still thinking about food.
  15. How many more days is this going to last?
  16. Can I just hibernate for the rest of the week?
  17. It feels like there’s an anvil in my uterus.
  18. This better all be worth it when I have kids.
  19. My poor bed, I remember when you didn’t have period stains.
  20. Why don’t they make black mattresses?
  21. There goes another pair of underwear.
  22. No but seriously, that was my favorite underwear.
  23. I literally have no period-free underwear left.
  24. Was that just the wind or am I leaking down there?
  25. Probably bleeding onto my scrubs but I’m over it.
  26. Why are tampons so expensive?
  27. Maxi pads feel like a diaper.
  28. Wow, these farts could kill a person.
  29.  UTERUS FOR SALE!
  30. There’s an army of angry minions inside me.
  31. Oh, hey, back pain. You’re back.
  32. *Googles: How much of my life will I be on my period?*
  33. Hey. I asked if you were gonna eat that?
  34. YOUR PERIOD ONLY LASTS HOW MANY DAYS?
  35. Life isn’t fair.
  36. I wish I was a man.
  37. No I don’t.
  38. I wish men had periods.
  39. I wish men understood what it’s like to have a period.
  40. I wish periods were universal among women.
  41. Can someone please scratch my head?
  42. And feed me?
  43. Wow, that’s a lot of blood.
  44. Good thing I’ve gotten over my fear of–
  45. Oh my God, I’m going to pass out.
  46. Periods are gross.
  47. I feel really gross right now.
  48. *Sobbing* Why am I so gross!?
  49. And ohmygod, those bags under my eyes!
  50. I just want to cry.
  51. I just want to sleep.
  52. *Searches: “Top 10 Movies to Watch On Your Period”*
  53. *Watches movie and cries like it’s “Titanic” IRL*
  54. Why am I so emotional?
  55. Ohmygod, I can’t stop crying.
  56. But that three-legged dog!!!
  57. How will I ever get through work tomorrow?
  58. BUT I DON’T WANNA GO TO WORK TOMORROW.
  59. Women should be allowed additional sick days because OUR FALLOPIAN TUBES HATE US ONCE A MONTH.
  60. HEY. YOU. THEY CAN HEAR YOU CHEWING ALL THE WAY IN AFRICA.
  61. Food is my favorite.
  62. Free uterus!!!!
  63. Is someone punching my ovaries?
  64. Two thumbs up for diarrhea.
  65. Oh geez, and nausea.
  66. Oh boy, I’m dizzy, too.
  67. Must be because I’ve lost FIVE GALLONS OF MY INSIDES.
  68. World, why you gotta be so cruel?
  69. Girls rule the world.
  70. *Listens to Girl Power playlist*
  71. “If this period doesn’t kill me it’ll make me strongerrrrr, stand a little talllllller”
  72. Maybe I’ll feel better if I go for a run?
  73. Wait, let me poop out the rest of my insides first.
  74. Look at me running like a homicide isn’t happening in my pants.
  75. I feel like my vagina fell off at mile 3.
  76. “My period hasn’t killed me, I am strongerrrrrr.”
  77. Wait. But my period might kill me.
  78. *texts girlfriend: “Why does my uterus hate me?”
  79. *texts other girlfriend random period question*
  80. *breathes sigh of relief with friend’s response*
  81. *friend says she’s on her period, too*
  82. *texts her: “Soulmates.”*
  83. *crying* My friends are the best.
  84. There is nothing to eat in this house!
  85. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.
  86. I could literally tread water in my period blood.
  87. It is literally like Old Faithful has sprung out of my vagina.
  88. I DON’T CARE IF THAT’S GROSS.
  89. YOU TRY HAVING A PERIOD LIKE THIS.
  90. I’m sorry, I love you.
  91. I just love love so much.
  92. I need to be alone right now.
  93. I wish I had a pet.
  94. Animals are the only ones that understand.
  95. Wait, if I got my period today does that mean that I’ll have it when…
  96. *curses like a sailor*
  97. I have Satan for a uterus.
  98. The universe is literally conspiring against me.
  99. This is the worst day of my life.
  100. Wake me when it’s over.
  101. Are you gonna eat that?
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I Like My Men Emotional

My dad was the first man I ever saw cry. The second was my grandpa.

I was in fourth grade when the priest at our church passed away. That was the first time I experienced death, and the first time I saw tears slip down my father’s cheeks. In future years, I would see him cry at funerals, when we buried our guinea pigs in the backyard, and when we held our dog as he slipped over the Rainbow Bridge. Later, I would see him cry out of pride–when he walked my sister down the aisle on her wedding day, when he told his three daughters how proud he was of our independence.

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I was in eighth grade when I saw my grandpa cry for the first and only time in my life. My grandma had just passed away. Grandpa and I were standing on his porch, looking out at the street. We were both quiet, processing the hard truth of saying goodbye. Then out of nowhere he started bawling.

At thirteen years old, I was somewhat taken aback. Women, I was used to seeing cry like this. But what do you do when you are the sole witness to the painful tears of someone who society paints as a pillar of protection and strength? What do you do when you’re young and naive and still not quite sure about this thing they call life?

My grandpa opened up to me in that moment more than he would ever open up to me in the sixteen years that I knew him. “I don’t know what to do,” he told me. “I just loved her so much.”

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With those two sentences, he unlocked the door to his heart, sharing with me his deepest fear. He made himself vulnerable. And it made me love him more than I thought I could.

A girl standing next to a grown man sobbing, I didn’t know if there was a right or wrong thing to do, so I just hugged him and cried, too.

We live in a world of stereotypes. Men are supposed to be stoic; women are supposed to be emotional. Men are the strong ones; women are the weak ones.

At least that’s what we’ve always been told.

But females are paving a way for ourselves. We are shattering glass ceilings, we are dissolving stereotypes, we are striving for equality. And many men are right there with us in solidarity. Yet much of our fighting is to have the same rights as men.

What about the men in the world? Who is fighting for them to have the same rights as women?

I like my men emotional.

It has taken me 28 years to truly accept that my emotions are not a curse. Twenty-eight years, and I, a woman, finally see that emotions take off my blinders to the world, that they give me empathy and compassion.

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When I am sitting on my friend’s couch sobbing because my heart is broken into a thousand pieces, when I am screaming into my best friend’s pillow because I can’t process today let alone tomorrow, when I am a blubbery mess relaying my insecurities over a phone line, when I am blotchy and tear-stained and at my absolute ugliest… I am at my most vulnerable.

Allowing myself to be this way, to ask for help and let others see me in pain, is one of the strongest things I will ever do.

And when a man cries on my shoulder, be it out of joy or anguish, whether friend, family or partner, he is, in that moment, the most beautiful man I know. He is honest, unadulterated and incredibly human. He carries the strength of a hundred men.

I have listened to the sobs of my friend’s brother as he eulogized his father. I have mingled my tears with my best friend’s as we held each other and processed a suicide. I have watched a man swipe a finger under his eye as he married the woman of his dreams, and then later when he held their child in his arms. I have seen tears glisten in the sun as men relayed their survival stories following Hurricane Joaquin. I have shaken strangers’ hands after they told me that my performance on-stage made them well up. I have hugged crying men as I packed up my bags and moved on to my next adventure and others who have cried upon my surprise return. I have heard the wails of dozens of males as they watched their beloved pet take one last breath. I have held an ex’s hand with one of my own and collected his tears with my other as he cried and broke my heart.

And I know that if these are the faces of the next generation of patriarchs, then the future is bright.

The Hardest Part About Being Single is You

Chocolate candy hearts are filling grocery store shelves. Plush teddy bears smile at me while I peruse the produce section. The scent of spring attacks my allergies as I step through the automatic doors.

Single people can’t hide from the Hallmark holiday. Valentine’s Day is near.

For most of my adult life, I’ve been single on February 14. My first Valentine’s Day in college, I’d just broken up with my high school boyfriend. Actually, my first ever boyfriend.

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My newly minted independence was made all too apparent come Singles Awareness Day. But my guy friends pulled me through. One male friend, who was dating my female bestie at the time, surprised me with a rose. He said he knew the day would be hard for me. I told him I would never forget that gesture and, obviously, I haven’t. He remains a dear friend a decade later.

Another male friend, who is essentially my soulmate, gave me ridiculous greeting cards that had nothing to do with Cupid’s affairs—“congratulations on your baby” and “happy birthday” with a bikini clad woman, a palm tree, and an inappropriate joke… I have those cards ten years later.

Still, I’ve had some pretty crappy Valentine’s Days while in relationships. Sure, sure, it’s a cheesy holiday where you’re reminded, just shy of forced, to show your affection. I’d much rather receive flowers on say… a Tuesday… in the middle of fall. That’s when it really, truly comes from the heart.

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But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to celebrate at least a teeny bit. And in two relationships, I did cutesie little things for the boyfriends and bleck, V-Day wasn’t even acknowledged. (Okay, red flag, I should have high-tailed it out of there. More on that another time.)

I’m never too old to hand out cartoon, paper, wallet-sized cards that I’ve torn along the perforated edges and individually addressed to my co-workers and favorite humans. I’m always ready to celebrate Galentine’s Day.

But really, I’m okay with being single.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being in a relationship. It’s nice to have someone who I can rely on at the drop of a hat. It’s wonderful having someone to scratch my head whenever I ask (ughhhhhh, someonecomescratchmyhead) or sometimes without asking (ughhhhhh seriouslycomescratchmyhead). It takes a load off when someone can feed me after a 10-hour shift. Being sick is easier when I’m in a relationship. A lot of life is easier when I’m in a relationship. Even with the challenges and compromises dating brings.

But really, I’m okay with being single.

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So many of the accomplishments I made in the last year, so many of the milestones in my entire life have happened—have had to happen—because I’m single. Because climbing these peaks takes incredible time, energy and sacrifice. My journey has required a great amount of focus on myself.

And really, it’s all been necessary. I’ve seen too many people who need to be in a relationship to be complete. I don’t want someone else to complete me. I want to be complete by being just me.

I believe that we should fully know ourselves before we commit to someone else, but I’ve stopped trying to instill my beliefs on others. If they want to listen, they can, but they don’t have to. It’s their life to live, their happiness to create. Yet too many people haven’t stopped trying to instill their beliefs, their insecurities, in me.

The hardest part about being single? It’s you.

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Too often, in the first five minutes that I catch up with someone on the phone, I get asked, “Soooo… have you met a guy yet?” The answer I now give took me repeating it a dozen times before I finally believed it, because some days being single is hard. Some days being single sucks. Some weeks I whine about how I’m single, but then I remember all the good that being single has done for me.

And so I respond with, “Nope! I’m happily single!” I really don’t want to spend the next 30 minutes being pitied for being alone.

These are really, truly, the top responses I receive (from people I love) when I dare talk about my dating life, or lack thereof:

  1. You should just go to a bar and meet someone.
  2. Have you thought about online dating?
  3. But do you really want to have a baby when you’re 40?
  4. No one is perfect.

The hardest part about being single is you.

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I love you, dear friends, but please stop suggesting that I bring home the local drunk to scratch my head and make me dinner. Please stop suggesting I use my precious free time to click on Match.com profiles. Please stop suggesting that anyone should have an opinion about my ovaries other than me. And for the love of Pete, please, please stop suggesting I settle.

I know no one is perfect. I am not perfect. But the man who I end up marrying—in two years, five years, ten—will be perfect for me. We will be the same and different. We will be beautifully flawed. We will have our own insecurities and neuroses. We will challenge, encourage and support each other. We will place equal value in alone time and togetherness. We will complement one another. We will chase our own dreams and we will chase dreams together. We will love in a way that works for us.

When I fall in love, I promise. You’ll know. And what a lucky man he’ll be, cause I got lots of love to give and Imma love him something fierce.

I value your friendship. I love you for you. I love your significant other, whether you met at a bar or online, whether or not you choose to have children, and whether or not you’re perfect.

So please. Let’s get to the point where the hardest part about being single is not having someone to scratch my head.

Womanhood & Manhood, A Uterine Tale

My roommate found my rice sock in the oven the other day. I had to explain to her why a lone reindeer sock was sitting in a casserole dish ready to be baked at a low temperature.

In case you’ve never heard of them, rice socks are exactly that: socks filled with rice. When heated, the rice retains its warmth for a long time, so you’ve got yourself a cheap yet efficient heating pad. I use them for period cramps.

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Pinterest/Modishgeek.com

So when my good friend, Simon, WhatsApped me one rainy fall morning asking me how I was doing, I told him honestly, with details. Because you know me. I never hold back. And because Simon is a mature and caring man, he didn’t crawl away into cyberspace when I started talking about my bleeding vagina. He engaged himself in period chat, and humanity is better off because of it.

After explaining to him what a rice sock was, the menstruation conversation began. It started off like this:

Me: Simon! Can we trade uteruses for a day? I need a break from mine.

Simon: Erm. I can’t find mine.

Me: Lucky.

Simon: Is that bad? It might still be lost in my previous life.

Me: It probably means something medically. I wouldn’t worry about it until you become symptomatic.

When I thanked my friend for humoring my menstrual comedy, he wanted to know what it was really like when my floodgates open every month. (And for that, Simon, I am truly grateful.)

Simon: Do you get very emotional during this time?

Me: Oh my God, I get everything. My bed and pants always look like I went out and committed a homicide in the middle of the night and then just slept it off.

And then I continued to explain to him the glory of my womanhood.

Me: And I get really cranky and extra irritable. And crampy. And back pain. And diarrhea. And nauseous. And dizzy. And clumsy. And tired. And can’t sleep. And I eat a lot more than usual, which is A LOT.

In other words, I’m like a bear about to hibernate but trying to fight nature.

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Tumblr.com

And then he needed clarification on the homicide. I first had to excuse myself to change the tampon I’d just put in 45 minutes ago because I was leaking onto my underwear.

Simon: But all over the bed and pants?

Me: Sometimes I find a trail when I wake up in the morning. Into the bathroom.

Simon: Ok. So yes. I am reading this right.

Me: Once, I bled on my slippers. I considered that an accomplishment. Skills.

And then Simon wanted to know more.

Simon: Are there ways to not bleed on everything?

Me: If Old Faithful isn’t shooting out from your vagina, then most definitely. But I was blessed with a very heavy flow.

Simon: So do you like use darker sheets? Tampons? I heard some girls talking about a cup.

And then we discussed tampons and pads and cups and my bedtime period ritual to try not to stain the mattress. I had to explain to him that my cup would overfloweth, that I could benefit from a transfusion when I’m menstruating.

So now Simon understands that for one week out of every month, my period bloat makes me feel like a disheveled 55-year-old man with a beer belly eating Fritos on the couch with his hand down his pants. I really look more like a zombie from my sleepless nights and anemia. But I wouldn’t mind sitting on the couch eating Fritos.

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However, I am forced to ignore the cramping, bundle up, and hop on my bike to head to work on this rainy day, where I cry when a dog looks at me because it’s just too much, and where I must paste a smile on my face despite my irritability at the fact that that table won’t stop getting in my way.

At other work places, I used to secretly dip into my backpack to grab a tampon and slither to the bathroom, hopefully camouflaged in my purple scrub top against the beige wall. Now I work at a place with all females, so when I get to the toilet and realize I need a tampon that I don’t have, I can confidently shout to my gal pal colleagues, “Help a sister out!”

But workforce period etiquette isn’t the only place where fully embracing our monthly apocalypse gets stifled. Culturally, there are contrasts in appropriate ways to deal with the red-headed Aunt Jemima.

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Wanna-joke.com

Simon is from Jamaica. We discussed periods across cultures, because when I lived on a remote island in the Bahamas, I had to order tampons off Amazon on account of the limited grocery supply due to cultural differences.

In America, we are fighting for women’s rights. I’ve lived in, worked in, and visited many countries in which such a fight is centuries away from anyone’s mind. But that doesn’t mean the fight isn’t worthy. Hey, newsflash. Women represent 50% of the global population.

My sister is writing a book about the taboo of menstruation across cultures. So, we talk about periods in my family. My dad was the only male in a house of four females (unless you count the dog), so he’s pretty well-versed in feminine monthlies. When my period poem (yes, I wrote one) was published in Witty Bitches magazine, my dad apologized that I had to go through this every month. MY PRECIOUS FATHER. What a man, what a man, what a jolly good man.

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Cosmopolitan

I predict that few men will read, like, or comment on this post, because too many men are not drawn to a story that has the words “uterine” and “womanhood” in the title, let alone want to engage in commentary about the subject. But that’s the topic of this post, so I didn’t think I’d be doing it justice if I called it “Beer, Cars, and Sports.” (That’s what men like, right?)

Too few people are proud enough to call themselves feminists, because they forget that being a feminist is, perhaps, the single most caring thing you can do for your best friend, wife, girlfriend, daughter, or sister.

Really, we should all call ourselves feminists.

Men, this is your chance. Prove me wrong. Prove to us women folk that you care what goes on inside our bodies. Ask us what it is like to lament about not being able to wear white for one week every month, not just after Labor Day.

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Stay At Home Mum

If you’re a man offended by this post, I will set a crazy pregnant lady upon you.

If you’re a woman offended by this, please open up a discussion about it. If we keep our mouths closed, we are just as guilty as Donald Trump throwing sexual insults at us from the podium.

P.S. Simon gave me permission to use his name and our menstruation conversation. That’s a good man, people.

P.P.S. Please do yourself a favor and google period memes. (I made the first one, and I’m pretty proud of it.)

Periods Suck: Menses in the Night

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FunnyAnd.com

Sorry for all you closeted Puritans out there who don’t want to talk about it, but periods are a real part of life. And us women have to deal with them. Often. Like, once a month often for half our lives.

And for some of us, it epically sucks.

Some ladies get cramps so bad we just want to lay on the couch with a heating pad and a box of Cheez-its all day. But we have to make ourselves presentable for society and get off our butts to make money to buy an endless supply of cotton. Menses in the workplace, not a fun thing.

Sometimes we have a game or a performance or, God forbid, our wedding, and the Menses have decided it’s the perfect time to make an appearance, rearing their ginger head most unwelcomingly. White after labor day? Whatever. White on your period? Forget it.

I wrote a stream-of-conscious ode to the Menses in the night for Witty Bitches magazine. Menses in the night=a whole new battle of epic proportions. Whether you’re a gal or a guy or a gal who doesn’t really, um, feel comfortable talking about that stuff, it’s time you joined modern women in turning period talk from taboo to normal.