I found this comment online and want to respond to it: “I seriously have to wonder
why vaginal bleeding should be so glorified, and not say, runny noses.” Below are my thoughts on why menstruation is something worth talking openly about & putting a value on:
1. To counter the shame (and silence) of menstruation: Most women who are “glorifying” periods are doing it to counter the shame (and silence) that society puts on menstruation. Our society sees menstruation (and particularly menstrual blood) as absolutely gross. Societal taboos make periods something that women have to go through silently while
hiding all evidence (for instance, most women – or at least me! – are too embarrassed to use a hot water bottle at work, or to say “I have menstrual cramps” when calling in sick).
2. As a way to see a difficult inescapable event more positively: However horrible it often is, most women do have to menstruate each month, and it may be easier for them to deal with it if they can see the positives in it.
3. Menstruation is associated with health/fertility– Menstruation ties women to the ‘circle of life’. It indicates that we are healthy, and it can be a sign that we are fertile. Menstruation is a time for many women to ‘reconnect’ with their body, get to know it better, and nurture it more.
For me, menstruation is a significant & somewhat painful event that my body undergoes each month, so I can’t just ignore it like I would a runny nose. On the first two days of my period each month I am thinking about it a lot of the time because of the pain. Because my period affects me quite a lot it cannot just be a neutral event for me, I have to assign some meaning to it (whether positive, negative, or mixed). Women who have much more difficult & painful periods than mine might find it a struggle to do anything but totally resent them, but even then their periods mean something – they are not neutral, meaningless events like runny noses.
The only time the significance of menstruation couldbe compared to that of a runny nose is when women have easy periods with little pain. For women like that, having a period could be a simply a meaningless, neutral and forgettable monthly event (much like a runny nose).