by Karen Rose
By now, most of us have seen the video of Chinese swimmer and Olympic darling, Fu Yuanhui being interviewed after her team placed fourth in a medley relay. She nonchalantly mentioned being on her period, and youʻd think the the tomb of Ming Dynasty cracked open and swallowed the Great Wall of China.
To recap her interview, Fu said, “I feel like I didn’t swim very well today and I want to apologize to my teammates for that…actually my period started last night, so I’m feeling pretty weak and really tired.”
Chinese fans applauded her candor and Fu became an internet sensation for simply mentioning a bodily function as natural as breathing. Media in the U.S. jumped on the bandwagon, citing Chinese societal taboos against speaking of menstruation.
However, truth be told, our country has its own issues around periods. Media may play off this innocent remark by Fu as being culturally significant to China, but letʻs take a look at our own social narrative around womenʻs bodies and blood.
Do you think the good olʻ USA doesn’t have issues? We currently have a presidential candidate who is clearly so baffled by the thought of blood coming out of a womanʻs vagina that rather than answer a difficult question from a female journalist, he accused her of being on her period (ʻaccusedʻ as in being named a defendant in a criminal act).
Sorry Donald, but your mother could not have created you without all that thick, oozy red stuff building up in the lining of her uterus. And while many of us wish your mother never had a period, the fact remains that you exist, and therefore she bled. So the next time you ʻaccuseʻ a woman of being on her period, think of the monthly blood bath that allows us to bring spawn such as yourself into the world.
When itʻs time to bleed out, a real man goes to the market, buys a nice big box of tampons, ice cream, and a bottle of wine to offer up as a big fat thank you for our contribution to the propagation of the species. They donʻt complain that you left a box of tampons on the bathroom counter just to gross them out. Clearly we love shoving cotton plugs up our vaginas so we donʻt stain the earth with menstrual blood.
Keeping these things quiet and hidden is all about making others comfortable and not reminding them that sometimes sexuality is messy. Of course the spewing and splattering blood on Game of Thrones is completely acceptable because itʻs not coming from a vagina.
All this being said, I think itʻs high time women stop protecting men from our evil menstrual activities. Go on ladies, grab that tampon. Stick it behind your ear, so it will be available when you need it most. It could be the new hair accessory. A bloody brilliant one. Donʻt hide that tampon box. Make a beautiful bouquet of plugs, arranged artistically with some bright red flowers to adorn the back of your toilet seat.
Now open that pint of Ben and Jerryʻs and rejoice in the flow that says, “Hell yes! Iʻm Not Pregnant!”