WTF Aunt Flow

Self-Clean TNT.jpg

From my soapbox…

So…. You would think that by my age, I have come to terms with having a period.  I mean, I’ve dealt with “aunt flow” since the lovely age of 13.  I have spent countless dollars on tampons, pads, and Motrin…not to mention panties thanks to inevitable accidents…  and lets not forget the money I spent on birth control that helped regulate it and keep it in check, for a time.  What a life suck, I swear.  I mean, lets be real.  This thing comes on, most of the time it is never when you expect it, it causes pain, terrible emotions and mood swings, and don’t forget cravings and being made to feel fat!  Most women have mild symptoms and many have severe.  And there is a whole range of shit to deal with.  I mean, once it gets started you’ve got many years of dealing with it.  It never gets better.  Sure, if you get pregnant, majority of the time it goes away…  but then once you have a baby you have to keep watch for it to come back!  You get 9 months of period free bliss, of never having to worry about it.  No buying tampons or pads, no stained panties (or bed sheets for that matter) and no nasty side affects.  Sure, being pregnant is its own thing but that is much more blissful than a period, at least for most, just saying.   

You hear at a young age that some cultures celebrate it and how exciting it is…   All I thought about was, “Great, its my turn. My friends warned me about this.”  I didn’t have a mom who wanted to explain it to me, she just wanted to tell me, don’t worry about that until you are older…  Well, then I was older and I learned about it from my friends who were 3 years older than me.  Seriously… WHO WANTS TO CELEBRATE THIS?!?!?!?!   I was moody and felt like crap.  I didn’t want to do anything.  I felt gross.  Tell me again, why this is a good thing?  OH YEAH, so it lets you know that you aren’t pregnant…  but that you are very capable of becoming pregnant.  It’s your body’s way of “self cleaning”.  Wait…  Self cleaning?  You mean, like an oven?  GREAT!  Gives a whole new perspective to that saying “Got a bun in the oven”.  What kind of joke is that?  Still not celebrating…  And lets not forget the countless jokes that men come up with for it.  “I don’t trust anything that bleeds for more than 5 days and doesn’t die.”  This is the most common one I have heard.  How men think that is funny to say to a woman that is on her period has always been beyond me.  That is just asking for crazy moods to blast out from some women.  Now, I don’t offend easily, so I usually would find something to come back with, like “Well, you can still trust me, I don’t bleed that long.”  Still, I could only really throw that one out there when I was in my 20’s though, when I was on birth control pills.  Oh lets not forget that stuff…it helps some control cramps and other nasty side effects but it also helps some gain a bunch of weight.  I was one of the lucky ones that did not gain weight from them but it caused other problems I could have done without.  That is for another day and time though.  

Did you know that the first patented tampons were invented by a man?  Oh, of course they were!  Really, it was women going all the way back to Egypt who were coming up with different things to use.  Now, I was a little disturbed that some of the Greek women were wrapping lint around small pieces of wood… that does not sound comfortable.  A man got the idea from a friend who told him she had come up with a way to deal with her period that was more comfortable and worked from the inside, using a sponge.  Next thing you know, this guy, who, at least, was a doctor, started experimenting and low and behold, the tampon with applicator was born!  He trademarked a name, sold it to a business woman who went on to create the company we now have today and went into mass production.  Those suckers hit the shelves in the 30’s.  The next major tampon was created by a woman. A German gynecologist, this time.  It had no applicator and so was more environmentally friendly, but, not many want to deal with pushing it in with their finger and then having to dig it back out.  (Ummm, yeah, no…I’m good, thanks…) This woman then partnered with another doctor and created that company, which also still exists today, after being sold to a major company that will remain unnamed.  They are all making bank off of women’s bodily fluids.  Great.  Sure,  before tampons there were only pads, which in some cases, seem to have some questionable materials or chemicals in them, but that is its own controversy.  But what about before that?  Oh my gosh… cloth or rags, cotton, sheep wool…  some even used rabbit fur??? Hell no.  And grass?  Gee, that sounds appealing and comfortable!  

I guess in the end I’d rather have tampons than pads for the most part…  And I definitely don’t want grass in my panties!!  I’m just saying, women may have a harder time with some things in life.  I mean, just for having a period, we have migraines, cramps, bloating, and many other problems.  We want chocolate, no something salty, no both…no just anything…junk food… nom, nom, nom…  We feel like a cow!  Our clothes don’t fit right, and don’t even try to go shopping for anything that goes around your waist!  Mild exercise is supposed to help relieve some of the symptoms of cramping and the like, the problem is that it takes too much for some to get to that point.  Curl up in bed with a book, a chocolate bar, and some tissue… screw it, I’m sleeping through at least 2 of these days!  It’s what you want to do sometimes.  Drag out of bed, get ready for work/school/whatever… Put on the fake smile and pray you don’t bite someone’s head off.   Seriously, I know that women all have their own issues with their period and maybe some of us (well, me) want something to bitch about.  Guess what?  It’s because I can.  It might sound petty to some but really, its something that all of us women have to deal with and none of us like it.  I promise I have never met a woman who was happy or excited for her period unless she was afraid that she might be pregnant and didn’t want to be.  No one wants to celebrate this!  Well, not here in the good ol’ USA, anyway. If there are any women in this country that do celebrate this, please, show me, because that is awesome and insane at the same time.  

Rant over…for now…

{ []  Website where I found info on the invention of the tampon and what came before them.}

-Kitty Lane