This week Chinese athlete Fu Yuanhui won the praise of the world press, breaking the taboo about female athletes talking about their periods in the media. These professionals achieve physical excellence often in incredibly harsh conditions, not least being visited by cramping, should their period arrive just when they are about to compete. Needless to say then that Yuanhui talking about her period so openly felt like a huge step forward in breaking the great period taboo.
However, according to ‘Women’s Health’ magazine it’s time to put your period back in the proverbial closet, posting a poorly thought through article online today citing that periods are ‘Messy for you, an oft-reported instant limpener for him’. The article goes on to promote a piece of tech (that I’m not going to mention the name of because, frankly, I don’t think it deserves the publicity from even this puny post) that you essentially ram up your clam to stop any blood, so your proposed sex partner isn’t horrified at the sight of red wine on his jolly roger. Does it sound like I’m not taking it seriously? Good. Because this product doesn’t deserve serious contemplation.
Periods are uncomfortable, annoying and even painful but not something to try to stop or avoid. Not only does it sound unhealthy but also pointless, as I have never met a person who thinks that (so long as both parties are willing) periods are disgusting and a reason to avoid sex. People who do frankly don’t deserve attention between the sheets at any time of the month until they update their ideas.
However, what worries me about the article isn’t the product, nor the fact that ‘Women’s Health’ is seeking to perpetuate women’s insecurities about themselves in order to make money (despite saying on their mission statement that they seek to empower women). What worries me is that if I had read such an article when I was twelve or thirteen that I may have thought that there was something wrong or disgusting with having a period. Indeed, that is exactly what I did think at the time because of the media of that era. But in the name of progress this message is no longer acceptable and should not be perpetuated in future generations.
I hate to finish on a rant though, so what I would like to do is promote the message of Fu Yuanhui and also share this awesome video by the sex positive Singer/Songwriter Rachel Lark, who epitomises everything that is good about modern feminism. Her song ‘warm bloody and tender’, I feel summarises exactly why any ‘product’ used to stop your period to have sex is utterly pointless; no body cares. I hope that ‘Women’s Health’ come to their senses and stop aligning themselves with brands that seek to capitalise on the dinosaur paradigm of sexist marketing that somehow still exists, but in the meantime please enjoy the music!