Women and their periods. The almighty, all natural Aunt Flow. The elixir of life and the ultimate symbol of womanhood. The medically defined terminology of the embodiment of a woman’s fertility.
The burdening hassle once a month that sends women to CVS for $8 boxes of tampons and men to their soap boxes. The cause of controversy at home, death in others and the derailment of lives for young women everywhere.
Because that which is not understood is rejected, right? At least, that’s how we’ve proven ourselves as a human race. Given half the nation's ignorance, periods have been a lifelong burden for women everywhere and an unnatural natural phenomenon to men. Scorning them, condemning the word to a status of something closer to “that which is not named,” women have spent centuries fighting for their right to bleed.
Whether it be the consequences of missing their periods for two months straight or having to apologize to their boyfriends for it, women’s lives have become dictated around this tiny, yet widely controversial shedding of the uterine lining. (Sorry men, but we’re old enough to speak in medical terms now, I may even drop the word "moist," so watch out.)
We live our lives in fear of its absence and curse its hassled arrival, lamenting ruined outfits and countless nights out. We listen to our rights on not getting it and the consequences of wanting to get it again. We watch men scream over televisions, condemning our bleeding walls to Hell.
But why? When did men get a say on our bodies? When did men get the right to talk about something that they don’t understand. When did it become OK for people to get on TV and scream opinions about something they know nothing about? Is it because, as as a friend once put it, “[they] don’t trust anything that bleeds for a whole week and doesn’t die”?
As charming and witty as that concept is, I can’t help but wonder if he would say that same thing, if he, too, bled once a month.
It’s an interesting notion, men getting their periods. Blocking aside the hilarious image of the actual event, try to let the idea settle in your mind. How would the world be different if men were fertile? If they had the ability to carry life and bleed for a week straight? As I overheard a female comedian once put it, “If men could get pregnant, you could get Plan B out of ATMs."
However, hilarious and imaginative as that idea is, she’s not far off with this one. It’s the kind of statement that makes you laugh because of the weight of its truth and the absurdity of that truth. Because if men got their periods, there would be an entirely different view on the apocalyptic event.
Just think about what it would look like… Companies would offer 401Ks and abortion liability insurance. There would be free clinics on every block, right next to Starbucks (have your morning coffee then get your Plan B). Birth control would come in the mail once a month with no subscription necessary. And you can bet your soiled feminine pad that the government would pay for tampons.
There would be safe sex and harassment seminars at every company and every man would make sure both he and the woman were wearing protection. There would be maternity leaves of a year to two, or until the father feels ready to go back to work. Hospitals wouldn't charge astronomical prices to deliver your child or kick you out because you don't have insurance.
There would be dispensing machines of free plastic (not cardboard) tampons and pads in every public restroom and Plan B would be subsidized and readily available 24 hours a day. Men would get to work from home for the week and there would be red velvet cupcake and dark chocolate delivery services.
And this whole “pro-life” argument would be put to bed without a second thought. That’s right, the religious fanatics, the slimy politicians and the conservatives would fade back into the dark, unknowing corners from which they sprang.
Because men can’t mother children, no sir. Men would be getting pregnant every day. Men would be overpopulating the earth at a rate that would blow China’s statistics out of the water. Men just couldn’t get pregnant. They need to work, make names for themselves, shake hands with important people.
They can’t settle down and have kids when they aren’t ready. They need to have sex, but they shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences. They deserve the right to get their period again, to live an unburdened life. That's all that would be to it. No more questions, picket lines or fanatical debates.
They wouldn't stone men for getting pregnant. No, the Bible, Quran and every other religious text would now be read "between the lines" and those who were pregnant because they were raped would be not only pardoned, but get to see the day their assailants are condemned. There would be severe punishment against rape and maybe, just maybe, men wouldn't do it anymore.
Maybe rape would finally end because if a man got a period, he might know what it's like to be a woman, who is indeed, just another bleeding human being.
Photo via We Heart It