5 Things We Need To Understand Before Women Can Stop Feeling Period-Shamed

by Brooke Wiland

As summer comes upon us, there is one question goes through the heads of working women everywhere: Where do I hide my tampon when I go to the bathroom at work? There are many perks of having a modern, open work environment, such as teamwork, collaboration and open communication. However, nothing you do is private.

I can guarantee someone has caught me shoving a tampon up my sleeve and then rushing off to the bathroom. I used to be embarrassed, but then, it dawned on me. Why am I hiding my tampons? Does this action have some kind of broader implication that suggests women shouldn't show weakness in the workplace?

Am I appeasing my male counterparts so they don't have the visual confirmation that my bitchy mood all week was because of my raging PMS? Or, am I just enacting my socially trained modesty for totally normal bodily functions?

In the workplace, I'm probably a little more honest and open than I should be (at least, according to society's standards). But, that's what makes me who I am.

I've openly called my co-worker an assh*le maybe one too many times. But, I've always said so in a joking manner. I've also openly asked my boss if I did something wrong, and I expected a fully honest answer. Personal development is kind of my thing.

Even with all of this openness, I still can't bring myself to whip out my tampon and strut my fine ass to the bathroom like a boss. It doesn't make sense. Despite all of these normalizing movements centered around body positivity, no one is talking about the fact women are still embarrassed by their periods.

As women, we learn about managing the symptoms of our menstruation for our whole adult lives. It's time society follows suit.

Here are five things society needs to understand about women and their periods:

1. Mood Changes

That bitchy comment you give me that rolls off my shoulders one day might really affect me the next. But maybe, we should watch what we say to each other in general.

2. Feeling Hungry AF All The Time

I want ice cream, tacos, pizza and maybe even a BLT from that sandwich place down the street. Let's be honest: That's every day for me.

But, I did compulsively snack at my desk all day. Do you want to know whom I have to explain that to? No one.

3. Being Worn Out

Working a 12-hour day will make anyone tired, let alone someone whose body is going through some major changes. Don't ask why we're so exhausted. It takes a lot of energy for our bodies to do this every month.

4. Having Cramps

For once, it would be great to sit at my desk with a heating pad and not rely on painkillers to get me through day one of Aunt Flow. We get cramps in more places than just our lower abdominals, including our upper thighs and our lower back. You name it, and there's pain.

5. Bloating

Before my period, I look like I've gained five pounds. After my period, it's like, "Oh gosh, I knew I had abs under there." We feel bigger because we are. We know it, and we're probably not happy about it.

Do I want to experience all the side effects of my period? Absolutely not. Sometimes, periods suck. I would much rather get an email once a month that says, "Hey, you're not pregnant." But, that's just not how that sh*t plays out.

So please, the next time you see your co-worker trying to hide her tampon in some horribly uncomfortable place, just tell her, "Hey, I don't care that you're on your period. You don't have to hide anything."

Ladies, find the courage to whip out your tampons.