End The Stigma. Period.
I would never have thought to have started a post like this, let alone click publish, until this morning.
After waking up at 3am with crippling back pains and realising "oh great, it's that time of the month again" I thought nothing more of it until my morning scroll through Twitter. Nimko Ali had posted a picture of a cartoon girl crawling on the floor with the speech bubble "maybe I'm just dying" and the hashtag #LiveTweetYourPeriod. My first thought was utter empathy and joy that someone else knew how I felt, followed by embarrassment. Embarrassment on behalf of her for tweeting it, me for reading it, just plain embarrassment. It's got to stop.
Sure I don't think I'm up for living tweeting it just yet, but I definitely want to move towards removing the stigma surrounding 'shark week', or whatever delightful phrase you have for making it easier to say. I know many people have been doing this in the media recently and I applaud them for it, but I felt like I needed to take a personal step towards removing the stigma for myself. So I'm taking a deep breath and hoping I won't regret this, by starting with a blog post. A post that says I'm tired of not being able to say why some days of the month are utterly rubbish, when there are literally billions of women going through the same thing.
I have it so much better than most. Homeless women face an endless struggle of not having tampons, and the great taboo surrounding the 'crimson wave' makes this worse because few thing to donate such a basic item to shelters. In many parts of the world girls are literally forced to miss school because of their 'Aunt Flo', and considered dirty. It's a horrible reality that if I think it's bad for me, it's infinitely worse for others; and you know me and my attitude of gratitude, I always like to keep some perspective. Even in the more privileged circles of the sporting world, it can be a big issue.So I say let's kick back against the 'cotton pony' (seriously Google slang words for periods, it's an endless list!) and accept that periods happen and they are normal.
And why not try to help others while we're at it? Initiatives such as donatepads.org and The PeriodProject make it really easy for you to help those who don't have access to clean and safe sanitary methods.
Now don't mind me, I'm going to curl up in a ball and cry softly to myself whilst I wait for the ibuprofen to kick in..
Oh and David Cameron, just take the bloody tax off tampons will you?