Debates about tampons normalize menstruation

Multiple posts have gone up this month with a flurry of replies and +1 supports.

Breandan Gibbons

Multiple posts have gone up this month with a flurry of replies and +1 supports.

Considering the fact that half the population spends roughly 6.25 years of their lifetime doing it, menstruation is talked about extremely little. However, discussions about periods have become increasingly common at St. Paul Academy and Summit School due to a recent movement to stock the bathrooms with menstruation products.

It is not an earth shattering claim to say that talking about periods is considered taboo in society. The evidence for this is all over the place: girls hiding their tampons in their sleeves on the way to the bathroom, woman feeling uncomfortable buying feminine hygiene products in public, sanitary-product companies advertising their product by pouring on a blue, rather than red, liquid to demonstrate its absorbency.

It’s absurd that something so natural and vital to human nature such as menstruation should be considered embarrassing and improper to talk about. Not only is it absurd, it is also just another way women are made to feel uncomfortable about their bodies and shamed sexually. Additionally, efforts to conceal sanitary products or anxiety around “bleeding through” while on their period distract girls from school.

Normalizing talk about periods is the best way to counteract shame surrounding periods. Students advocating for a proper supply of menstruation products in school bathrooms has done exactly that. Although the administration response to these demands has been admittedly flawed, most notably with the attempt to stock restrooms with pads that dated back to the Clinton administration, these missteps have drawn in more of the SPA community into the issue. Conversations about menstruation products have occurred in public places such as the opinion board and in assemblies and class meetings as candidates for the various student councils outlined how they would tackle the issues the SPA community faces.

Hopefully the quest to stock school bathrooms with a suitable, non-expired supply of tampons and pads will soon be fulfilled. However, when it is, period talk shouldn’t stop; instead, the community should use this whole issue as a jumping off point for further, open discussion about menstruation.