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Menstruation: the talk we need to have

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SHE raises her hand in the middle of the lesson, while her bladder screams for attention. Her teacher finally faces the class and she thrashes her hand, back and forth so he can see that she really needs to go. He responds to her performance and tells her to go to the bathroom quickly. She grabs her purse and the teacher stares at it, before questioning why she needs to bring it with her. The entire class turns their attention to her as she becomes a deep shade of crimson. She replies ‘uh, lady issues.’

“You couldn’t really talk frankly about having a period or anything , and I don’t think that has really changed there’s still a big taboo behind periods,” english student teacher Emma Smith said.

Females are speaking up about how they feel about the taboo behind menstruation.

I think every single girl can relate to having a leak at some point, and that’s just one of the most embarrassing things to have to go through”

— biomedical teacher Heidi Hisrich

“I think there is a stigma because people don’t really understand what it is, like guys don’t understand what it is or people think it’s gross but every girl goes through it,” sophomore Madison Bennett said.

Some females have their own understanding of ‘that time of the month’.

“My daughters learned at Girls Inc that every month their body builds a house in case there is a baby,” Biomedical teacher Heidi Hisrich said. “Then I said, that every month the house burns down and leaks out of your vagina.”

Other women feel the same way about ‘the crimson tide’ being more than a burden.

“It’s physically very uncomfortable for a week, you have cramps, sometimes your whole lower half feels like it’s squeezing for all of it’s worth, your back starts to hurt, sometimes your boobs hurt and you’re literally bleeding,” Smith said. “I don’t think women get enough credit for just going through that process every month.”

Taxing tampons or any feminine product like that makes it that much harder to get those basic needs, and it unfairly affects the female population and women in poverty who already have fewer means to get those products anyways. It’s almost a source of gender discrimination in my view, because it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity for almost any menstruating woman.”

— english student teacher Emma Smith

While having a period every month, many problems can arise, especially when you least expect it.

Smith had her own problem when ‘Aunt Flow’ visited her in college.

“They had these ‘discrete bags’ that you could put your stuff in, but you’d open them and it sound like you’re opening a bag of chips,” she said. “It was like broadcasting to everyone in the bathroom ‘hey this girl’s on her period!’ It shouldn’t matter, because you know women are using that bathroom that go through the same thing, but we’ve been conditioned to be so shy about it and that’s kind of weird.”

Other females feel that periods are nothing to be shy about, and are a burden that should be commended. Hisrich hopes that her daughters see it that way too.

“I know it will add stress to their lives too, so I hope they see it as something that is celebrated, and that they feel supported when they feel stressed out,” she said.

Once you get your period it can be very stressful, but the stress can continue as the price for tampons and pads increase with the added sales tax. The pink or tampon tax is the controversial sales tax that considers tampons as a luxury and not a necessity.

“Taxing tampons or any feminine product like that makes it that much harder to get those basic needs, and it unfairly affects the female population and women in poverty who already have fewer means to get those products anyways,” Smith said. “It’s almost a source of gender discrimination in my view, because it’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity for almost any menstruating woman.”

Others have the same values about the tampon tax.

“I don’t think any of it is okay,”sophomore Owen Rogers said. “I think the tax should be removed, because it’s a not a luxury it’s a necessity for living.”

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Menstruation: the talk we need to have