So today I wanted to tell you about a project I am involved with called #periodgate. The name is pretty self-explanatory, you talk about getting your period and add the hashtag #periodgate on Twitter. Now you might be thinking “that’s a cool idea” or you may be thinking “why the hell would you do that, you freak?!?”
The reason I think #periodgate is amazing and the reason I take part in it is that around 50% of the population of the world will get their period at some point in their lives yet you would probably be less shocked it some (consensual) hardcore violent pornography popped up in this window right now than if a picture of a person getting their period popped up. I think this is seriously messed up, patriarchal society normalise violence and sexualisation but tells us that something as ordinary and natural as getting your period is disgusting and shameful. This is not to say that all pornography is wrong and I am not trying to kink shame but I think we should be as used to periods and menstruation and be just as open when talking about them.
I am not saying we should do moon dances in celebration to connect with your flow because menstruation (or getting your period) is not always fun. However we should be able to talk about how not fun it is! If you have really bad cramps you should be able to talk about it without feeling embarrassed or if you have run out of pads or tampons or whatever you use, you should be able to ask your friend for help. This sound so simple but many people find it embarrassing and as a result they think what is happening to them they have to bear on their own. If you are having really bad symptoms then you should be able to discuss it with other people to find out if what you are experiencing are common symptoms or if you should go to the doctors.I have had a few negative reactions to doing #periodgate on Twitter. In one particular case I can remember, another woman called me disgusting but I ask you, is getting your period any more disgusting than graphic pictures of violence against women and girls that are readily available on every social media site there is?
In my experience of #periodgate I have found it enormously helpful in terms of moral support and advice. I have been getting my period for 4 years so it is amazing to talk and share with women who have had many more years’ experience. I have learned about myself and my body, I don’t have to be ashamed of what my body does. I feel like this is another step to tackling patriarchy’s hold over me, it makes me feel free.