What the Guys in Your Lives Should Know About Menstruation
Women menstruate. Everyone knows this fact regardless of gender. But for the half who don't experience it, it's a concept that they barely scratch the surface of. While it's understandable that they will never fully grasp what women feel during that time of month, men—especially those with seemingly archaic views on the matter—should know that there is nothing wrong or gross about it, and that it's a natural occurrence that doesn't need to be censored.
In the recent #MenstruationMatters forum organized by the Philippine Commission on Women in partnership with the Department of Health, DDB Group Philippines, and Johnson & Johnsons, Modess Senior Brand Manager Nill Patrick Aroyo explained how he tried to understand periods. "In J&J, it's not uncommon to assign a male manager to a feminine brand. In my first weeks at work, I had… to wear a sanitary pad," he explained. "I feel [that this is] an important topic which… everyone should learn [about] regardless of gender. Hindi ibig sabihin na babae lang ang [dapat] nakaaalam."
It's true: Menstruation should be a topic discussed by all. Let's make an effort to bring men into the conversation, starting with these topics:
- Menstruation is not a sign of weakness.
Have you experienced being in a bad mood only to be worsened by a guy saying, "Meron ka siguro, no" as if to invalidate what's bothering you? It's an age-old belief that you get weak and crazy when you get your period, but the fact is, while the mood swings are there, that doesn't mean that you can't function.
"There is stigma that's still associated with [periods]… [There are women] who see their period as a sign of weakness which can bring down their confidence and self-esteem," Nill shared. "But in reality it shows the true essence of a woman."
Think about it, ladies—how can bearing monthly aches and pains be called weak?
- Buying napkins is emasculating.
While it's good that many guys don't really find purchasing napkins for their family or friends to be anything out of the ordinary, there are some who still feel awkward about doing so, because "nakahihiya." Just do a quick Facebook search on "bumili ng napkin" and you'll find a list of posts about it.
Why should it be embarrassing to buy a necessity? Moreover, why should it even be a big deal when it's not?
Interestingly, there are also girls who feel shy about buying sanitary napkins from male store personnel. Ladies, don't be. Your period does not and should not limit you or be a cause of embarrassment. Use it to empower yourself, because when you do, it will be easier to educate guys and show them that talking about periods is nothing to be ashamed of.
- Menses can't be stopped by "closing" your vagina.
Believe it or not, there are guys who actually think that you can just paste or cap off your vagina and your period will stop. Take for example the controversial male chiropractor who created a "feminine lipstick" which would make "your lady lips…hug each other and keep you sealed until you pee." Basically, it's supposed to stick your vagina shut.
Of course, we all know that it doesn't work that way, and it's sad that in this day and age, there are people who would actually think that that this is a pretty neat idea. If you've got someone who asks you if you can just "turn off" your menses, educate him instead of getting mad. Understanding your experience may help remove odd beliefs about menstruation.
You may watch the whole #MenstruationMatters forum here:
This story originally appeared on Femalenetwork.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.
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I started college with little to no support coming from my family. I can't blame them tho, life was pretty hard for us to afford college. I had to stand up on my own just to get by. Good thing I have a boyfriend who supports me all the way. But I can't let him shoulder it all, so, I had to accept sidelines just to finance my studies. It was fortunate of me to be blessed with talented hands to do crafts. And now, I'm so proud to say that I'll be graduating next year! So, let me share with you my works that helped me all through out my college journey.
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Hi! It's been so long since I planned to post my story in another platform aside from wattpad and now here I am, hoping that my story can be featured here.
My story is entitle "Who Are You," it's a tagalog-english teen fiction story so I hope, those filipinos who visit here can read my story!
WHO ARE YOU: PRELUDE
Sinungaling na ba ako kung sasabihin ko sa inyo ang pangalan ko? Hindi ako sure kung anong sasabihin kong pangalan ko pero may nagsasabi sa aking wag nalang magpakilala sa inyo.
May gusto lang naman akong itanong... Paano kung may makilala ka sa kasalukuyan na nagpapaalala sayo sa nakaraan? Anong gagawin mo kung ang nakilala mo sa kasalukuyan ay may tinatago pa lang sikreto na kahit siya mismo ay walang alam pero may kinalaman sa iyong nakaraan? Anong gagawin mo kung ang dalawang ito ay may koneksyon? Anong pipiliin mo? Ang nakilala mo sa nakaraan? O ang nagpakilala bilang ibang tao sa kasalukuyan? Past? Or Present?