Let's Ditch Period Code-Names
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
Aunt Flo. The Red Wave. Crimson Week. That time of the month. All code names for periods. As I was scouring the internet for things to write about in today’s blog, I came across an epidemic of menstruators attempting to hide their monthly bleeding through a use of secretive language. Some are far more obvious than others, like “that time of the month” but others, like “shark week,” are far less transparent. In an effort to become more versed in this underground language, I did a few more google searches. Upon these research initiatives, I was confronted by thousands of articles teaching women how to hide their crimson wave through the use of code words; such as, “Top 10 Secret Code Words the Girls Keep on the DL” or “Tasteful Slang Words for your Period.”
Despite popular opinion, casually tossing around these enigmatic words is incredibly problematic. At first glance, nothing seems to be wrong: Women are simply shielding personal experiences from those who they do not want to share the information with. At the same time however, these phrases give in to an endemic problem commonly seen in our society. This problem is, of course, the repression of menstrual experiences, and the stigmas surrounding periods. By covering up the true experiences of menstruation, we are giving into an incredibly damaging stigma. As we use phrases that dilute the realities of periods, we are giving in to the ideal that menstruating people should cover up their own experiences for the sake of others’ comfort.
This conversation begs the question: Who’s fault is this? I absolutely am not passing any sort of blame to menstruating peoples who use such language! We have been socially conditioned to view periods as a dirty, impure, and a secretive experience. Most females, myself included, have fallen victim to hiding a tampon in their pocket or under their shirts, refraining from asking people for products, or even hiding painful experiences from peers. This, simply has to end for the sake of developing a culture of tolerance. The blame can be passed on to centuries upon millenniums of social conditioning, and cultural implications of what it should look like to ‘have a period.’
Individuals should have the freedom to determine who they do and do not inform about their periods, and the reaction of the receiver should have nothing to do with this determination.
Since most people have fallen victim to using these sorts of phrases, it is crucial that we not only remove them from our vocabularies, but encourage others to do the same. These are all phrases that I would try my very best to avoid:
- It’s Shark Week
- I’m on a ketchup diet
- It is flooding
- The full stop is haunting me
- I am down with the girl flu
- The leak week is here
- Time to hail the red moon
- Aunt Flo visited me
- Tomato soup is boiling
- The river has flooded
- I am off for my monthly vacation
- Revenge mode on
- Today is my birthday
At the end of the day, keeping your period on the ‘Down Low’ should never be a priority.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!
Also, if you want to hear any specific about topics relating to menstruation please let me know!