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Nor is it our fault that we are the ones tasked with physically producing the next generation the very reason for periods in the first place — a role which tests our bodies and minds in all sorts of unacknowledged and undervalued ways. But when you live and breathe in the bubble which normalises such attitudes, you internalise them and make them your own.
We women are complicit in the silence. We are complicit.
And such desire to stay silent about our monthly bleeds le to all sorts of ludicrous scenarios and some very serious ones too. Would you go to prison for your period? Let me tell you about the Canadian performer, Jillian Welsh. The episode was focused on romance and how rom-com scripts would play out in real life. Or not, as the case may be. Jillian was 20 and studying theatre in New York when she met and fell for Jeffrey, whom she was starring alongside in a Shakespeare production.
Fast forward to the wrap party and the cast night out. One thing led to another, they kissed and ended up back at his place. So far, so good. But, finally, she fessed up — and guess what? Excellent sexy time ensued, after which Jeffrey went for his postcoital wee and shower, flicking the light on as he exited bedroom stage left.
There is blood everywhere. This is the first time I had seen so much of my own menstrual fluid. I was afraid of it. She then covered his bed with his throw and prepared to scarper as soon as he was back from his shower. She offered a lame excuse, he looked suitably hurt and off she trotted to the subway, upset and laden with stained, stolen sheets. How do you come back from that? How do you — how are you not the weird girl who took his bedsheets? And in New York, they have this station outside of subway entrances with this folding table and the NYPD stands behind.
What would you do?
She left the subway with a quickening pace. But to no avail.
The officer soon caught up with an increasingly suspicious-looking Jillian, opened her rucksack and saw the fruits of her sexual labour: crusty blood-soaked sheets. And I can barely get the words out. And I stole the sheets from the guy that I was with. There was a huge part of me that would rather go to the police station than have to go back and show Jeffrey these — not only show him these sheets, but also bring the police there. Fortunately, Jeffrey, like the sexy period hero he is, when confronted by the cops, a nervous Jillian and the bloodied bedsheets on his doorstep, verified her story.
No shame. No juvenile euphemism. Take that in. Fully bonkers. Women the world over will understand why the police station inquisition was a serious option for a fully innocent Jillian because it seems we all have the propensity to become liars and weird little thieves when we get our periods.
Anything to simply hide the evidence. Linen is never safe around a menstruating woman, but particularly, it seems, around a woman who is ashamed of her own blood. We also become super sleuth laundry women. But actually, I just stole his jeans and immediately washed them, returned them and said nothing about it.
Ludicrous behaviour abounds in women from all backgrounds and of all ages. All over some spilt blood. Log In. Log In Register now My. By Emma Barnett. By Emma Barnett i columnist. September 5, am Updated May 6, am. A guide to today's talking points, straight to your inbox.
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The best first-sex story I’ve ever heard – and what it says about women’s period shame