[DAY 50] About Menstruation

Something geeky learned today: when thinking of matrices, we can think of them in terms of linear transformation, which is the change of the xy coordinate (or any planes depending on the dimensions) that keeps lines parallel and evenly spaced.

Something womanly I questioned today, after almost a decade enduring my monthly bleeding: why we talk about periods as though they are either sacred or shameful? Why do people, even women, avoid the topic altogether? Sacred or shameful, you ask? Well, people never believe bleeding is anywhere close to holy but indeed those who bleed, in ancient time, were outcasts. In the Bible, a woman suffered internal bleeding for a dozen of years were forbidden to stand in front of Jesus, let alone touching him. (But since she believed, she was healed.) Women were thought of lowly because this happens to them every month for a lifetime. Thus, it falls into the other category: shameful.

I was wondering about this because I had a stomachache today, so bad that I had to go lay down every hour or so. The moment I dragged my body across the room, all I could do was cursing the world. When my roommates asked if anything special happened today, I couldn’t bring myself to say the truth: I hurt every freaking month because I was born without a Y chromosome. Not because of stress (although stress is the reason why I have my period 10 days late). And not because of dairy. Just the usual bleeding *high pitch*.

I am writing about this here because I am not bold enough to talk about this to any man out there. Despite that, I don’t think this is a topic deserve ignorance, for it affects productivity and emotion of the ladies who always try to work hard and take care of the people around them. I think without acknowledging the monthly bleeding, or period, or menstruation, people usually misunderstand physical pain as laziness or lack of work ethic. Men don’t understand because no one ever let them to. Women aren’t encouraged to talk about it, which makes the topic all the more awkward for social conversations, and all the more uncomfortable to come up with ways to support women.

I am highly aware that I sound like a coward for not talking about this face-to-face to the men out there. I still haven’t figured out! for I don’t want to deal with pitiful expression of men over the incurable hurt. It is hard, guys, to stand up for this. In this regard, women need men as allies.

So to all the boys/men out there, remember that your mom, your loved one, and all the ladies suffer. An abdominal cramping already brings so much annoyance to one’s life. And that isn’t the only symptom of menstruation: low back pain, fatigue, bloating and sore breasts are more examples among many others. Imagine when added onto that the pregnancy and the full-time workload of a wife and a mother. That is more than 40-hour workweeks that demand perfection.

Women are courageous, myself included. Women are selfless for all their lives, maybe myself included. So men, remind yourself every day to ask the ladies how they’re doing and how you can help. Remind yourself to appreciate the work of the ladies a little bit more day to day. Learn about feminine products, nutritions, and the amount of rest needed for not just a week every month, but on a regular basis. Share chores. Be patient with the quarrels and the negative emotions. Be kind because we become strengthened not through adding that Y chromosome to our bodies but through love. Thank you.

Published by Thi Le

Human.

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