I bleed out of my vagina monthly, much like most of the women in my life. Of course this shouldn’t be news to any of you as it’s hardly a rare phenomenon. Yet somehow, a lot of you were probably still slightly shocked by that first sentence, right?
I get it, no one likes the thought (or site) of blood coming out of a woman’s vagina. We need only look to the recent outrage unleashed by Critic Magazine’s front cover cartoon depiction of a woman menstruating on a bathroom floor to highlight this. I regrettably scrolled down the comment section of multiple news articles regarding this illustration and was reminded of how ignorant we are toward menstruation.
I literally laughed out loud when I saw the illustration because it was such an honest and relatable depiction of a situation I find myself in almost every month. Morphing into the bathroom floor -period in full force- while trying to convince yourself everything is fine might be a foreign concept to some people, but to others it’s a monthly norm.
I can understand how some people might be shocked or uncomfortable at the cover- but you know what? I’m shocked and uncomfortable every dam month by my period.
Sometimes Satan himself will be clawing away at my uterus mid-lecture at uni. Other times I’ll think she’s all over then BAM, the bitch is back. Periods aren’t glamourous or easy so no, talking about and depicting them isn’t going to be glamourous or easy either.
Comments such as “Uurrgghh. Yuck. I’ll never un-see that” and “…we don’t need to see it placed in front of everyone looking disgusting” make me think we’re talking about fetish porn or something. It constantly bemuses me that open and honest conversation and depictions of menstruation are so taboo. So yes, maybe we do need to see it placed in front of everyone looking real and honest in order to overcome this. We need to accept that if we’re going to talk about it, we aren’t going to discuss or depict flowers and rainbows coming out of a poised woman’s vagina. It’s going to be messy, it’s going to be honest, and most importantly it’s going to be uncensored.
Personally, I have found appreciation amongst the outrage. Critic’s hilariously real, yet tastefully pixilated, depiction of the bleeding that myself, much like most of the women in my life, experience monthly was printed front page and distributed throughout Dunedin and online- Congrats Critic.