Oh My Ovaries
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Oh My Ovaries

Does the “S” in PMS stand for Saltiness?

The first thing that I saw when I checked my Instagram this morning was that my latest post had a comment — yay!

My comment buzz was short lived. The comment was from a person who took umbrage with the content of my post.

She called me salty. And a hypocrite.

She said that my post was doing the opposite of what I had intended: I was “shaming” women for having comfortable periods.

Here’s the post, for context:

Post caption: Really? Because being able to feel your menstrual cup is the ONLY way you’d know you’re on your period?! ⁠

Forget the cramps, the runny tummy/constipation, the acne, the fatigue, the queasiness, the back and joint ache, the bloating, the mood swings…⁠

Who are these mythical creatures that can “forget” they’ve even got their period?!?!⁠

Can we please stop this kind of advertising? It feels like it’s just there to make people who menstruate feel bad that they might not just breeze through their periods like a ray of fucking sunshine.⁠

Now, what I was trying to focus on here was the notion that if you use this menstrual cup, you won’t even know that you’re having a period.

On this, I call bullshit.

I was not saying “you’re not allowed to use whatever you find the most comfortable on your period”, as this commentator implied.

Yes, I referred to the few people who have very light, easy breezy periods as “mythical creatures”.

Forgive me, I was feeling whimsical.

I have, in fact, lived with one of these unicorns. One of my flatmates in my first year of uni had the dream period: always on time, never lasted more than three days, no cramps, none of the usual side effects, job done.

She is the ONLY person who menstruates that I have EVER MET who experiences periods this way. And yes, periods have come up in conversation with any and all people I’ve made friends with. I talk about periods and the Uterati a LOT.

Mostly, I found this ad and review annoying because it plays up to the old “women just grin and bear it” stereotype.

Why should I have to disguise that I’ve got my period? Why should knowing that I’ve got my period and am perhaps not feeling 100% make anyone feel uncomfortable?

For the love of god, why do I have to be happy on my period?!

I’m not happy all the time when I don’t have my period, so why should that change?!

If you’re one of the few who do have light and “easy” periods, then in all sincerity I’m thrilled for you. I’m also slightly bitter and envious…

My periods range from “ugh” to “WHYYYYYY?!”

I am regularly sabotaged by my baby box. I’ve passed out from period pains before. In my pre-Pill days, my periods would last for a minimum of nine days before they’d start to ease up.

Post-Pill, they now last around six days in total, which I have to say is a vast improvement.

And I’m not even having to contend with endometriosis or adenomyosis or anything more complicated than PCOS (which is a joy in and of itself).

So no, commentator — I’m not shaming people for having easy periods. I’m saying that it’s not the case for the vast majority of us, and that needs to be reflected in advertising.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my PMS and I are going to find some ice cream. It’s medicinal.



Tales from a slightly sarcastic, gleefully feminist killjoy.

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Laura-Anne Williams

Director of Get Social. Marketing and feminism are my bag, baby. And cake. Big fan thereof.