How Did Periods Become So Political?
First, it was “Don’t Say Gay,” and now it’s “Don’t Say Periods”
Yes, it’s odd that discussing such an essential bodily function of females has become so political, yet here we are. The party of small government has proposed a law to make it illegal to discuss the topic until 6th grade in public schools in Florida.
As if little girls needed one more thing to feel ashamed of and supremely awkward about, the onset of menses may be something they can’t even seek help for if it happens at school before they reach middle school.
Imagine this: you’re a girl in 4th grade. Your mom never discussed puberty with you, and since teaching anything about sex ed was made illegal in your state, you didn’t know. And suddenly you feel something weird happening in the middle of math class.
You ask to go to the bathroom and are thankfully allowed that privilege. But when you do, you discover something truly heinous, disgusting, and scary in your underwear. You think you are dying, and you start freaking out. You have no idea what to do.
You go back to class and try as best as you can to tell your teacher that something is wrong. But instead of finding empathy from this teacher and being quietly reassured and sent to the nurse’s office, you get sent to the principal’s office. Why? Because your state government said you can’t talk about your period until 6th grade.
Does this make sense? This is what the bill states.
Personally, I grew up in a house where puberty went largely undiscussed. My mom passed the burden of divulging the secrets of womanhood on to the public schools. The infamous video was shown to us in 5th grade. I was so completely dumbfounded by what was revealed that I couldn’t believe it was true.
It filled in a lot of blanks for me though. I was teased relentlessly in third grade for not knowing what a period was. I really thought it was only the dot at the end of the sentence. And then I also figured out why my peers weren’t swimming…