By Mako Muzenda
I’m one of the unfortunate women cursed with a hellish period. Every month, I go through the same routine: throwing up every few hours or so, feeling like my uterus is getting gut-punched, and living in the constant fear that I’m leaking and the whole world will see red dripping down my legs. I sigh every time I feel the first pangs announcing the arrival of my monthly visitor. I can’t eat my favourite sugary foods, can’t summon the energy to go for a run, and I do not have the willpower to look presentable. To top it all off, I have the added gift of water retention: my stomach swells and, for a solid week, I look like a woman in her first trimester of pregnancy. Discomfort levels intensify.
What helps me get through the invasion of the Red Menace is a good old fashioned vent session with my friends. I read that I should embrace my menstrual cycle. That it’s a gift from Mother Nature, that for too long menstruation has been vilified and treated as a dirty thing. And it’s true – even in the 21st century, menstruation is still regarded as a disease in some societies. Even in modern settings, we talk about menstruation openly, but not too openly. We talk about other people’s cycles, preferring not to talk about our own.
For years I suffered in silence, believing that talking about how much I hate my period would mean that I was being anti-feminist and that I was divulging too much information. But my circle of friends also suffered from similarly hellish periods. I found comfort in sitting and venting about how every month our periods kicked the door down and ruined our lives. It felt good because it made me see that I wasn’t alone in my struggle. We suffered, but we suffered together. And that took a bit of the sting out of my menstrual cycle.
Every woman needs a Menstruation Day. A day where she can sit and let out how she really feels about her cycle. A day where she can be comforted by the fact that she’s not alone. A day where she and other women come together and bond over the one thing that ties us all together. No one should suffer during their period in silence. Thanks to my monthly vent sessions, I no longer have to.