Raise your hand if you’ve ever apologized to someone for feeling emotional, then blamed being emotional on your period. *Raises hand*
If I get emotional in front of someone, particularly cry, my default is to apologize, and if it’s approaching that time of the month, I’ll say something like, “Sorry I’m so upset. I’m about to start my period.” I’ve done this many times even though I know it’s wrong, and I’ve heard other women do this, and I hate it.
First of all, no one needs to ever apologize for outwardly expressing their feelings, and secondly, I don’t need to fulfill stereotypes by blaming my period for making me “act crazy” or emotional.
When a woman gets her period, her hormones are dancing all around in her body, painful cramps can happen, and an overall funk can sometimes overtake us, but it’s absolutely absurd to blame every emotion other than pure happiness on being hormonal because of a period.
Showing vulnerability is difficult, and being outwardly angry or upset is a lot more difficult than being outwardly happy. Additionally, there’s a long history of internalized sexism that tells women we should never be anything other than happy and helpful, and if we’re feeling something other than that, we definitely shouldn’t express it. These unwritten rules are so engrained within us that we don’t realize that we subconsciously abide by them, too.
Blaming your emotions on your period is to say your feelings are not valid; they can’t stand on their own and can only be attributed to your hormones fluctuating and changes happening in your body. That’s bonkers. You can be sad or angry whether you’re on your period or not. Your emotions are valid, powerful, and deserve to be expressed without dismissal or justification.
You are a human being. Throughout a single day you experience so many different interactions, think many different thoughts, take in and process many bits of information, and feel many different emotions. You’re a complex creature, and the fact that you can feel a full range of emotions, good and bad, is incredible. You’re allowed to cry or scream or get angry without blaming it on your shedding uterus. You’re allowed to have an overall pleasant day, but feel a little sad all of a sudden and not totally know why. You’re allowed to have an opinion and be passionate and emotionally charged whether you’re on your period or not.
Scream, cry, cuss, and laugh and don’t look for any justifications for why you do so. Emotions are like magical little energies shooting through our bodies, and they can’t be rationalized, and they don’t need to be. You can feel however you feel without knowing why you feel it, and you don’t need to blame it on your period.
Photo courtesy of Breanna Coon