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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Does getting your periods make you a woman?

I first got my periods when I was 14 years old, in Spain on the 6th of august. We were drinking something at a restaurant outside and I went to the toilet and suddenly... there was blood!
So I instantly knew, I have my periods. I went outside and told my mom. She then told my dad and we drove to a nearby supermarket to get me some menstruation pads for the first time ever. My mom and I talked about it, and I said I would use menstruation pads and not tampons because I didn't dare to stick anything inside me. It felt abit strange to get my periods but overall it wasn't that different.
When we went back to Belgium my mom told my grandma which sais: she is a lady now.
I kinda smiled at that, not because I wanted to be a woman, but because of the way she made it sound. Like it was something to be proud off, getting your periods. Later on also my friends knew who acted as if it was something special. So that made me feel good, like I was better or something, like more of a girl/ woman.

It is intresting because you again get a label on you, like: now you are more of a woman.
Because you become fertile, because you can make babies. My grandparents are not so happy about the fact that I dont want a husband or babies now, which they didn't expect because "that is not how they raised me". Because from when we are young we are pushed into gender roles, with specific habbits and markings, specific behavior to do or to not do. If you are a lady you have to be pretty, polite, not fart or burp... shit like that. We give our children these rules, often simply because that is what we were taught ourselves. But it is like this breeding program where we already want our children to fit in and one day be a proper lady or man to find a good mating partner. Because if you are a woman but dont act like a lady, or dont look like a lady, which man will want you? People dont always think as blunt as that, but it is this pattern which is accepted, even when people are not aware of it.

And after a while, when boys and girls grow up - they start to judge each other on that behavior. They will even tease their peers for not fitting in that image, even bully them! There was once a girl in my class which looked like a boy and she got bullied a lot. It was in age group 13, quite young. But this gets taught to children. As if when a girl looks like a boy, suddenly they are inferior and treated inferior. If they wouldnt have known she was a girl, would they have done that? Probably not.

So parents, be careful of what you say to your children, and what you project and the limitations that you may box them into. Because this has a bigger effect than you can imagine.
Just look at the world, and you got your proof.

To discuss gender issues, please visit the forum of Desteni .

1 comment:

  1. Thought you might find this interesting: