Today, I was asked "what happened?" after an incident that involved me leaving a blood stain on a seat from my period. I was annoyed at myself for the answer that followed: "nothing happened, don't worry, sorry." I was overcome with embarrassment and fear of judgement - something I like to think that I was stronger than, but I wasn't.

Up until that split second before I answered, I was convinced I would stand up for myself and the natural, beautiful, feminine thing that is my period. But the social taboo surrounding periods came forcefully intruding my mind, intimidating me to surrender to embarrassment and fear of not conforming to social ideals.

What I really wanted to do was reply simply: what happened was that I am a woman. That's what happened. I should not have to defend having a period, but sometimes men seem to need reminding that women bleed.

There is a strange social idea that the perfect woman is never known to bleed but is consistently fertile. Periods never seem to get in the way of those perfectly timed one night stands in Hollywood movies, it never rears its red bloodied face in school education, forcing girls to cautiously hide a pad up her sleeve as she asks to go to the toilet during class. And as for the media, periods are absurdly misrepresented as something which can be overcome with the perfect 'discrete' pad or tampon, suggesting they're only a pain (excuse the pun) until a woman manages to hide the fact she is menstruating, therefore attending to the needs of others rather than herself.

Periods aren't exactly the most erotic and sexual sight despite being the natural and fundamental way to determine fertility. While periods are seen as a sign of womanhood and development, the idea of girls developing boobs and a womanly figure is more discussed and accepted in today's society.

Once a woman has acquired such a body, it is seen as sexual and desirable - that is until a period occurs, which is not entirely sexy, and reminds us that a woman is worth more than just sexual desire. The idea of the 'perfect' woman is threatened, and therefore we must conceal our natural bodily function to conform to ideals; specifically, a male ideal of the female. Ultimately, what society tells us is that we must attend to a man's need and uphold our position as sexual beings because they do not understand or find pleasure in our periods.

Society, with the firm force of its devilish ally the media, has cornered us into not allowing our periods to be sexy. It has stripped the organic elements of a period and turned them into disgust and unpleasantness, tarnishing our minds and turning us against ourselves. We have to overcome this absurd notion.

Do not fear yourself, and never be ashamed of your blood. It's just another beautiful colour of your body palette, distinctive to your female maturity. However much pain it causes you, it is part of your design and no one would be on the earth without it.

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