I think we’re now far enough into the 21st Century to just accept that women have periods, and that they’re not embarrassing. Okay, with one exception: they’re embarrassing if you’ve got a mother who wants to throw a party to celebrate your first one.
And, as Viv Groskop says in The Guardian today, we don’t need a care package just because our undercarriage has dropped. We might want a cup of tea and half an hour’s break from being pestered by the kids, but that’s not much more than a slight exaggeration of normal really, and given half a chance we’ll take that every week of the month, not just when we’re on the blob. I can’t think of anything more entitled-sounding than signing up to a parcel scheme of make up and sweets to make up for my monthly visit from Aunt Flo.
Contrast this with what it must be like if you can’t afford tampons and sanitary towels. Then your period really must be a curse.
Last year I went along for an afternoon of Food Bank Training. I may have mentioned it – my enthusiasm for volunteering was snuffed out by the guidelines that we must offer to pray with everyone coming into the foodbank, and no-one should leave without a “god bless.” Not really my thing, then. The training was facilitated by a man who blushed as he advised us that we must ask women if they need anything “for themselves.” So now I always put packets of tampons in the food bank box, happy in the knowledge that that man will feel uncomfortable at mentioning it, and some woman somewhere will feel so much more comfortable because he did.