UNICEF reports that 26% of all people on Earth menstruate, which means that 1 in 4 of us. And yet, most women and girls know that talking about your period in public is still pretty taboo.
One mom of a 10-year-old daughter and two teen sons is hoping to change that, and she posted a photo of her sons Micah, 15, and Elijah, 16, to the private Facebook page Pantsuit Nation earlier this month and watched it spread.
This is the photo Tara Ahrens shared:
She wrote that she took the photo in Target while they were back-to-school shopping. Her teenage boys helped her shop, and it also included buying their little sister’s first bras – because breasts happen.
For good measure, she added that both boys carry a tampon and a pad in their backpacks in case one of their friends needs one. She’s just a mom trying to erase gender taboo.
Her post quickly climbed to thousands of likes and comments.
The mom wrote that the feedback was incredibly positive for the most part, but it also prompted many women in their 40s, 50s, and 60s to share their own horror stories from their youth, recalling times when they desperately needed period products and did not have them.
For example, one lady recalled a time when she bled through her clothes as a young girl, and a boy offered her his sweatshirt to wrap around her waist – and she had never forgotten his kindness.
She notes that one thing is clear, though: Menstruation is still a major gender taboo. However, she’s doing her best to raise men who see past it.
She has explained to her boys that bleed-throughs happen, they’re mortifying and can be very traumatizing. Kindness and understanding from any friend goes a long way, so they should be that person.
Our bodies are just doing what they’re physically “meant” to do, and there should be nothing embarrassing about it.