After my little brother died, people would say he’s in a better place, or he’s lost, or he’s moved on. Why, yes, he has moved on. To a grave. Because he’s dead. He’s lost? No, I know exactly where he is and depending on how I’m feeling that day either he’s right here in my heart or he’s in that schmancy grave I mentioned. Because he’s dead. Why can’t people just say that? Why do I suddenly become the crass one just because I said my little brother is dead instead of passed away? I mean, if I wanted to actually be crass—if I were actually doing it for the shock value—it would go something like this:
“So do you have any siblings?”
“Yes, I have two brothers. Erik is currently attending college for advertising and James’ embalmed body is currently decomposing six feet under ground in a cemetery in north Oakville. Lemme tell you, when I kick it, I’m going for cremation all the way. Am I right? Heyyyooooo.”
I don’t have it out for all euphemisms. In fact, there are a lot that I love; can I get an amen for “three fries short of a Happy Meal”? (I’ve never actually said that in my life.) And without euphemisms we’d be without that classic Bloodhound Gang song, “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo”. (Psst, guys, that spells “fuck”.)
Except, I’ve never been fond of using euphemisms when referring to my menstrual cycle. If someone ever told me her “Aunt Flo” was visiting, I would be all, “You have an Aunt Flo? Is that short for Florence?” And she would be all, “Nooooo, you know. It’s my time…” And maybe she would gesture awkwardly toward her vagina. Then I would be all, “Ohhhhhh you mean your uterus is currently expelling blood and mucus. Right on.” Then I’d hold my fist out, but she’d never want to fist bump me.
I worked at an Urban Outfitters when I first moved to NYC and one day I was in the break room doubled over in pain. My boss asked me what was wrong and I told him. Except, you know, I Told Him instead of told him. I can’t remember if it was as crass as “blood oozing out of my vagina” or just “menstrual cycle”, but the look on his face taught me an important lesson that day: you can’t talk about lady things in front of your boss and you really can’t talk about lady things in front of a guy.
Why the fuck not, though? I mean, it’s not like it’s a secret. Hey you, guy over there, guess what: I BLEED FROM MY CROTCH ONCE A MONTH! MUAHAHAHAHA. I don’t like having to tell people it’s my “time of month” to protect their delicate sensibilities. I don’t like having to watch that awful blue liquid in pad commercials. And don’t mind me, I’m just popping out to the drugstore to purchase some feminine products. Ninja, please.
I’m all for being more open and frank about our “time of the month”, but the other night the Internet—in its infinite wisdom—bestowed upon me the most awful thing I’ve ever heard of: free bleeding. I was just minding my own business on Tumblr, looking for pictures of cats, and I came across some photographs of this girl and the caption said “my boo looking cute while skateboarding and free bleeding in the park”. Wait, what? I looked at the pictures again and in one of them she was holding up her skirt so we could see the blood all over her (white, of course) panties and thighs.
HOW IS THIS A THING?! It can’t be a thing, right? Who wants to bleed all over themselves? But there are webpages, guys. And people are photographing it. Also, it’s a Tumblr hashtag, so now you know it’s legit. I’ve always thought I was a fairly open person when it came to menstruation (Haha, I even SAY menstruation! I’m so liberated!), and I believe that people should be able to do with their bodies what they want, but free bleeding disgusts me. And you are disgusting if you do it. I’m not ashamed of my period but I also don’t feel the need to bleed all over myself just to prove that. Mostly because my Victoria’s Secret undies are super cute and I don’t want bloodstains all over them. I still do, though, because periods are messy and my pads don’t always stay in place (I’m afraid of tampons, okay?), but I’m as much ashamed by a bloodstain on my panties as I am with a food stain on my shirt.
With this logic, blowing my nose is also a form of shame. That’s right, guys, you caught me. I’m ashamed of the mucus that comes out of my nose. So much that I take great pains to ensure I secure all of the snot in a tissue that I discreetly throw away. But if the ladies are out there free bleeding all over shit, then fuck it—I might as well let my nose run. My mucus is just as spectacular as period blood.
“Uh, Siân, your nose is running. Do you need a tissue?”
“Actually, I do NOT! For I am proud of my mucus—my mucus is a part of me and I will let it fall where it may. Mucus power! Free mucus-ing! I know, I know. It’s not as catchy as “free bleeding” but I’m working on it.”
I’ve found, through my extensive research (read: two and a half minutes on Tumblr) that the women who are into free bleeding also say things like “oh my goddess” instead of “oh my goodness” and believe that periods are sacred and a form of art. Okay, sure. If you want to collect your bloody panties and make an art exhibit about of it, go for it. We can all gaze adoringly at the shapes that the blood stains made and feel more empowered. Or something. But if you insist on not wearing a pad or a tampon in public then you are a walking biohazard and stay the fuck away from me. Go spread your feminine wings elsewhere.