Debate student’s opinion essay from Ms. Habig’s Debate class.


Taegen Jennings, Student

Menstruation: the process in a woman of discharging blood and other materials from the lining of the uterus, normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. Did that make you uncomfortable to read a definition about a women’s period? According to, 58 percent of women have felt a sense of embarrassment simply because they were on their period. The stigmatism around women and their bodies is unacceptable. Women should not be ashamed of the amazing things their bodies are capable of.

About 42 percent of women have experienced period shaming, I am wondering why? Menstruation is one of the most natural functions in the world. Periods mark our femininity and fertility, they are a huge part of life, and not just for women. The males or other females that bring shame to these women wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for menstruation. Around 44 percent of men admit to having made a joke or a comment on a partner’s mood when she was on her period. I believe many of you have heard or been asked, “Is it that time of the month?”. When men ask this question, they assume that any reason why a girl may have feelings is because of her period.

Girls will often feel shame about experiencing premenstrual syndrome also known as PMSing, a combination of symptoms that many women experience a week before their period. PMSing is what causes the stereotype that when a woman is upset or just in a bad mood, then she is on her period.  I asked a few friends, “Have you ever experienced embarrassment or shame while being on your period? Why?”, I want to share some of their responses. One person said, “Yes, I bled through my pants and was embarrassed someone would see it. Also, I’ve been PMSing, and someone will mention it and then I felt embarrassed”. I proceeded to ask her why she felt embarrassed, she responded with, “Because men make it feel embarrassing”. Men make women feel self-conscious about things out of their reach, women cannot decide to have their period, or to bleed through, or to PMS. Women should not be put down because of something uncapable of being controlled.

A few other responses to this question are, “Yes, I do not know why, just instinct. I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know why I do it”. Women feel that the normal is to hide their periods, that it should be some kind of secret that no men should hear about. That because they don’t have to have a period then they don’t understand. Most men do not understand, says “Latest data reveals an alarming education gap that continues to fuel period stigma and misinformation as nearly one in 10 men (8%) believe menstruation attracts sharks in the sea”. Maybe if men where better educated on the female body system, then they would not feel the need to make women feel ashamed of their bodies. Another response I got after asking “Have you ever experienced embarrassment or shame while being on your period? Why?” is, “Yeah, if I bleed through, I feel so embarrassed even though I can’t help it because I couldn’t stop it”. You cannot stop it, you cannot help it, you cannot control it. Your body can do amazing things, just because some people can’t wrap their heads around the idea of a period, doesn’t mean they should be able to bring any negative emotions on you.

Women should be able to talk about their periods or be able to hold their tampon or pad on the way to the bathroom without other people around them feeling uncomfortable. Women should not have to worry about making a male feeling uncomfortable because of what their bodies naturally do. says, almost three quarters of women surveyed have hid a pad or tampon from view on their way to the bathroom. A period should not be labeled as ‘gross’ or ‘disgusting’, us women should not allow men to label our bodies or periods that way.

I believe that women should not feel ashamed of their periods, they should not feel embarrassed. Anyone who believes periods are weird or gross need to be educated. Menstruation is not disgusting; it is a healthy and normal bodily function that most women experience. Tell your story, do not keep your period a secret. Since menstruation is something half of the population have to deal with for decades of their lives, shouldn’t we normalize it? Period.