Based on studies, expert opinion, and many personal anecdotes, it's pretty fair to argue that sex education in the UK has failed women. Even the way that men are taught about sex fails women, because while we were sitting inside watching the fun cartoon about menstruation, they all got to play on the playground.
And not teaching men about periods has very real consequences, as one woman recently shared on the TwoXChromosomes subreddit.
A Redditor who goes by faultierin was at her boyfriend's house when she got a surprise period, she wrote, and didn't have any tampons with her. So, instead of walking the 10 minutes to and from the store to buy some all while, you know, freely bleeding all over her pants, she asked if he would go out to get them for her.
His response? It would be "embarrassing." According to faultierin, her boyfriend wondered how it would look for a man to go out and buy tampons.
Plenty of people on the Reddit thread knew exactly how it would look — like he was a kind, compassionate, and caring boyfriend.
"You did nothing wrong in asking him. He needs to face his own issue surrounding his 'embarrassment'... of course, you could always express that you’re 'embarrassed' by dating such an insensitive guy," one person wrote. "Just my perspective."
"I honestly love that there are guys out there like this. It makes me look good," wrote another.
Plenty of people called him immature and said that even if he was embarrassed, he should have recognised that she needed his help and stood up. But another commenter may have hit the real problem here on the head when they pointed out that even plenty of women (and other people who have periods) are embarrassed while buying tampons.
There's a big imbalance of power for people who have periods, simply because we shed our uterine lining roughly once a month. We have to pay for period products, and deal with cramps, nausea, and other pain while still being productive at work and hanging out with friends and keeping our partners entertained — though, of course, it's 100% okay if you'd rather stay home with Netflix and a hot water bottle.
Yet, so many people — women included — are still so ashamed to talk about or otherwise acknowledge that menstruation even exists. We still sneak pads and tampons out of our purses and into our pockets to rush to the bathroom, and don't dare mention the word period in front of men.
So maybe it's time people who have periods start talking about it, even with their dads and brothers and the men they date. Because there's really nothing to be embarrassed about.
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