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Because of the stigma and myth of periods being dirty, I wanted to distance myself from imagined uncleanliness. I compromised my comfort, but it did not come without a valuable lesson.

By Rachael Edwards We all have stories that we tuck away into the crevices of our inner-most beings in hopes to have them never resurface again. One of my stories that I rarely, if ever, share with anyone is the time I fainted while trying to insert a tampon. Granted, it was my first time but there were reasons that led up to me fainting and the embarrassment that followed after. Recently, I have explored why I find this particular story so embarrassing. Growing up, I was taught to tuck pads deep into my purse so that no one else could see I had my period. It was women’s business and men could not discover what was  going on with my body. If they did, myself and other young women were teased. The language around periods remains problematic because this language is laced with associating our menstrual cycles to uncleanliness–people who menstruate have to hide what happens to their bodies because the cishet male gaze perpetuates the lie that periods are dirty and something to be ashamed of. When I was 17-years-old, I thought it would be a good idea to insert a tampon without any practice. I was told that tampons were cleaner and way cooler than pads. In high school, I was the one in the bathroom with the loud crunchy pad paper. I never had any real issue with pads until someone told me that I was late to the game and needed to start wearing tampons. I wanted to be as clean as possible-if tampons meant that, I had to catch up.
Related: #ASKCAM: HOW TO OWN YOUR SEXUALITY

What better way to say “Fuck the patriarchy” than by choosing a menstrual cup over more traditional feminine hygiene products? In honor of the plain-speaking Chinese Olympian, Fu Yuanhui, who told a reporter that she was on her period when he asked

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