photo: Newsweek
It looks like the fight to end period shaming is FINALLY going mainstream. Last year everyone was talking about periods from marathon runners, to activists, to Donald Trump. NPR called 2015 "the year of the period." But it's 2016 and menstruation is still very taboo. We're hoping things start to change now with Newsweek's latest cover, which stresses on the shame so many women still experience due to the stigma surrounding their periods.

Related From Vivala: The Period Era: 2015 Was The Year of The Menstrual Cycle

Abigal Jones's cover story, "There Will Be Blood: Get Over It" highlights the everyday struggles women experience due to their menstrual cycle, from not finding tampon machines that actually work in women's restrooms, to getting taxed on period products, to girls in rural India having to drop out of school after they get their periods.

"In public, people discuss periods as often as they discuss diarrhea," Jones writes. "Women shove pads or tampons up their sleeves on their way to the bathroom so no one knows it's their 'time of the month.' They get bloodstains on their clothes. They stick wads of toilet paper in their underwear when they're caught without supplies. Meanwhile, ad campaigns sanitize this bloody mess with scenes of light blue liquids gently cascading onto fluffy white pads while women frolic in form-fitting white jeans."

The struggle is real. Seriously, how many times have you felt the need to hide your pad or tampon while on your way to the rest room? For some of us, talking about periods is just as, if not more embarrassing than talking about pooping. Jones even references feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem's 1978 satire for Ms. magazine.

"What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not? The answer is clear — menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event: Men would brag about how long and how much." In other words, men would find a way to justify and glorify menstruation. Whereas woman, we just try to keep it as much of a secret as possible.

Jones even calls the period "the most ignored human rights issues around the globe — affecting everything from education and economics to the environment and public health . . . " She says that things are finally changing, especially after all the talk surrounding periods that happened last year. But what would life be like if the taboo around menstruation really did go away? Here are a few things we'd like to see now that this Newsweek feature is out.

Related From Vivala: Period Myths and Misconceptions That Won't Go Away


No more hiding pads and tampons

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Can we please walk to a public bathroom with a pad in our hand and not have to feel embarrassed about it?

Asking outloud

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Let's not feel the need to whisper whenever we want to ask a female coworker if she has a tampon.

Tampon machines that actually work

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For once, we'd like to finally find a tampon machine in a public women's restroom that actually works.


Guys no longer embarrassed to buy the goods

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Our boyfriends shouldn't feel weird or embarrassed about buying us period products. Menstruation is as natural as breathing, eating, or pooping. Seriously, it's nothing to be ashamed of.


Stop saying we're cray when we're on our period

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We'd love to see the day men stop using our periods as an excuse to mock us as emotionally unstable. Period mood swings do not equal bat-shit crazy — get it right!


No more nicknames

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We really want peeps to stop giving our menstrual cycle pet names like Bloody Mary or saying we're "on the red." Just say "period," it's not that serious.

Not feeling embarrassed when we have to buy pads

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We no longer want to feel the need to buy magazines and gum with our pads and tampons to cover it up.

Not feeling comfortable telling your male boss

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Sometimes cramps take over and you just need to call in sick or leave work early. Cheers to the day we can honestly tell our male boss we have our period rather than covering it up with a lie.

We'd get days off

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In Jones's article, she mentions how in ancient and matrilineal cultures, menstruation was "a sacred time for women to rest and revive their bodies." We certainly wouldn't mind being able to take a few days off to chill and honor our periods.