The Red Tide Cometh!

Maybe periods wouldn’t be so frightening if we didn’t refer to them as “red tide” or “shark week” or any other euphemism that evokes neurotoxicity or dismemberment.

—  Lindy West, on a world where girls can talk about menstruation in shouts instead of whispers

I’m one of those girls who calls my period things like the “red tide” and “shark week,” and, my newest addition, “the red wedding.” I use words like massacre and death and killing when I talk about it. I also do things like quote the movie Carrie and look at everyone like I might be covered in pig’s blood and about to set my entire workplace on fire with everyone inside.

I don’t do this because I want to frighten people, not really. I do it because referring to it as such sounds pretty cool.

I do it because I want to illustrate the point that having a period feels a lot like fighting a battle. When I am on my period it feels a lot like I’m trapped in a horror movie, or maybe a psychological thriller. I want people to see that for one week every month I am acting with bravery and courage.

I want people to think periods are pretty badass.

Even if your reaction is more horrified than “I’m basically Xena,” you still stare at your hands, and think about how freaky it is that you have blood all over your hands and yet everything is totally fine in your life.

— The 11 Grossest Things Every Woman Does During Her Period

I guess it’s a pride thing. I am constantly being tested, and I have proof that I am strong and can handle pain, irritability, and discomfort like it’s nothing. I can fight through fatigue and anger and sadness to get everyday activities done. I can do it all without people around even noticing anything is wrong.

Waking up month after month to seeing your underwear filled with blood never stops being a little bit scary. Swimming upstream through migraines, fatigue, cramps, and an uncontrollable feeling of rage, despair, and loneliness for a whole week every month never gets easier. To watch yourself behave in ways you can’t understand or control is always frustrating and a little surreal.

Not to be mean but the guys I know shut down when they get the damn sniffles. They have to go home every time they get a headache. They look for sympathy, comfort, and care every time they feel a little “under the weather” but if I mention my period it all “Ew!” “Gross!” “I don’t want to hear that!”

But we are the sensitive and weak sex? Ha!

So yeah, I’m gonna go on and on about how it’s “shark week” and about all the “blood in the water”. Yeah, I’m going to talk about massacres in my pants and having a “uterus made of death”. I’m going to talk about “Carrie at the prom” and warn people the “red tide is coming in.”

I’m going to do it simply because it sounds badass.

I’m going to do it because fighting through my period makes me feel pretty badass.

I’m going to do it because I think all women are badass and I like to talk about us like we are something to fear.

I’m going to talk about us like we are made of pain, and war, and blood, because we fucking are and our periods prove it.


If you like this post, consider signing up for my newsletter

Written for the monthly blogging event #WeBleed, where women can share their experiences surrounding menstruation.

Featured image via Wikipedia


5 Replies to “The Red Tide Cometh!”

  1. HAHA!
    A coworker – YEARS ago – referred to her “monthly friend” coming for a visit. I asked why she thought it was a friend, and she said, “Because every month it comes it means I’m not pregnant!” I can live with that.
    My step-daughter, on the other hand, has major issues with her entire reproductive system, and one horribly heavy month, she said basically her whole uterus fell out in the toilet.

    We are truly an awesome sex. Fear us!


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.