Unfortunately, when it comes right down to it, the world still prefers man blood to moon blood.
You’ve been there: You make the classic mistake of using a light-days cotton wisp instead of a super sop-up mega-pad. And then there you are, at your best friend’s wedding shower, standing up to take your turn at “Pin the Wang on the Groom,” when everyone gasps! Alas, you’ve inadvertently painted a surprisingly accurate map of Europe on the sofa with your own uterine lining. Your friends dry-heave until you flee the room, stained and ashamed (or, dare I say, astained?). You hide in the hall and Venmo the hostess the cost of a new couch. Everyone deems you a careless idiot who can’t keep track of her own endometrium.
And yet, when a man bleeds all over the place, it’s fine. Noble, even. He probably injured himself pushing a toddler out of the path of a runaway hoverboard. Or he’s a sports player who got scraped up during the Super Bowl. Or he was attacked by Somali pirates while rescuing people over there and his stitches popped while he was generously pretending to laugh at Debbie’s dumb jokes. Cheers to our wounded warrior! NOT.
There is an outrageous gender double standard at play here (or, dare I say, double staindard?). A menstruating woman is a pariah who should be banished to a red tent. A bleeding man is a hero who shouldn’t have to pay for his own dry cleaning. Our foremothers fought for our freedoms, and for what? For this?
Just because I’m still adjusting to my recently increased flow as a result of getting the copper IUD two months ago doesn’t make me any less of a person.
Don’t get me wrong—I think it’s okay to give male bleeders the benefit of the doubt. But we need to learn to tolerate—heck, even celebrate—the Big Red Lady Whoops. Let’s stop stain-shaming each other and start supporting each other. The next time you see a sister who’s raggin’ it big-time totally Carrie herself, say something positive like “You’ve got gorgeous hemoglobin,” or, “You must be B-negative; you have the figure for it,” or, “You must be so psyched that you’re not pregnant!”
All bodily fluids are created equal. Let’s end this social hypocrisy and treat bloodstains for what they are: reminders that all people are full of blood, no matter which hole it comes out of and you don’t have to be mortally wounded for that blood to be treated with respect.