All around the world, menstruation and periods are shrouded with silence. At times, we find ourselves or those around us whispering when they’re talking about their period.
Or they use euphemisms because they are uncomfortable, ‘grossed out’ or even forbidden from using words like periods or, worse, menstruation.
Here are some of these euphemisms and why you need to stop using them:
1. That time of the month/monthly visitor: The only time of the month you need to worry about is pay day. #bitchbetterhavemymoney
2. I’m down: This phrase can mean a lot of things but is a negative euphemism for periods. “I’m down” as in I’m sad or I’m down to hang out tonight. If you insist on using ‘I’m down’ for ‘I’m on my period’ make sure you mean ‘I’m on my period but totally DOWN TO HANDLE THIS’ as opposed to ‘I’m on my period and it’s bringing me down’.
3. Bloody Mary: Why equate a normal, natural process you go through every month with a B-grade horror movie.
4. Aunty aiee hoine hain: We’re assuming this one comes from “Aunt Flow is in town” which people in Pakistan don’t use but some of us have seen it in the media and obv translated it. Stop using it because actual aunties might get confused.
5. Ketchup: Thanks for forever ruining French fries for us
6. I’m on my Ps: Everyone knows what you’re talking about anyway. Might as well add e r i o d.
And many, many others.
Euphemisms do serve a purpose in providing with words we can use to speak comfortably about something that is considered a taboo. However, such taboos can be harmful and reinforce misogynistic ideas that the female body is weaker and disgusting. This in turn can lead to challenges in mentrsual management, unchecked diseases and reproductive health concerns, and social ostracisation.