My bloody shame

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I hide my tampon in my sleeve before going out to change it, so nobody sees it.

I see advertisements for menstrual pads, that are telling me just how good their brand is at hiding that I menstruate. Clear blue liquid drips onto the pad that quickly absorbs the fluid. It doesn’t even approximately look like what’s flowing out of my uterus once a month.

My boyfriend wants to have sex even though I menstruate. He says he doesn’t think it’s disgusting. I like that about him. Yet, I am holding back. For so long, I have been told that I should conceal the fact that I am bleeding.

I have been told that there are things about myself I have to hide away. I hide my menstruation, my flab, my nipples, my skin, my desire, my anger. I buy things that help me to hide it, or forget it.

I don’t understand why Instagram think it is offensive to bleed through your pajama pants.

I’ll never understand who decides what I should be ashamed of, and why I should be ashamed. But I know that I refuse.

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Originally published in Friktion Magazine.

Cecilie Bødker © 2015