Y’all the number of comments I read on some Facebook post about the Lammily Period Party doll from people saying that girls didn’t play with dolls by the time they got their periods. smh.
The point is to normalize menstruation and that process doesn’t have to start with menarche. It SHOULDN’T, that’s the whole damn point. Common comment – “Let kids be kids” Come on. Menstruation is a part of childhood. We learned about it in 4th grade when all the girls were put in one classroom with the female teacher and the boys put in the other with our guy teacher. We watched some video. There was a game show in it. It was full of 90s pinks, purples, and aqua.
Women are told that they’re gross, that menstruation is something that needs to be hidden or that they should be ashamed of. If you’re at work and ask for advil because you have a headache or are sore from the gym – a-ok. If you say you have cramps – SHOCK AND HORROR. I don’t think it’s a secret that most women have periods that can come with physical pain or discomfort, and I’m freaking tired of feeling like I need to hide that. I don’t want to wear a shirt that says “bleeding” but if one of my male coworkers says, are you ok? or are you going to the pool today? I feel like it would be refreshing to say, no dude, my uterus is trying to kick its way out of my body.
And, for the love of endometrial cells, you can tell kids part of the story of what menstruation means for a woman’s body. Tell the truth, I’m a big advocate of that, but you don’t have to tell the whole story re: intercourse and kids. AND it’s not like everyone who has a period needs to 1) have kids, 2) have heterosexual sex, 3) have sex at all. I had the puberty conversation with a tween years ago and my focus was – it’s a stage that girls go through while growing up. It means that your body has reached a new stage of your life. It’s perfectly normal. These are the things you can expect. There was also a demo of a tampon in some water. I read a lot of feminist, body-positive guides before embarking on this endeavor, and it was only mildly traumatic for both of us*.
If you don’t want your kids to have the doll, don’t fucking buy it. And if you don’t want your kids to know about periods – um, that’s not going to happen.
*Actually, it really went well. I know that she listened, because she asked some stuff about it later, and I left her with books for further research.