What is it with us female human beings that we have to have a period. Every. Single. Month. Whomever came up with that idea was male – obviously – and not having a particular bright day.
Take a closer look at the animals surrounding us. Why can't we be like them? Have you ever seen a jay with a tampon in her beak looking for a place to cache it, like she normally does with nuts and acorns? Or a dove hiding her sanitary towel under her wing before dashing off to the ladies room? Can you think of walking the garden path and meeting a cranky toad apologizing for her bad mood? Did you spot a hedgehog wearing huge, comfy, cotton knickers, because it was that time of the month? Or a squirrel slumped on a branch, head in her hands?
Never once, did someone found a frog in the pond having a nervous breakdown, blubbering 'I really cannot help myself. I just can't,' her tears raising the water level.
Neither has one heard of a blue tit almost toppling over because of her swollen boobs, or complaining that she can't sleep on her tummy for the exact same reason. Imagine your cat begging you for a hot water bottle, stating that she is feeling lousy and will be spending the day on your sofa cocooning. And requesting a back rub while you are at it.
The only animals who, like us, are dealing with this awful misery are chickens. These lovely creatures are having a period every day. Imagine that! But chickens live a far easier life than we female human beings do, for two reasons:
Firstly, in their case there is no need for sanitary nappies, eggs are their period products with a lid on it. A bit like a sealed menstruation cup filled to the brim, and not that different from a Nespresso cup.
Secondly, because these friendly, feathered ladies are full of self love, and compassionate towards others. Unlike us, they perceive menstruation completely different.
If one chicken would ever come up with the ludicrous idea of teasing another because of her bloated belly or worse, you could hear the rest of the gang chanting 'not cool. Not cool' before you could say 'period-shaming.'
And none of them would ever feel uncomfortable shopping for sanitary pads if they needed it. Would they be walking the aisle with the ladies section feeling sheepish or even blushing? Would they be putting a box of tampons at the bottom of their shopping basket with loads of corncobs on top so it would be hidden from view?
Hell no. You can trust them standing in line, regardless the gender of the cashier, fearlessly. And when meeting another shopper with her sanitary stuff visibly in her basket, you can expect them to be fist bumping immediately followed by a hug with soothing words such as 'keep your wattles up,' or 'sorry for your bloody loss.'
Next time you are having your period try to be kind to yourself. And if you know another woman is having hers: give her a pat on the back and tell her 'you've got this.'
Wouldn't we be better off if we were more like this?
Fleurtje Eliza Duivis is an artist, art historian and the founder of the art project Blue Mark
For ME (https://www.bluemarkforme.com/). She is known for knitting mushrooms and talking to the bin (well... not just the bin).