We live in a society in which women get constantly trampled upon. Harassment, assault, cat-calling, wage inequality, body-shaming—the litany of misogynistic horrors goes on and on and on. One very specific and particularly hateful manifestation of systemic patriarchal violence is period shaming. It sounds shocking when it is given a name, but a casual examination of pop culture reveals how deep this vein runs, how commonplace it is. Think of how many incidences of ‘that time of the month’ jokes and their ilk we have all been exposed to, sometimes in otherwise well-written and well-meaning properties. It’s everywhere. It’s treated as light, frothy. A victim-less joke. Period shaming’s normalization in TV and film echoes its real-life prevalence, with some figures from the UK putting the proportion of women who have experienced some form of period shaming at 37%. That’s over a third of all women being bullied, shamed, or having jokes made at their expense because of their periods. Incredibly, almost a half of those women who reported being shamed said that it was their partner who had been doing the shaming. The damage this does is incalculable. Particularly when it is suffered by young girls who are experiencing their periods for the first time, unsure of how to navigate this territory. The daunting nature of being confronted with your own biology in this way at such a tender age is not something I can directly relate to as a man. To then have to be faced with hostility just for existing—it’s unforgivable. Society is not just failing women, it is actively doing them harm. And society is made up of individuals. Watch what happens when this angry father hears that a cashier made fun of his 12-year-old daughter while she and her mother were buying pads for the first time:
Comment from the father underneath the video:
Just so everyone knows, after this video was posted on Facebook a large number of women came forward and spoke out on how they were harassed by this guy. Yes he was fired and now he works at a Gas Station here in town. Not behind the register but as a stocker.
Header Image Source: YouTube