Dayna's Period Story
Am I the only one who thought their already-short life was about to end when they got their first period? It’s coming up to thirteen years ago when ten-year-old me woke up in what seemed like a pool of my own blood; and, it’s safe to say that navigating the crimson wave on the surfboard that is a menstrual pad hasn’t been easy since.
While in possession of the wonder that is a uterus, a lot more brings me here than solely having periods. It would be a lie to say that I’m not angry – anyone who knows me knows it’s pretty easy to get me worked up about the continual devaluing of women and our experiences. Constantly seeing, hearing and reading about women being constrained by limits which are outside of their control; being shamed for their interests, their goals, and their bodies, means I’m constantly a mix of disheartened and frustrated. I hate (H A T E) that women are often ignored by their doctors, their bosses, their governments, and have their entire existences controlled as a result. It annoys me to no end that for millions of women across the world, their freedom isn’t really theirs (yet!).
On a more positive note, I come here with a lot of appreciation for our non-bleeding allies – our dads, brothers, friends, and other legends who don’t shy away from the fact that our lives can (literally) get messy sometimes. The people in our lives who work to be patient, and who educate themselves to be as supportive and helpful as possible. They are so important, and needed now more than ever in our attempts to make meaningful change for the better!
Mostly, though, I’m here out of an exponential awe for other menstruators. Our mums, sisters, and other bleeders – who share their tampons, pads, Panadol or even just their knowledge with others. Those who check each-others’ butts when we stand up to make sure we haven’t leaked all over our seats. Those who work 8+ hour shifts, play rugby, stand in front of lecture theatres educating hundreds of students at a time; those who save lives, keep New Zealand safe, who run New Zealand, all while bleeding through often excruciating pain. Especially, though, the bleeders who sometimes have to sit out for a day or two while their uterus has its moment, before they inevitably and always get back to it.
Lastly, a lot of hope that things will get better has led me here, to Wā Collective, specifically. I’m impressed as heck that so many brilliant women, both here and internationally, are fighting back in such uniquely positive ways, and are using their platforms to be inclusive, progressive, and empowering. As hard as it is sometimes, I have a really strong belief that all of the people who are fighting for equality – both menstrual, and otherwise – will have their efforts pay off in one way or another, even in the face of so much resistance. By being here, I really hope that I can do my bit!