Considering a good percentage of the adult population is bleeding from their vagina about a quarter of the time, it's surprising how little menstruation features in films. I mean, I don't know about you but my periods are definitely full of Oscar-worthy drama. The first two days I get all Sissy Spacek at the end of Carrie and then the rest of the week my period's like that last Lord of the Rings film that goes on and on and on and just when I think it's over, it's fucking well not.
The day-to-day management of menstruation is also rarely photographed or painted, nor sung, written or even generally talked about. As a result, I've often ended up feeling like I'm the only person on the planet scrubbing bloodstains out of my undies in the bathroom sink while everyone else is out playing tennis in white shorts or romping on the beach in high-cut bikinis. Arseholes.
I'd therefore like to present for your consideration some ideas for ‘Menstruation 101', a real-to-life course about menstrual management (also known as ‘What I Wished I'd Been Told When I Was Thirteen'). The units of enquiry will include things like:
Tampon Handling: how to insert and remove a tampon without the bathroom ending up like the set of a 1970s slasher movie.
Wardrobe Administration: how to best collect and burn white or beige coloured items of clothing in your possession, particularly underpants.
Disposal Methods: how to discretely dispose of used tampons and menstrual pads in a way that won't psychologically scar your children for life.
Calendar Management: ways to effectively track your menstrual cycle so you will NEVER AGAIN schedule an event involving an unavoidable public appearance in your swimsuit on the first day of your period.
Improvisation Techniques: the artful use of clothing and other props (such as bags, newspapers and small children) to conceal minor leakage; also, toilet paper folding techniques for beginners.
Emergency Response Tactics: exploring the ethical, legal and practical considerations surrounding the removal, washing and drying of clothing in the disabled toilets or changing a tampon while stuck behind the driver's wheel in heavy traffic.
Night Time Strategies: how to find and maintain sleeping positions that minimise menstrual leakage, along with advanced techniques in completely changing your bedding without waking anyone else sleeping in the bed (please note that this employs a very similar technique used in removing a table cloth without first clearing the table).
... and that's just for starters. What else would you like to see included in this curriculum?