10 things I’d like to tell Non-Menstruators

Project Baala
4 min readMay 25, 2021

“I am and therefore, you are.” Think of these words the next time you speak to a menstruator. Growing up in a predominantly patriarchal society, my experience of periods has not been the smoothest. With a family and a circle of friends who are woke, open minded and supportive, I have had it easier than many others have. Understanding menstruation is basic for any human being, but yes it is nuanced and dynamic as well. I have some things I’d like to say to every non-menstruator, practicing which I hope will change things for all of us.

  1. DON’T FLINCH — I’m sure I’m not the only one who has seen a non-menstruator shift in his seat when the topic of periods has been raised. My response? Please don’t. Your discomfort perpetuates the stigma, the notion of ‘impurity’ behind it. When I bring up menstruation, treat it as you would any other conversation, to make it truly constructive.
  2. UNDERSTAND — Only if you listen, you can understand. However, this understanding only comes about when you first accept that there is a gap in your knowledge of the subject and you are willing to fill that very gap. This is perhaps the most basic step in normalising what shouldn’t have needed normalising in the first place. Ask me anything you want to know, but don’t mock. Genuine inquisitivity is appreciated.
  3. DON’T LET IT GO — Don’t use my being on my period as a way out of argument. I am fully capable as a human being even at ‘that time of the month.’ If you have ever said the words “I’m letting it go because she’s on her period,” stop now. It makes us feel less than, and let me tell you, in no uncertain terms that we are not.
  4. BLOOD IS BLOOD — Period blood is like any other, neither do we want to give it the status of impure, nor do we want to put it on the other end of the spectrum and label it as ‘special.’ The longer that there is a distinction, the longer is our fight. The words ‘yuck,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘impure,’ are derogatory to the hilt. Periods are an integral part of our lives. We embrace it, and it’s about time that you should, too.
  5. DON’T RATIONALIZE — When I’m on my period, I don’t need someone telling me, “Think of it as something good, something that prevents you from getting pregnant when you’re not ready for it.” Periods should not be viewed as an escape. Yes, there will be days when I’m in pain and even sometimes unable to get out of bed. I don’t need rationalization, I need love, support and someone who says “Tell me what you need” without patronizing me.
  6. STOP USING ‘THAT TIME OF THE MONTH’ AS AN EXCUSE — If you’re a non-menstruator and have ever said “Is it that time of the month for you” when they’re being difficult or having a bad day, it’s not okay. This is not an excuse, it is not a metaphor and it most certainly is not a joke.
  7. GIVE ME SPACE — Like I said, we need love and care, but there are times we just want to be by ourselves and we’d really appreciate not being seen as being troublesome or fussy. It is an experience for us, we acknowledge it, but let us live it. If I’m asking to be left alone for a while, I’m being human, I’m being a menstruator who knows what she needs in that moment.
  8. DON’T MAKE IT ABOUT YOURSELF — I deeply appreciate it if you’re someone who has understood the process, are someone who is not uncomfortable with the discussion or around a menstruating person. On the flipside, there are many others who take an extreme stance, priding themselves on being open-minded to an extent where my experience becomes one about you. It is about me, and while I’m grateful for someone like you, it concerns me and sometimes, I’d like it to be about just that.
  9. EVERY EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT — While I have outlined the things I believe we would like to tell non-menstruators, I also would like to bring to the fore the fact that the lived experiences of each menstruating person differ in at least some ways, with context playing a huge role. Remaining cognizant of that context is paramount for a wholesome awareness, and subsequent action.
  10. DON’T MAKE IT A HUSH HUSH TOPIC — Lastly, from the get-go make it an open topic in your personal and professional spaces. If children are brought up with the idea that this is an important, but at the same time, a regular part of life, we will at a point, forgo the need to continue sensitising people. That sensitivity and understanding, if inculcated in the formative years, will be there to stay. That’s what we really and truly want.

About the author — Anavi is a student of Psychology at Lady Shri Ram College which she uses as an asset for guiding her interactions with people. She is a content creator and writer for whom creativity and innovation are the driving forces. She tells her story through her writing and her music. Passion and commitment are her biggest forte, helping her live her dreams and touch the sky. She has been working with Project Baala since 2019 and aims to create a genuine impact through this work.

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Project Baala

Project Baala is an innovative menstrual health solution provider.