Periods: always a valid excuse

Diosanny Rivera
Staff Writer

You want to know something worse than tax season? Periods.


Illustration by Joanna Harlow

I will never understand why some people think that those who have vaginas are lying about their periods. Why would we lie about blood and pain?Why would we lie about something that almost every single person with a vagina is going to experience or is experiencing? Do they think it’s just a fun game and that we just pretend it sucks? Or maybe they think we’re all just exaggerating because “women love drama.” Either way, let’s make one thing explicitly clear: periods suck!

There is nothing better than waking up in the morning and finding out that while you were sleeping, your body was bleeding. And there is nothing better than having to pretend that everything is fine and normal, when your uterus is practicing for giving birth. And there is definitely nothing better than when you’re feeling miserable and in pain, and someone comes up to you and tells you to “quit exaggerating.”

Women are strong as hell because they go about their days charging through a sea of red, and still get all of their work done. But you know what, they shouldn’t have to. I’m not saying that for a week every month women should just sit and do nothing, but getting your period isn’t considered a “valid excuse” to miss class or miss work, and unless you have an understanding professor or boss, good luck trying to go home. (Shout out to all of the wonderful humans out there that understand what women go through don’t expect them to “suck it up and deal with it.”)

What I don’t understand is how being sick is a valid excuse but getting your period isn’t. When someone gets their period, they can feel a multitude of ways. They can experience painful cramps, bloating, headaches, aches and pains throughout their body, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, etc. Each of those symptoms individually would be reason enough for someone to call off of work or email their professor saying they’ll be missing class, but because they’re associated with one’s period, suddenly those reasons are no longer plausible.

I say “bull”. I know people who experience such painful cramps that they are literally rendered immobile. I know people who throw up for hours when their period starts. I know people who get migraines that are so intense they become dizzy and have to lay down or else they’ll pass out. And yet they are still expected to “shake it off” and keep going.

Of course, not everyone’s periods are this bad, but some months may be worse than others and we should all be aware of that. And no, not every person is going to know exactly when their period is going to start. Our bodies are temperamental and like to change things up on us. Twenty-eight days might not be exact for every person and it can vary month by month.

Essentially, what I’m getting at is that if someone needs time off because of their period, it’s a valid excuse and they don’t need to explain themselves to you or anyone.


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