On Woman’s Hour, Zawe Ashton talked about a recurring fear, when performing on stage, that she will get her period. She was in Genet’s The Maids in London’s West End, and confessed this to her female co-stars, who confessed the same right back – that they too worry they will look up to find the audience sniggering at the blood dripping down their thigh.
I’m not one of those “Ladies, let’s talk about periods” people, though, of course, it goes without saying that I will fight for those people’s bloody right to do so. Their right to say, when you ask how they are, that they “need to bleed”, even if they know I’m going to pretend to vomit right afterwards. Or to discuss quite openly the complications of rinsing one’s mooncup in a unisex toilet, or to have any number of conversations about the time they lost their tampon inside themselves quite loudly in a café in Rye. Maybe if I was one of those people, comfortable with saying the word “menses” out loud rather than secretly thinking it should be banned, I’d find it less radical – the sudden realisation that all women who have periods share this fear, that you will bleed and strangers will see, and know, and laugh.
I’m sure we did you know. Eh, it happens, no fuck off, we’re just as good as you men if not better. Now,. promote me because I’m not some shrinking violet.
Wasn’t that the argument? The correct one?