Does your dad look at his phone or turn his head (ever so slyly) when a tampon or pad commercial comes on? Is there an elephant in the room when you’re sitting at the kitchen table with a heating pad on your lap and a tub of ice cream in front of you?
Why are we so afraid to talk to our dads (or cis-gender father figures) about periods? The answer is simple: if they don’t get periods (physically) then they just can't relate. BUT...speaking from personal experience, it’s important to be open with your dad about your period. It is a HUGE way to crush the outdated period taboo that we are still seeing every day.
It’s time to smash the shame! Periods are not going to be your Pops most favorite topic to chat about, but it will help him have a whole new level of understanding of you.
I’m an open book to my parents when it comes to just about anything. I consider myself lucky to be able to talk to them and not feel judged when it comes to a lot of “awkward” topics, and periods are at the top of that list.
I’ll get weekly phone calls from my dad, “How’s work, your life, friends, etc.”…and I won’t lie to him…I don’t hold back when I’m on my period…
A common response, “Dad, I’m currently dying from cramps and my menstrual cup is almost over flowing every three hours and I’m also being a raging psycho b*tch to every person that rubs me the wrong way today.”
His responses are normally so sweet and caring (and contain a couple of chuckles here and there) and, he’s probably thinking, "what has my life come to, and how did I become so cool and open to talking to my daughter about her flow?"
WELL DAD ALL OF YOUR FELLOW PADRES SHOULD BE RESPONDING THE SAME WAY YOU DO…and most definitely should not be saying “EW,” “talk to your mom/sister/fellow menstruating human about that,” or “I don’t want to hear about that”.
You+Your Dad+Period Talk = BUH-BYE DUMB STIGMA!
A couple of reasons why it’s important to talk about your crimson flow:
1) It can help create openness in your father-to-offspring relationship because it involves your health.
2) IT’S GOING TO HELP SMASH THAT D@MN TABOO.
3) There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
4) Education is so important, people! Your Pops might seem to know everything, but he is certainly no expert when it comes to Aunt Flow.
So get out there, and get chattin’ about your period!
(And if you need some help there’s tons of info on lunette.com ☺)
Disclaimer: My dad asks me to trim his toenails and shave his neck hairs so maybe that’s just the kind of relationship we have...? But still, talk to your dad. Change how he thinks about periods. TELL HIM TO SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON FACEBOOK. (my dad did).
By Maryann Good
Like Jen, I am comfortable talking about menstruation with men. But discussing it with a male ‘father figure’ is not something I’m up for, given the fact I was sexually abused by my ex step dad growing up. It was mortifying when he congratulated me when I got it for the first time because my mom told him. For the record I hardly discuss menstruation with my own mother.
My little girl just started her first period and I’m scared as hell. there is no book on how to deal with this because everyone is different. I will do my best.
I do discuss cups, and period justice with plenty of men, but my dad is not one of them. This isn’t because of any discomfort on my part, but because he is a particularly backwards and repressed individual when it comes to the human body, espeaially the femle variety.