Period End of Sentence Documentary Review

This past Sunday the Oscars were on television. The coveted award that so many dream about winning had graced across our screens. But, the one part of the Oscars this year that grabbed my attention was the winner for Short Documentary. The winner was Period. End of Sentence on Netflix took home the golden statue.

I had heard about this documentary a couple of weeks ago from a friend who knows that I am blogging about my period experiences. She encouraged me to watch the quick twenty-five minute film on Netflix telling me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. Lets just say I wasn’t, the whole reason why I am blogging about my period is based on research I had read about in India.

The movie starts off asking young girls about menstruation in a small town in India. When the men are asked about menstruation they talk about it like it is a disease. There are stories from young girls and women who leave school because they are ashamed of bleeding. These women did not have the proper access to sanitary products until a man came in making pads for them.

When the women were introduced to pads for the first time they were completely entranced. They went into the factory to see how they are made. They asked questions about pads and their function for periods. The look of shock and awe came across some of their faces as they realized that they could use something that wasn’t just a rag.

Before the movie had ended several of these young women had mentioned the new access to period products had given them a new sense of independence. The filmmakers then went into Delhi to discuss the production of pads for young women who are just starting to bleed for the first time. The message they have across the men and women featured is hope that the usage of pads will encourage young women and girls to do what want during their period.

Watching Period End of Sentence reminded me of why I am blogging about my period. I have received some backlash regarding writing about it after noticing a woman being harassed. The more I think about it, I realize that this particular happened a little over a year ago. Since then I have been reading stories from women around the world who have similar stories to the young girls and women in this documentary. Period End of Sentence justified my reason for continuing to blog about my menstrual cycle.

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The Tampon Terror

IMG_8974.JPGFirst off, this is not a post about how bad tampons are. This is a post about the first time I used a tampon. The usage of a tampon is one that was nerve racking to me. I had thoughts flutter through my mind whether or not it will be able to keep all the blood in. I was hoping that it would not leak and stain my pants. I remember wearing a pad for safety.

So, here is the story, I was fourteen years old and I told my mom I wanted to try tampons. It was summer with one of my favorite activities being swimming. A tampon is one option I wanted to use because I did not want to use a pad as it would fill up with water. In preparation for my period coming in the summer my mom went out and bought tampons.

IMG_8976.JPGWhen I got my period I got it at night, therefore I could not use a tampon then. The next morning my mom and I went into the bathroom to use the tampon. I remember being nervous and scared because of how tampons work. I actually got cold feet and chickened out that day.

The rest of the day I would sit outside by the pool wearing a bathing suit and shorts. I began to think to myself what would the harm be in trying a tampon out? My friends had used tampons before and they like them. I talked with my mom later that night and decided the next morning to go for it.

IMG_8971.JPGAfter a restless night filled with anxiety and cramps morning came. I met my mom in the bathroom with the tampons ready to try. I was nervous, but decided to go with it. I asked my mom to leave the room for privacy. After telling me that she would be right out the door in case I needed her. She left, and I read the instructions on the box a couple of times. My mom had knocked on the door to check on how I was doing.

IMG_8973.JPGIt was then that I put in my first tampon. I remember feeling strange because it didn’t hurt once it was inside. Before I walked out of the bathroom, I put a pad on for safety as this was my first experience. The rest of the day I jumped in between going swimming and not swimming.

I had a timer set to remind me when it was time to take the tampon out. I remember reading the instructions multiple times about when to take the tampon out. I put a piece of tape on the end of the little white string to remind me it was there for when I used the bathroom. I know the timer part sounds a little weird, but it was my first time using one and I didn’t want to get sick.

The usage of a tampon for the first time was a nerve racking and strange right of passage to me. After I got comfortable within my period and using tampons I stopped using the pad for safety, although the first couple days when it is heavy I tend to rely on pads. The first tampon experience was a bit terrifying, but once I got used to using them they were not so bad.