I refuse to apologise for my period

Reading time: 3 mins

By Attie Dolke

The height of horror: I get a call from my landlady. I’m subletting my room over the summer and she’s angry with me because I didn’t tell her that I’d got blood on my mattress. I explained to her on the phone that I’d forgotten to tell her. Frankly every mattress I’ve ever owned has blood on it, that’s what a mattress is to me! If you have horrifically heavy periods then you just accept this, why replace a mattress when you’re just going to adorn the next one with a similar red splotch?

The whole conversation drove me nuts, I felt like I had to apologise for this. Not only do periods cost me money in tampons and period pants, I’ll also have to pay for a new mattress. What a brave and equal world we live in!

Why do I have to apologise? Mattresses are not designed for periods, despite the fact that a really high percentage of mattress users have periods. Why are they not automatically covered over with material to prevent period stains? On the same note, we shouldn’t call getting blood on something ‘a mistake’, it’s not a mistake, my body is doing this, I didn’t fall over clumsily or wet myself, it’s a period. Trust, me they’re worse for me to deal with then they are for someone else. They cost me hours of pain, misery and embarrassment every month. If I could cancel my subscription I would, unfortunately I’m locked in until my 50s. How have decades of feminism happened, decades of people pointing out that a society built around men causes active and constant damage to non-men, and we’re still at a point where there is no place for my body and its inevitable functions?

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