What an absolute Mother trucking breakthrough for girls across England!!! Amika George, is an absolutely outstanding human being for starting this campaign and if I ever get the chance to meet you Amika, I will kiss you, hug you and squeeze you! Free sanitary products in all UK secondary schools and colleges, what an inspiration to women of all ages you are! Let’s face it ladies, periods suck arse as a bare minimum, but to have to worry about being able to afford sanitary products to feel comfortable and avoid the upset, worry and the complete devastation one would feel without these important and vital necessities, is beyond belief. We need to talk about periods to our children, husbands, boys and girls. Why is it such a taboo subject when we all arrived into this world from the same fluffy, warm, beautifully vermilion starter home where, our Mummas kept us safe for 9 months. PERIOD, PERIOD, PERIOD, PERIOD and PERIODS!!!
My periods started when I was 12. I was in the morgue at A hospital in London , and take it from me, A porter appearing in the dark, wheeling a ‘non alive person’ (I can’t say the D word) was actually the closest I ever wanted to come to ever seeing a potential zombie! Not a bad place to start your periods though, as upstairs in the maternity ward it was sanitary products central! Once I’d found a nurse, I couldn’t actually bring myself to approach her, let alone tell her what I wanted from her! The words would not exit my mouth? I was sooooo, embarrassed, how could I possibly tell this woman who delivers babies every day, who has seen more Fanny’s than Hugh Hefner and mopped up more blood, goo and slimey shizz than we could ever imagine; how could I say those words “I’ve started my periods and could I have a sanitary towel please” ??? If I actually say the words then she will know, she will actually know that I am Leaking from my lala! All I can say about hospital sanitary wear from the 80’s is ‘large absorbent pillow’ they were, the size of a feckin pillow! This amazing lady, who was incredibly kind, gentle and more importantly to 12 year old me, completely unfazed by this monumentous confession ( I will never forget you and will be forever grateful for your kindness) filled up a hospital bag with these things, full to the brim, overflowing infact – when I inspected the bags contents, there was possibly 5 towels in there, that’s how gigantuam (is that even a word?) they were! I’d had a giggle with my bestie, we stuck them on our head and I walked home, legs akimbo, so wide you could have driven a bus through them ,but I felt proud, proud that I had become a woman and happy my periods had arrived.
I told my Mum the next day, we made a special trip together to sids corner shop for our important purchase. Mum gave Sid the nod, Sid acknowledges the nod and was so slight of hand, those babies were off the shelf, in a brown paper bag out of sight so fast, it was as if it hadn’t happened? Was Sid also a magician? Why didn’t he ever let me in on his magical secret, I’d spent 10p daily on my mixup of blackjacks and custard creams, walked his dog and he still chose to keep this wizardry from me! Mum had a chat with me during our walk home which consisted of ” would you like me to show you how to use them” I can only compare the terror of that question to seeing the zombie porter in the morgue!!! That is never something I want or need you to do, thank you Mum, I’ve absolutely got this, Im an adult now for Christs sake!
After walking around for a whole week looking and walking like a sumo wrestler, I realised:
a. You don’t need to spend half the day weaving the lengthy piece of cloth around your waist like it was going to save your life in a climbing accident, it’s optional.
b. If it has a sticky strip, never, ever stick it straight onto the skin and repeat every few hours for the whole week, it burns.
c. Listen to your Mummy’s, they’re wise, they care about you and I can guarantee they too had periods.
Typical day for my 1980’s periods at home:
Wooahhhhhh, body form, bod…… who turned the tv over? Where’s Dad? Why is he coughing so loudly, is Dad choking????? Why has Dad made a bivouac out of the evening standard and now drinking his tea inside it??? someone please help Dad, I think he dying!!
Typical day for our home now, with our girls:
Dad, please don’t sneeze like that, I’m on my period! Dad, rub my back please I have terrible period pains, Dad my head hurts can you pour me some water and grab me some paracetamol, Dad can I have a cuddle as I’m on my period and feeling really low, darling could you grab me some sanitary towels from Morrison’s on your way home (for as long as he’s been doing this one, we still always get a plethora of makes, models and sizes, it’s like the hospital bag all over again)
Thank you again, Amika, from all us girls…