When I was eleven years old growing up in the middle of an strangely political, secretly Amish community, an old hag in pink scrubs put a curse on me. She passed out these small bags one day during gym class, and like a fool, I gladly accepted one. Apparently, my underdeveloped frontal cortex hadn’t fully grasped the take home message of all Disney films – never trust ugly, older women. So, like an idiot, I sealed my own damn fate. Once a month for the next thirty years, I would lose my beauty and transform into a wretched old hag, wrecking havoc on all who dared cross my path.
That bag contained everything I would need for the rest of my female existence. One tampon, two pads, a bandaid, a granola bar and a pamphlet entitled “Little Red and You!” Because, even at eleven, I knew what was important, I hid the granola bar in my pocket, then went up and told the school nurse my goodie bag had been missing one. I figured it was kind of a one and done sort of scam, so I took my double granola jackpot and everything else went into the garbage.
I never actually read that pamphlet, so I only have guesses about what the little blonde girl on the cover wanted to teach me. Perhaps she was explaining how to figure out which of your friends where actually red commies. Maybe “little red” was actually a little devil, come to explain what horrors I had caused in a previous life that I was paying for. It may have been a sponsored marketing gimmick about a young girl figuring out what feminine hygiene products were best for her. Not too hard, not too soft, but always, juuuust right.
No matter what that pamphlet was supposed to be, it was simple. The little girl wasn’t giving a complicated life lesson. Either your friends are Russian spies, you were too busy watching the Pharaoh sunbathe to make sure the pyramid was structurally sound, or you should try pads if tampons seem intimidating. That was it.
That crappy little bag contained the secret to surviving and thriving during this thirty-year curse. If it had contained the Franco family Christmas card and a unlimited Chipotle card, I would have assumed that my school nurse was actually Glinda. Now, I don’t even want to think about what our eleven-year-old selves would be faced with these days. It’s not simple anymore.
With a thousand different ways to have your period, what’s a little Red to do? Goldilocks couldn’t figure out what porridge she wanted to eat, and she only had three choices. Now, she could have hot porridge, cold porridge, porridge that’s completely vegan, a porridge you can place inside of you to collect your hunger, a shot of porridge that will prevent you from getting your hungry for months on end, or no porridge at all. And I haven’t even started on types of menstruation care! If having more choices were better, Goldilocks would have just been another drunk girl: stealing food and falling asleep in a stranger’s bed.
If that pamphlet would have taught me anything, it’s that women cannot be trusted to make decisions, and they especially can not be trusted if they are in hysteria caused by a traumatic event, such as breaking into someone’s home, or, I don’t know, bleeding for seven days.
C’mon, America. It’s time to lose all the frills that come with bleeding. Say peace to period panties, sayonara to hormone shots, catch ya never to cups of blood. Let’s make periods great again. .