REAL LIFE

“Some Men Have Periods, Too”: A Mom’s Attempts To Teach Her 4-Year-Old Son About Menstruation Started An Important Debate

November 14, 2019 15:37

Our attitudes towards menstruation have come a long way and the secrecy that surrounded periods in the past was gradually replaced by empowering ideas, experiences, and language.

Today, conversations on transgender periods and men periods are commonplace, with many addressing the matter with inclusivity, rather than exclusion. One mother went viral when she shared her experiences teaching her 4-year-old son that “not only women have periods.”

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Mom taught her son not only women have periods

As children grow up, parents have the responsibility to teach them about changes in their bodies and how they can handle them. Milly Bhaskara’s 4-year-old son learned about menstruation the day he noticed that his mom had leaked through her pants!

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Milly is a progressive mother and when her son Eli inquired about periods, she chose to tackle the issue head-on, rather than just avoid it. Milly chose to teach her son about menstruation using a sign that said:

Some men have periods, too. If I can get it so can you.

The sign included everything that Milly wanted his son to understand. Using inclusive language, she taught the 4-year-old that there are different people who get periods, without sounding sexist.

Milly, who is also a mental health advocate used his son’s special lesson as a means to encourage others to be more open-minded in tackling menstruation at a time when transitioning is a new reality.

I told him that SOME women, SOME non-binary people and SOME men have periods.

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Her words ring true since even big corporations like Procter and Gamble have moved to embrace change when they removed the “feminine symbol” from the Always menstrual pads. This move was seen as a means of creating inclusion and destigmatizing periods without shutting anyone out.

How to support "all peoples" during their periods

While handling menstruation issues is not foolproof and easy for everyone, there are ways that you can provide support on a personal level to those around you.

  • Help with shopping: when you can, volunteer to get supplies from the store.
  • Show understanding: a little acceptance can go a long way.
  • Change your language: watch how you talk about periods and rather than alienate, be inclusive.
  • Show respect: if someone loves their privacy, don’t pester them.
  • Gender-neutral products: spread the word about products that have utility for all genders.

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Our world has come a long way and while not everyone is on the same page, there are ways that individuals can act to create a positive shift in attitudes and perceptions. If we are open-minded on gender-related issues, we can make the world a place where everyone belongs.

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