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Why Can't We Talk About Our Periods?

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The problem with female comedians is that they ALL talk about their periods all the time. It is literally their whole sets. Periods, blood, tampons, ladydiapers, period, period. Period. Eurgh. It is disgusting, am I right, guys?

I have heard more people say that out loud, than I have ever heard a female comedian talk about her period. I have heard one. It was good. Most female comedians would not dare to talk about it, because most of us are too stubborn - we do not want to become the stereotype people have created about us. Unfunny, period-babbling, ovary-owning, kitchen-abandoning... Anyways-

Why can't I talk about my period?

It is five days every month, it is £4 every time I run out of tampons, it was the reason I had to say no to sleeping with my ex-boyfriend one last time before he went away for three months. It is why my muslim friend had the energy to meet up with me during Ramadan. Otherwise, we would not have seen each other for another six months. It is not even just five days a month. It is the three days leading up to it, where I crave penises and ice cream and it is the two days right before, where I collapse onto my bed, crying, weeping, because I watched a sad commercial on TV and I can barely control how much my mind connects that commercial with every heartbreak in my entire life. It is powerful.

It was used as a weapon when my friend took revenge on a guy who had wronged her. He woke up to a redstained, formerly all-white and expensive couch and hopefully that was a clearer 'No!' than the one she had said the night before. It is the six days you say a prayer before you look down, hoping it has finally come, because it is late and you had not worn a condom that night in that guy's bed in Herne Hill. You fear the phone call you have to make, then you remember you do not have the guy's phone number, you only know his name was 'BigMike' which is not what you imagined the father of your firstborn child was going to be called. You were thinking Ewan or Gabriel or something like that. And the relief when it finally comes and you are not pregnant with LittleBigMike and you feel like dancing, despite the pain, the mindnumbing pain.

The cramps, the headache, the backache. You cancel your plans without giving a reason, because you have been told that no one wants to hear about your period. People cringe when it comes up. On TV, it is always light blue and women smile. I am not sure which of those is the most unrealistic.

I have heard people describe in details the story of the time they took a dump so big, it clogged the toilet and they could not walk for a week. Men, mostly, but I myself have paraded around showing everyone a picture of poo so big, if it had been a baby, it would have to be c-sectioned. It did not make people as proud of me, as I would have expected from my close friends. It was however, much more acceptable than mentioning my period. Despite how natural, normal and human it is. Dare I also say feminine?

This happens to approximately half of the population and it takes up on average 1/5 of a woman's life, and yet, we are shamed into not talking about it. Which frankly, is more disgusting than actual periods. Which we know is very disgusting indeed. Am I right, guys?

Sofie Hagen has a newsletter, a website and a podcast. And she will be performing at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival here. She will have her next period in approximately 19 days.

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