'Ask Me About My Uterus' Website Fosters Conversations That You Don't Often See — But That We Definitely Need To Be Having
Your uterus is not generally something that comes up in casual conversation — but maybe that should change. To facilitate that change, a new website called Ask Me About My Uterus provides uterus-having people with a place to share their experiences with, well, having a uterus: From periods to PCOS, everyone needs an outlet, and you probably aren't ever going to have someone actually ask you about your uterus in normal life. (Despite the suspiciously large number of people who seem to want to be able to tell us what we can and can't do with them. Hmm...)
"From a young age, girls are told to keep this air of mystery around their menstrual cycle," the site's founder, Abby Norman, told The Daily Dot. "We’re taught that it’s gross and that we have to have constant vigilance about bleeding through our clothes." Norman decided she wanted to break down that stigma and give people a space to discuss their uteri (yes, the plural is uteri — see? You're learning something new about reproductive organs already!). The site is hosted through Medium and is meant to be a place to share stories of all kinds.
And Norman also wanted to make the space as inclusive as possible. "The experiences of trans men, or those who were born with female organs but prefer not to identify as either male or female, run into some incredibly difficult challenges when it comes to healthcare," she continued. "Whether they’re being refused care because they don’t check a box on their patient history form, or the medical profession refuses to acknowledge their transition, we all need to hear their stories and become allies."
If you've been through a high school health class, hopefully you have a decent understanding of the basics when it comes to your uterus — though given the state of sex ed in this country, that's far from guaranteed. But even if you have the basics down, there are all sorts of amazing and awful facts about uteri that you might have never heard about — because we simply don't talk about uteri and the things that they do, or the things that can happen to them.
And that sucks. Which makes it unsurprising that so many people are enthusiastic about a site that discusses the many, many things that go on when you have a uterus — especially since everyone's experience is different.
"No two women have ever had the same exact menstrual experience, yet we’re told over and over again what’s normal," Norman told The Daily Dot. "The truth is, medicine has no idea what a normal period looks like."
And it's not like this is the sort of thing we see explored much in popular culture, either. Periods are a pretty taboo subject, one that might be referenced in a movie or TV show but that is rarely discussed honestly as a normal part of a woman's life. Similarly, things like infertility, pregnancy, or miscarriage might be a plot point in a story, but the details of the experience rarely get discussed. And good luck finding stories about things like endometriosis.
Which means that people need to carve out specific spaces to have these sorts of conversations. And so far, Ask Me About My Uterus seems to be a popular choice. It's also spawned the hashtag #AskMeAboutMyUterus.
Image: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle