When it comes to talking about periods, most guys seem to range from grossed out, to shifty and uncomfortable, to almost offensively dismissive — all while maintaining an almost comedic amount of ignorance. But what would the world be like if men also got periods? Set aside for a moment the fact that human biology and the way the male and female reproductive systems work makes it impossible for cisgender men to have periods — just imagine.
That's what the British organization WaterAid is asking you to do with their parody videos, including one for for "Manpons" AKA man tampons. The videos are hilarious, but they're meant to draw attention to an important problem: The fact that over one billion women and girls don't have access to toilet facilities during their periods, which creates an unnecessary burden and a lot of unnecessary stigma.
“Every day 800 million women have their period, and yet most of us consider it an embarrassing and taboo subject," Barbara Frost, WaterAid's Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release. And you can see this even in commercials for menstrual products that often try to be as ambiguous as possible (with a few notable exceptions).
But if most men had periods? No way would it be a taboo subject. Just picture it.
Instead of being at best something to quietly manage and at worst something embarrassing to hide at all costs, dealing with your period would be empowering.
Instead of never talking about periods in public, people would brag about how tough they were for handling it.
And instead of most people just brushing off the very real need that people around the world have for period supplies and toilet facilities during their period, maybe we might actually pay attention. You know, if some or all of those people had male bodies rather than female ones.
So behold the alternate universe of manpons!
And check out what office banter would look like if PMS were a badge of honor rather than a way to discredit women.
And if you liked those, maybe consider signing the WaterAid petition to make periods more manageable for the people who do experience them.
Images: Fotolia; WaterAid/YouTube (2)