*Note: I’m totally aware that people who are not women can and do violently shed their uterine lining. This is a post for all of us who do this on the regular or not-so-regular, but it’s also a post entirely about violently shedding your uterine lining, so if you don’t wanna read about periods, scroll! Scroll like the wind!
This morning, after being woken up by the kind of hell-cramps that make me want to gently murder everyone who’s ever written a post about “loving your period” and splashing around joyously in your own menstrual fluid, I had the following conversation with one of my oldest friends:
Me: I wanna know what motherfucker invented the tampon. Like, who went, “You know what? Wad of cotton. Problem solved.”
Marissa: Just something else useless from a man I’m supposed to stick in my vagina.
YO, HERE’S THE THING: FUCK TAMPONS, THOUGH.
- THEY LEAK EVERYWHERE WHAT’S EVEN THE POINT?
- I CAN NEVER TELL WHETHER I AM JITTERY FROM CAFFEINE OR FROM THE ONSET OF TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME
- IF YOU PUT ONE IN AND REALIZE YOU’VE MADE A HUGE MISTAKE BECAUSE YOU’VE JUST SHOVED A DRY WAD OF COTTON UP YOURSELF, YOU CAN’T IMMEDIATELY TAKE IT OUT BECAUSE TAKING IT OUT FEELS LIKE RIPPING OUT YOUR INSIDES WITH YOUR FINGERS
- THEY FUCK WITH YOUR NATURAL pH AND MAKE YOU ITCHY AS SHIT AND THEN YOU’RE LIKE, DAMN, IS THIS AN STD OR JUST MY TAMPON (IF YOU’RE LIKE ME — I.E. AN ANXIOUS PERSON — YOU’LL WONDER THIS EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD SEX IN A WHILE, LIKE MAYBE JESUS VISITED UNTO YOU VIRGIN CONCEPTION OF HERPES)
- EVER TRIED TO PUT IN A TAMPON WHILE YOU’RE HELL-CRAMPING? IT’S LIKE TRYING TO FEED A VOMITING SNAPPING TURTLE.
- I SWEAR TO GOD, MY VAGINA AND I NORMALLY GET ALONG FINE, AND THE SECOND I APPROACH IT WITH A TAMPON IT’S LIKE “ET TU, BRUTE?” AND CONSPIRES TO MAKE ME MORE MISERABLE FOR THE REST OF THE DAY
Which got me wondering — who the hell did invent the tampon? I can imagine some canny women in ancient societies figuring out ways to go about their lives that didn’t involve being diapered or something. Menstruation ain’t new shit, people.
TO GOOGLE!, thought I. And there’s apparently a fucking book about tampons?? What?? I kind of want to read it???!!!???
[T]here is evidence of tampon use throughout history in a multitude of cultures. The oldest printed medical document, papyrus ebers, refers to the use of soft papyrus tampons by Egyptian women in the fifteenth century B.C. Roman women used wool tampons. Women in ancient Japan fashioned tampons out of paper, held them in place with a bandage, and changed them 10 to 12 times a day. Traditional Hawaiian women used the furry part of a native fern called hapu’u; and grasses, mosses and other plants are still used by women in parts of Asia and Africa.
To my surprise, IT’S ACTUALLY A LADY (betrayal! but also awesome?? my heart is confused): the modern tampon was invented by Dr. Judith Esser-Mittag and developed for mass production by some other German dude, who cares.
"Then stop wearing tampons," suggests the rational part of my brain not overtaken by rage and bloodthirst.
YO, HERE’S THE THING THOUGH: FUCK ALL THE ALTERNATIVES, TOO. Gross soggy pad that makes you feel like there’s been a murder in your underwear? Dry wad of cotton that you need to take out as soon as it becomes saturated enough to be comfortable? Or $40 DivaCup that may or may not fit in your notoriously narrow vaginal tract? (Maybe that last one is just me).
In conclusion: Fuck it.