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What I’m about to say may shock you. And I don’t say the following with any intent to offend — it is simply a fact, as gruesome as it may be. Are you sitting down? Good. Here we go… *deep breath*

Hoo boy. Are you okay? By now, you’ve hopefully ushered any children from the vicinity for fear that they might be reading this over your shoulder.

I jest, of course, but isn’t it interesting that our vaginas — and, specifically, the hell they put us through on a monthly basis — are considered such a taboo subject?

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I get that one a lot, actually. And while I’m with these women — I get it, I really do — why are we so embarrassed by our periods? It’s not like they’re weird …literally half of the human population experiences menstruation. Does it stem from the mortifying origins of our first periods? (Who else is having a traumatizing flashback of ruining their khaki pants in sixth grade band class?)

Also, whose mothers raised them with the attitude that speaking about their periods was off-limits? Again, no hate to the older female community — their mothers probably raised them that way, and so on, and so on. But why not break the cycle?

The vagina is not some fearsome entity shrouded in mystery — it’s not the anatomical version of Voldemort. It is a part of the body that is wonderful, frustrating, and incredibly important.

When one of your co-workers asks how you’re doing, be honest — tell them your period just started and you feel like a bloated wildebeest. Or, if your period is weird or not on schedule, why not ask another woman if she has had a similar experience — rather than Googling like crazy to find out if you got pregnant from sharing your boyfriend’s beach towel?

While it was probably determined long ago (and by a man) that our periods are something to be ashamed of, it is ultimately us who have to suffer through them.

In fact, I challenge each and every one of you to unashamedly buy a package of maxi pads today. And when your cashier asks if you need a bag, say no, and carry that enormous evidence of your vagina with pride.