A Valid Excuse

2019

My period affects my life to a large degree.
Not just during it,
But also the week leading up to it,
When I’m unable to move.
My body feels weak,
And my legs feel as if they’re being pulled away from my body.
There’s usually a general feeling of exhaustion,
Which continues until my period ends.

FULL STORY

Broken Hymen

2019

I was very young,
About 8 years old,
When I found blood in my underwear.
I didn’t pay any attention to it,
Until my mother saw it and asked me.
“I don’t know,” I said.
“Tell me if you find blood again,” she said.
She explained menstruation to me,
And explained what a hymen was.
She told me it resembles a wet napkin,
And that it could tear easily,
And that they’d kill me if I tore it.
This scared me,
And stopped me from doing anything.

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It Happens to All Girls

2019

The first time I got it,
I thought I had injured my privates.
The pain, the shock of seeing blood—it was all new to me.
I had no idea what was going on.
womanhood, body image, period

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Renaming Myself Sami

2019

I was scared because everyone told me that,
Once I got my period and hit puberty,
A lot of things were going to change:
I wouldn’t be able to wear shorts anymore or ride bikes,
Or play with boys on the street.
gender identity, body image, womanhood, period

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Pain and Discomfort

2019

I wasn’t feeling well for over a month.
I had a stomach-ache,
And was feeling down all the time.
My mother took me to see a doctor when I told her.
After he examined me, he said,
“There’s nothing wrong with you.
Eat well,
And stop eating food that isn’t home-cooked.”
A month later,
I got my period.
I didn’t understand what it was at first.

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1000 FAQ for Women

2019

I never feel shy asking him about anything.
He never turns me away.
“Let’s search for the answer together,” he’d always tell me.
Baba is amazing when it comes to respecting women.

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Blood-soaked Underwear

2006

Only twice has the sight of blood-soaked underwear shocked me.
The first time it happened ever. (period).
And the second time when I was too deranged to know what was going on.

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Marriage and Blood

2019

My stomach started to ache really badly.
I found blood.
I stuffed a lot of tissues into my underwear.
I burst into tears and kept crying for some time.
My mother eventually found my stained shorts.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked.
I didn’t know what to say.
We had never exactly been close.
womanhood, period

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The Virginity Test

2019

I didn’t bleed a lot the first day I got my period,
So there were doubts about whether or not it was actually my period.
It was the worst time of my life.
womanhood, period, gender violence, fgm, virginity testing

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Neither Bad nor Sacred

2019

I was in the sixth grade the first time I got it.
I went to the bathroom,
And discovered that I was bleeding.
I don’t remember if someone had talked to me about it before,
But I remember knowing that I wasn’t injured.
I told my mother and she was happy.
That’s how I knew it was a good thing.

FULL STORY
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