Men Explain Periods

men-explain-periodsI have known for quite some time that a significant portion of the population, both male and female, cannot accurately describe what goes on during our monthly period. I didn’t have to do a lot of research to arrive at this conclusion, it was just something that I picked up in every day conversation as I’m sure have many of you. So when BuzzFeed took the time to sit a few men down and record their answers to their period-related questions, I knew I’d be in for a good laugh. I just had to see it, and let me tell you: it did NOT disappoint.

Within the first few seconds of the video, I was already chuckling because the guy on screen couldn’t execute when asked to simply spell menstruation. He came up with “m-e-n-s-t-r-a-t-i-o-n.” Smooth, dude. We were clearly off to a good start. Here’s a question by question breakdown along with some of my commentary. Get the popcorn ready.

What happens during a period?

Each man is holding a diagram of the female anatomy and attempts to explain the process. My faith is somewhat restored when a couple of them at least understand the gist of the bleeding: an unfertilized egg and accompanying unused uterine lining are released through the vagina. The descriptions of these activities, however, are priceless.

– “F*ck me if I know which one’s the uterus!”
– “A woman’s like, ‘Are we gonna get pregnant?’ and then it’s like, ‘Nope!’ and then it’s like, ‘Dang it! Why did we do all this stuff?’“
– “And then it just sheds out, just SHOOTS it out!”

What can be used to absorb menstrual flow?

Most are at least passingly familiar with the concept and usage of both tampons and maxi pads, and one particularly savvy individual even knows about the menstrual cup. I give the guy a mental gold star, even though what he says is, “You can stick a weird cup inside of yourself and catch it like a little drink!” One guy has never seen or handled a feminine hygiene product before; he looks like he’s reading about quantum mechanics as he inspects the packaging. Some of my favorite responses in this section:

– “This is a pad, you put it into your underwear, and it catches your debris.”
– “I mean I guess you just, like, stick these things, like, in your coochie right?” Can you hear me cringing? Because I’m cringing.
– “It looks like one of those party poppers.” Yup- it’s one big party in my uterus. Hooray!
– “This would be perfect for my nose bleeds when I was a kid!”

How much blood is lost during a period?

A couple of guys guess a pint, one says a half cup and another says “hopefully just a few drops,” but I don’t judge them much for being incorrect here since this particular question baffles a lot of women too. I’ve heard females guess that we lose a quart if not up to a gallon of blood, when in reality it’s only between 4—12 teaspoons. I do slap my forehead in shame over the guy guessing five ounces (wait for it), then adds that 5 ounces is still a lot of blood since that’s almost a pound. To that I say stay in school, kids, stay in school. As for the guy that asks how long the bleeding lasts and issues a hearty “It just keeps coming out? Oh hell no!” when he learns it’s pretty much an all-day occurrence, I say, “Exactly, bro. So leave us the heck alone.”

What causes cramps?

Two of the men know that cramps are caused by the contraction of the uterus as it tries to expel all of the unused reproductive matter. One guy thinks maybe cramps happen because the egg is too big while another says that you’re going to feel pain whenever flesh inside of you is ripping itself off. That last one isn’t too far off the mark, really, so I’ll give that a pass.

What would you do if you had a period?

My favorite response of the entire video:

“It’d be like when you’re at your friend’s house and you, like, clog their toilet. And you’re like, ‘What do I do? I don’t want to tell anyone, but I don’t know how to fix this!”

I give one last round of props to the very honest guy who admits the following: he would probably do what women do, going on about his day pretending like nothing was wrong despite being in a ton of pain.

So the fellas may not know exactly what goes on down there, and when they guess it becomes a comedy of errors. Still, in one way or another, at least this group of guys understands that it’s complicated and painful. For stepping up to admit that, everyone gets gold stars.

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About This Blogger

Vanessa Diaz

Vanessa Diaz was born and raised in San Diego, California and is a proud alumnus of the University of Southern California. After a decade working for the same company where she interned during her senior year, Vanessa recently left Corporate America behind to pursue her passion for writing. She is an avid reader, wine lover and seeker of beautiful libraries and independent bookstores. She considers herself a feminist and champion for positive female body image. Her blog Buenos Diaz is an expression of everything from her love of travel to her passion for storytelling, her interest in women’s issues and penchant towards humorous social commentary.