Blog of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research

It’s My Period and I’ll Have a Party If I Want To

April 6th, 2012 by Elizabeth Kissling

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3 responses to “It’s My Period and I’ll Have a Party If I Want To”

  1. Jacqui says:

    I think I could have predicted the internet uproar! How could women be anything other than shocked? In our culture, women don’t even talk about menstruation so the leap to celebrating it in any way is just too much for a lot of women. See the many ‘I’m repelled’ comments cited above.

    However, I would be cautious about menarche parties : it has to come from the daughter. So much of what is going on at that age is about ‘separating’ in some way from one’s parents, gaining the beginnings of that emotional independence, that I would be highly wary of throwing a party like that for my daughters (currently 6 and 2!) without really being sure that it a)had meaning for them and b)was in no way cramping their style.

    But if the daughter’s happy about it, and mom’s not working out her past issues through her daughter then hey, pin those ovaries and party!!

  2. Jay says:

    I will help my daughter celebrate her first period – a day of shopping with make-overs, getting something pierced, a family meal somewhere nice, a sleep over, some special treat, etc. – but certainly not with a Menarche Party.

    Even if you try to raise your child to feel positive about menstruation at that age peers opinions override anything else – if their friends consider menstruation to be embarrassing then so too will the daughter. A Menarche Party can potentially be very traumatising – thus having the opposite effect, turning menarche into something negative and effecting how they feel about menstruation from then on.

    Besides my partner and I have discussed this at some length – if our girls get celebrations or gifts for menarche (let alone a party), what about our boys?

  3. Elizabeth Kissling says:

    Jacqui, I agree that a menarche party will be more fun/successful if the initiative comes from the daughter. I wouldn’t presume to have a menarche party for a girl without her approval.

    Jay, I have to assume your intentions are good, but if my dad had taken adolescent me out for a makeover, I’m pretty sure I’d still be bursting into tears every time I walked past a Clinique counter. My daddy, may he rest in peace, always thought I was beautiful. Even when I cut my hair myself with nail scissors and dyed it black, and dressed like I shopped in Goodwill’s dumpster.

    As for what about our boys, let me quote one of our Facebook commenters: “I’ll tell you what boys get: No teasing; no jokes about performance during menstruation; no expense of hygiene products; no illness caused by said hygiene products. I could go on, but you get my point.”

    Thank you both for reading re:Cycling, and for commenting!

Readers should note that statements published in Menstruation Matters are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Society as a whole.