Using public toilets already carries enough embarrassment and shame

I have a medical condition that makes my periods extremely heavy – it’s not uncommon for me to faint from menstruation-induced anaemia, or to sit on a toilet, weeping and free-bleeding for half an hour, building the resolve to attempt to deal with it. When I’m on, I live in a constant state of anxiety that I’ll bleed on clothes or furniture and everyone will see it. Using public toilets already carries enough embarrassment and shame, without adding the fear that the people hearing me rustle in cubicles, or seeing me wash blood from my hands, or using the toilet I’ve just had to makeshift clean, are male.

And I’m angry at the suggestion that my experience is somehow random, that it has nothing to do with being a woman, and the stigma around it is unconnected to it being a female experience. And it pisses me off that there are people who believe that I shouldn’t talk about my condition because periods are a ‘cis privilege’. It makes my stupid inconvenient blood boil.

I challenge inaccurate or illogical statements wherever I find them. I’m anonymous on Twitter and feel bad about it. Using a fake name and no picture saves me from the worst of the backlash that lots of women receive. I just don’t have the energy to deal with the hate from all sides that seems to come with a woman expressing even fairly innoccuous opinions. I live alone and on only my own salary, so when I see people being doxxed or their jobs threatened, it terrifies me and makes me feel incapable of revealing anything about myself. I’m not very important so maybe I’d fly under the radar, but it’s scary.

I engage in the discussion in real life, though, and on Facebook under my own name with people I know.

Where I’m anonymous on social media, it’s just name-calling (TERF, bitch, Nazi, cunt etc.) and vitriol like “die in a fire”. Nowhere near as bad as the non-anon people, but still pretty horrible.

I’ve lost a few acquaintances, been unfriended on Facebook, had people I otherwise get on with really well question my left wing / liberal credentials, express disappointment, refuse to have any conversation about it.

Lkh, Woman. You know what that is