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Jets Flyover

Daegu International School's student news site
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Have a fantastic summer break!
  • First Day of School on August 12th.
  • Don't forget your spirit shirts on Friday.
The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

The Student News Site of Daegu International School

Jets Flyover

Period shaming affects everybody

The stigma around menstruation and ways to overcome it
Especially in Korea, the stigma around periods is apparent from the linguistics behind it – many people refer to it as “the day.” (Christine Park)

*This article was originally published in Headliners in Education.

We hear the phrase “periods happen naturally” whenever teachers bring it up during sex ed. However, despite all this “education”, people still shy away from and stigmatize the topic. The shame society associates with menstruation manifests itself in many aspects of people’s lives.

While at school, a fellow student rummaged through my friend’s bag and found her pads. He immediately asked, “What are these? Diapers?” My friend, unsure how to respond, stormed out in embarrassment. Just from this incident, you can see how tremendously the lack of knowledge on periods impacts those who experience it all throughout their lifetimes. These issues derive from ignorance and the lighthearted attitude of those unfamiliar with the subject.

This negligence can also be reflected in the usage of vernacular speech. In Korea, people who have periods (especially young girls) rarely open up about their cycles, and instead use euphemisms such as “마법의 날 (the magic day)” or simply, “the day.” This arises from cultural taboos and the public’s refusal to have open conversations on the topic. 

Though the issue mainly concerns people with biologically female bodies, we must address this problem collectively. Such stigma and lack of awareness bleeds into all of our minds and makes us view our physiological needs as a disgrace, rather than a sign of health. In a study by THINX, 73 percent of women said that they purposefully hide their pads or tampons on their way to the bathroom. Compared to how we openly flaunt our “healthy, glossy hair,” for example, we can see how ludicrous period shaming is. 

Even worse, this absurdity affects young minds the most. Girls exposed to stereotypes from a young age without proper information are more prone to menstrual distress. In a conversation with Ms. Morissette, she recounted that some girls came to her for pads because they felt too uncomfortable to talk to their own parents. According to research, the connection society makes between periods and sex influences parents as well and makes it harder for them to approach their children about it. 

The flaws of sex-ed curriculums require a new course of action. By the time kids reach their pre-teen years, they already connect menstruation with “sexuality,” and it becomes veiled by shame. The term “sex education” itself makes teenagers associate periods with sex and exacerbates the stigma towards menstruation. Moreover, up to 27 percent of girls start their cycle before they learn about it in school, which often heightens fear and discomfort. Despite this, legislation like the ‘Don’t Say Period’ bill bars early education on these crucial topics. 

As is with fighting any stereotype, this education needs to happen before elementary school so that children come to accept periods as a natural part of life, rather than a humiliation. According to pediatrician Jan Johnson, children can understand the basics of anatomy from an early age, and extra knowledge of the bodily processes won’t hurt. Only such education can remove the disfigurement that seeps into our minds. 

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About the Contributors
Leanne Yoon
Leanne Yoon, Managing Editor
Leanne Yoon, dubbed as “Lenny” by her close friends, rises into her sophomore year bursting with ambition. As a leader of clubs such as Menstruation Station, SOAR, Debate Club and String Orchestra, Leanne often ponders on what else she could bring to her fellow Jets. In her leisure time, she vibes to music and immerses herself in all things K-culture. This year, Leanne hopes to bring the Flyover to the next level as the co-managing editor of the publication. 

Catherine Park
Catherine Park, Editor in Chief
Cath loves writing stories and making art. Luckily, God gifted her a talented left hand. As the vice president of the National Arts Honor Society, she can be seen drawing around campus. Cath explores many different genres of books, music, movies, and activities, and is willing to explore more about them throughout her experience as the editor-in-chief. All she needs is paper, a pencil, an eraser, and her dog, Russell. Cath writes, illustrates comics, edits articles, and manages the Jets Flyover.
Luna Kang
Luna Kang, Section Editor
Luna, after 13 long years, finally enters her last act as a senior at DIS. She vibes with illustration and photography, but also takes great interest in music and literature. Having been with the Flyover for over half her time here, Luna reads and spices up almost every article that gets published. So far, her own best articles are in the news categories - Go check them out!
Christine Park
Christine Park, Illustrator
After years of persuasion from her peers that sparked intrinsic motivation, Christine Park finally enters Journalism as a senior. Chris’s greatest passion revolves around the field of art and anime. Her role as the president of the National Art Honors Society and Visual Arts Club proves the enthusiasm she bears for artistry. As the new illustrator for the Jets Flyover, Chris is eager to dive into journalism and share her artwork and comics with a wider audience.
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