Okay, hear me out.
Sometimes, I think about something and it won’t go away.
I had the absolute worst pain last month, so bad I vomited and I had to carry around a wheat bag for three days that I nuked every hour in the microwave to relieve the torture of the cramps my uterus decided to bestow upon me. November 2016 was a bad month.
As I lay, curled in a feotal position waiting for my alarm to go off for work one morning and wondering if I could actually move without crying, I thought to myself; ‘Wonder Woman wouldn’t have to deal with this shit.’ But then I wondered, what if she did? And if she did, would cramps set her back? Would she use tampons or pads? And if the myth is true, would everyone on Themiscyra be PMSing and syncing at the same time? Yeesh.
Comics have served as mouthpieces for real issues over the years, commenting on why drugs and smoking are bad, political upset, relationships, sexuality etc. I mean, Spider-Man could be one big metaphor for puberty – i.e. Parker’s body is ‘changing’ and he must find a way to deal with it. And…there’s sticky stuff he can’t control.
The X-Men comics are another series that could be linked to the issue of puberty, as those featured in the stories are usually of teenage years and dealing with the dramatic changes taking place in their bodies, as well as learning to control them. But I’ve never seen periods commented on in any comics I’ve read. And I read a lot of comics with female protagonists.
So, what I really want to know is, do superheroes have periods? And yes, while menstruation could fall under the issue of puberty I would still say female characters do not, if the comics are anything to go by. I wouldn’t necessarily expect there to be a whole comic dedicated to periods but I wonder why the subject isn’t broached more often.
Something as simple as Harley Quinn eating all the ice cream because she’s on or Spider-Gwen avoiding band practice because she has cramps and MJ bringing her a hot water bottle, lets young female readers understand that it’s all perfectly normal, even bad ass crime fighting women get them.
Would they even feel the pain? Would a period just be a mild annoyance to them? Would they be relatable at all when it comes to menstruation? I don’t know, but I’d be interested to find out.
What I’m trying to say is, if comics can approach difficult subjects such as politics and drugs and puberty, why can’t they raise a little more awareness around an everyday issue such as periods? They should enlighten their readership, let them know it’s all perfectly normal.
I know a female superhero getting her period wouldn’t alter the story in any way, and is the reason perhaps why writers leave the issue out – as well as it being considered taboo in polite society. But I mean, it’s 2016 and I still don’t feel like I can walk to the toilet during those few days every month without feeling a little embarrassed and wondering if everyone knows why I need to take my whole handbag with me.
Why can’t we have superheroes wondering if they have enough tampons in their utility belts or telling the bad guy they’ve picked the wrong day to mess with them because Mother Nature is not being kind this month and they’d rather be tucked up watching Netflix with a hot water bottle for company?
What do you think? Do you think superheroes have periods? Have you ever read a comic where the subject is mentioned or discussed?