There are many people and many events that never really get represented in mainstream literature. This much is obvious to me when I think about who – and what – is represented. So this isn’t going to be a post that says “hey! I’ve had this idea about a phenomenon I’ve noticed, and I shall call it…. privilege!!!”

It’s a question, actually.

Can anybody think of any book aimed at adults that mentions a woman dealing with her period, other than in the “um, it hasn’t come, I should probably get a pregnancy test” scenario?

I mean, I can remember reading a few books aimed at teenagers that feature a girl getting her first period, but that’s different. Especially since those books were aimed at girls specifically – I’m thinking of authors like Judy Blume and Jaqueline Wilson here. For a matter-of-fact depiction of periods as something that the girl is already used to, I can only think of Michelle Magorian’s A Little Love Song, in which Rose, the main character, is relieved to find blood running down her thigh when she gets out of bed, a few days after having sex for the first time. Even then, it’s mentioned as a plot device, because it shows that she is not pregnant.

I can’t think of a single adult book that talks about periods. Not even in chick lit, which, being aimed at women, you might expect to be more forthcoming about it. Admittedly I haven’t read much. I veer between reading fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction usually, and these tend to either change the way the women work (e.g. because they’re werewolves and go hairy instead), change the way the world works (e.g. you only get your period after specifically praying for it, which the lead female character conveniently never does), or only consider bleeding in terms of failure to reproduce, respectively. But I did read all of Lisa Jewell’s books at one stage, and while I can remember her writing about pregnancy, being fat, leg-shaving, bikini-waxing, heterosexual sex, men wanking and sexual assualt, I can’t remember her ever writing about a female character being on her period.

And now I’m wondering why.

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