I had my first period when I was 12 years old. I’m 28 now, and even accounting for the years of my life when I didn’t menstruate on account of my eating disorder, it’s been well over a decade since I first started dealing with this monthly visitor.
So how is it that I still manage to stain at least one pair of underwear a month? And how is it that I manage to stain the underwear in different ways every single time? Let me count the ways.
There’s the starting your period in the middle of the night and waking up to a pool of blood. Okay, it’s not actually a pool, but it is not pleasant, and it’s especially obnoxious because not only do you have to clean the underwear, but you also have to wash the sheets.
There’s waking up and realizing that your pad was rendered useless during the night because of how much you toss and turn in your sleep. There are few things more annoying than waking up to find a dry pad and blood-stained underwear.
A real classic, there’s starting your period during the day and being caught without a tampon or pad. It is surprising how difficult it can be to find feminine hygiene products when you’re in need, and sometimes you don’t know that you need something until YOU REALLY NEED SOMETHING.
Of course, there are times when you’re fully prepared, but because you’re stuck somewhere, you can’t get to a bathroom quick enough to prevent the blood from getting everywhere. How many times have I told myself that I could definitely just wait until the end of class, only to find out that I definitely could not? Too many.
And then sometimes you feel like you are prepared – you have your tampon in and everything seems great. Except for whatever reason your flood is EXTRA HEAVY and you bleed through that tampon in no time at all. Should’ve gone for super plus.
Or maybe you think your period is over (free at last! free at last!), except your uterus is playing games with you and decides that there should be one more round of blood before this cycle ends. A sneak attack.
So once a month I prepare myself for the very real possibility that I will inexplicably find another way to “ruin” another pair of underwear. I am not ashamed of the blood; I grew up in a family dominated by women where period talk was commonplace. I am annoyed by it though. I am annoyed at the impromptu load of laundry that comes with a stained pair of underwear. And mainly I’m annoyed because I know if men had periods, someone would’ve come up with a solution to this problem a long time ago.
Today we tweeted about Liam Neeson’s claim that #MeToo has started a witch hunt – that witch hunts have historically targeted at women and it seems absurd that men are expressing how scary it is that they think they’re the target of one. Mostly, the responses we got were supportive, but of course, OF COURSE, we had a few tweets from men arguing that witch hunts are also/just as bad for men.
Now, I’m not trying to shame any individual tweeters, because I’d hate to start a witch hunt (lol see what I did there?) but honestly, men. I can’t even with you.
Okay, let me give you the benefit of the doubt. You’re concerned, like Liam Neeson, that casual contact like touching someone’s knee is going to lead to a man losing his job. Leaving aside the fact that why the F would you be touching her knee in…
I am but a lowly non-tenure track instructor, and so I do not have the privilege of having my own office. I have moved up in the world though- instead of sharing an office with seven other graduate students, I share an office with one other non-tenure track instructor. And I am rather fortunate in that the instructor with whom I share this office prefers to work from home and is rarely in the office, so about 90% of the time I have an office to myself.
The running joke though is that even though I am in this office about six days a week, close to eight hours a day at least five of those days, I do not hold the power. When I moved into this office my male friends told me that I needed to urinate on everything to establish my dominance. I think they were only half kidding.
I have sent in over 50 applications for this job market cycle. I still have at least 20 more to go. But with every day that passes, there’s a little voice in the back of my head that grows a little louder.
There are no jobs. You won’t be getting any calls this year.
I was lucky last year, in that I got calls (even if they didn’t turn into offers). And maybe it’s an act of self-preservation that I keep telling myself there will be no calls this year. But I feel it, deep in my gut. Last year I was hopeful. I was anxious, but my whole life was ahead of me. This year I feel defeated and I don’t want to be reduced to begging.
The anxiety is making it impossible for me to get my day-to-day work done. Regardless of whether I get calls or not, I have two classes to teach twice a week. But I can’t sit still long enough, can’t focus long enough, to pull together slides or create an in-class assignment. So I have to stuff the anxiety deep down and keep going, though the quality of my work is in steady decline.
A watched pot never boils. And I suppose a watched phone never rings.
When is the last time I blogged? I don’t know, a few weeks ago at least. And I could come up with excuses for why it hasn’t happen…
I have been really busy!
Turns out this teaching two classes a semester thing is hard. Continuing to adapt to teaching two classes a semester, rather than one.
And applying for jobs sucks. I’ll be working on one application and by the time I hit “submit” ads for three more jobs popped up (I know, this is furthest from a problem when you’re on the academic job market – I should be thankful there are any jobs! And I am, but going through each school’s application system takes more time than you’d think.)
I have an R&R and my co-authors want to get it turned around quickly. I’m essentially in charge of beefing up our theory section, so I’ve been diving back into the literature.
I’ve given a fair number of conference presentations during my time in graduate school. I have mixed feelings about conferences – if it’s a good location and your friends are going, why not go on a department-funded mini-vacation? – but the attendance at panels is often lacking (probably because everyone treats it as a department-funded mini-vacation) and therefore, the feedback can be pretty bad, or nonexistent. I hate networking at conferences, because I hate talking to people, but my advisors think it’s a good idea for me to be introducing myself to strangers. So, I go. Sometimes it’s pretty okay.
I’m pretty good at presenting. I may not be a people person, but I don’t have much anxiety when it comes to presenting in front of an audience. I know what I’m talking about, and I can talk about it with confidence. They (most likely) won’t know if you’re lying.
But I had a horrible experience at a small conference in May 2016, and it haunts me to this day. And by haunts, I mean, whenever I’m scrolling through Twitter and come across the people who tore my paper to shreds, I want to give up on academia, because I’m clearly not good enough. Continue reading →