Let’s Talk About Periods in YA

June 24, 2017 Discussion 6

Periods in YA

Personally, my period is something that I talk about frequently. I mean, how could I not? It happens so often. And while I absolutely wished it was something that occurred less often (ugh cramps are the worst), I wish it was a topic YA discussed MORE often. Because it’s a part of life. Even those that do not menstruate are affected or influenced – they are sure to know someone who does, whether that’s their parent, friend, or significant other.

So then why is it such a taboo topic in YA?

From my own experience, online and offline, periods are finally becoming a topic that more and more people feel comfortable discussing. But the topic is still halted when it comes to YA books. I can’t even think of more than 5 books I’ve read that discuss menstruation in any form. That’s ridiculous.

On one hand, it does make sense to focus on the action and adventure in certain genres that involve heroic characters that defy what would be natural or possible in the real world, like the Hunger Games. But Katniss is still a young female character that would, most likely, have experienced menstruation. That, of course, would have put a damper on things considering all the terrible situations she is put in.

But even in contemporary YA books there is a horrible lack of mention or discussion of periods. Of course, I don’t want to read JUST books about periods and nothing else. Life isn’t JUST about periods and nothing else. But life also does have the occasional (or more than occasional) mention of periods. In fact, for many people who menstruate, their periods can totally interrupt their normal lives because of various reasons (excruciating cramps, unbearable amounts of bleeding, and other complications).

Periods should be a frequent topic in YA books because it’s a frequent aspect of life. And for those that experience it, it’s a pretty significant aspect. YA, especially, should mention it because the young people that read YA are just beginning to experience menstruation. It needs to be something that is talked about.

When I first began menstruating, I was horrified. I had no idea what was happening. But the worst part was feeling like I couldn’t talk about it to anyone. So many young people experience this because periods are just so awkward to talk about. Sense the sarcasm? Periods are not scary, but they can be if no one discusses it. The conversation about periods is slowly becoming less taboo in life. Why can’t it become less taboo is YA, too?

If you want to see what some other people think about menstruation in YA, check out the links below:

PERIODS in YA – Queen of Contemporary

Period Fantasy: On Mentions of Menstruation In YA – Book Riot

7 Amazing YA Books about Periods – Gurl

No Not the One in Sentences, Talking About a Different Kind of Period in YA Lit – School Library Journal

What do you think? Should menstruation be a topic in YA more often? Leave your thoughts in comments! ♥


About Jessica

Jessica is an twenty year old blogger who lives in Michigan. She's currently a junior in college. She's a full-time student and part-time employee. She loves to read young adult fiction, especially contemporary, romance, and dystopian. Feel free to drop by and say hi by leaving a comment on one of her blog posts- she'll be sure to reply!

6 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Periods in YA”

  1. Kei @ The Lovely Pages Reviews

    Couldn’t agree more! This topic has been mentioned before on several blogs and the fact is that even though we don’t need long descriptions of it, we certainly need to at least mention period in YA more.

    • Jessica

      I hadn’t seen much mention of it until I started searching for blog posts about periods, but yes it’s totally something worth talking about. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Brooklyn @ Brooklyn's Bookish World

    Periods should definitely be talked about in YA and normalised. It’s something so many of us go through and I think it’s important to be open about it. Periods are a huge part of my life and I’d like to see characters going through it too.

  3. Destiny @ Howling Libraries

    Great post! I definitely would like to see YA books touch on that topic more often. For example, NOW I RISE mentions Lada’s period and doesn’t shy away from mentioning her feeling the blood start to flow and whatnot. It was done really well and I liked the touch of realism to it. I think if authors would touch on it more, it would help to de-stigmatize it.

    • Jessica

      I haven’t read that book but now I really want to! I agree! People turn to books to learn and escape and just the occasional mention in YA would help so many people acknowledge that menstruating is not something to be ashamed of or something too awkward to talk about. Thanks for commenting! ❤️

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