Another day, another TikTok trend that may make you question everything about life/light yourself on fire. Recently, girls have been uploading TikToks that explain why they get their periods. Instead of de-stigmatizing menstruation, or having an open conversation about it (which would be awesome!), these TikTok users seem to be trolling young boys who aren’t aware of the function of period and period cycles.
In the TikToks, the creators claim that every month, they have to cut off tiny bits of their penis, and that’s why they have their period.
Um, what do girls cut off every month exactly?
Girls are saying they either cut off their penis every month, or small parts of their penis. If you’re wondering if this is true: It’s not. A period is when the uterus lining sheds, something that happens when a person isn’t pregnant, or hasn’t gone through menopause. To get more technical, a cisgender woman owns a vulva, not a penis — so there’s definitely no penis to “cut off.”
What’s concerning is that the popularity of this trend is a pretty clear indication that our sexual education system is failing us. A lot of people are currently googling what girls cut off every month, and tweeting about it as well.
And no, the clitoris doesn’t grow every month and need a trim.
And to get even more technical, people don’t have to identify as girls to have periods, period. What we should be saying (JK Rowling, lookin' at you): People with vulvas can get periods. Sometimes, if periods are irregular, or if that person is experiencing health issues, they might not even get their period every month (or at all). One of the best ways to better understand gender identity, check out the Gender Unicorn.
There are other resources out there to help you learn more about periods, gender identity, and more (Planned Parenthood is a great online resource to start with!). Although it’s kind of scary TikTok is misleading an important conversation around menstruation, at least it’s calling attention to the gaps we’re clearly experiencing with sex ed in the U.S.