Bleed, Baby, Bleed!

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by Helen Mitternight

I have a fitness tracker I wear on my wrist. I bought it so I could be reminded not to sit at my computer writing all day, so that I could keep track of my steps on a daily basis, and so that I could get a quiet alarm that would waken me, but not my night owl husband.

I still use the alarm, occasionally count steps, and completely ignore the buzz to get moving when I am in the middle of a writing thought. It’s still annoying, though: “Bzzzzt- time to move! Bzzzt – time to move!”

The fitness tracker, meanwhile, encourages me with badges, motivational bromides, and attagirls.

Now, the maker of the fitness tracker tells me it can track my menstrual cycle.

I can see where this would be useful for those looking to track fertility in order to get pregnant, somewhat less useful for those hoping not to get pregnant (because anyone trusting a fitness tracker for safe sex is just stupid).

Now, I am not one to be ashamed of all things menses (although I did grow up in an era where you could hide your “female supplies” in a fancy case that looked like a cigarette pack – because it was apparently okay to look like you were smoking but not okay for the world to know that you were a human female in the unlikely event that you upended your purse contents in front of the cute quarterback). But I’m not sure I need a menstrual cheerleader, either.

And what would that even look like?

“Congratulations! Last month, you had your period for four days! You’re on track to beat that this month! Keep going!”

Or, how about, “Bleed baby, bleed! You’ve had your period for so many months in a row, you get a TIGER badge! Only two more periods and you can be a CHEETAH!”

Worst of all would be the alarms: “Bzzzt- time to menstruate! Bzzzt – time to menstruate!”

No thanks.