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The Parody We Deserve of Those Feel-Good Viral Videos About Menstruation Or Whatever

There’s nothing I love more than scrolling through Facebook, watching the videos auto-play, then realizing that I’m about to experience the surrealist parody powers of a Clickhole video. My all-time personal favorite Clickhole video has to be “What Does It Mean to be a Man,” which is full of completely nonsensical answers, as well it should be. This new one, titled “Women Tell Period Stories That Are Hopefully Relatable To Women And Non-Threatening For Men,” is already in the running for my personal top ten.

Perhaps I should take a moment to explain what this video is parodying, in case you don’t know. I think the most obvious parallel has to be this Buzzfeed video (embedded below). Now, I’m not taking aim at Buzzfeed here—they make a lot of really great videos—but they also make so many videos in total that a few of them are bound to be duds. This one, titled “Women Share Their Period Horror Stories,” could just as easily be re-titled “Women Tell Period Stories That Are Hopefully Relatable To Women And Non-Threatening For Men.” Like, seriously. SERIOUSLY.

Buzzfeed also has tons of video content that seems to be specifically created with the aim of making cis men feel more comfortable with the idea of periods. They’ve got “Men Explain Periods,” “What Do Men Actually Know About Periods” (umm, isn’t that just the same idea, but done a year later?), “Boyfriend vs. Period” (I don’t even want to watch this one) and then “Guys Experience Periods for the First Time (trans men do get a mention in that video, which features cis guys trying on menstrual products. I’m pretty sure that trying on a pad doesn’t qualify as “experiencing a period,” though. It’s more like… “Guys Experience Wearing Menstrual Products”? Probably not as click-y of a title).

The theme of these videos always seems to be: cis men don’t know jack shit about menstruation!! That’s played for comedy, for some reason, even though it’s actually pretty sad. To be fair, yours truly (a cis lady) also didn’t really understand how my birth control pills worked until I Googled it all in my late teens. But, that’s the thing. I Googled it.

If you have internet access and you still don’t understand why some women get periods and some don’t, as well as how periods work, and how different types of birth control work as a result of all of that, then … look it up. If you need a cutesy viral video to inspire you to look it up, then fine. But also: why? Why not just look it up, already??? What’s with the hand-holding here?

As for the rest of us who do know how periods work, and who are tired of seeing these not-so-hilarious viral videos, go on and enjoy that Clickhole one up top. It’s pretty great.

(via Facebook)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).