(gif source dumbledorealbus)
Yeah I’m doing this. Screw it. Let’s have a conversation about why Erica is awesome and why this scene was fucking groundbreaking.
I’m not a “sit-naked-on-the-ground-and-bleed-into-mother-earth” kind of girl. Menstruation is like any other bodily function except it only happens to 51% (?) of the people on the planet. I don’t personally find it magical, mystical, or sacred. It’s an annoyance and a reality but it does give me an excuse to eat an entire fucking box of zebra cakes if I so choose. There is that.
But despite a girl having her period being, you know, fucking inevitable because that’s what girls’ bodies do, I can think of NO MOMENTS in television show aimed at an audience like Teen Wolf’s where a period was referred to so blatantly. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe Joss Whedon did it somewhere in Buffy, but regardless when I watched this scene I knew—I knew more than I did with Sterek and ships and same sex couples making out on screen—this show is fucking groundbreaking.
What I find so very impressive about this moment is that Teen Wolf knows their audience is on board for Sterek and all things not heteronormative. Teen Wolf fights the good fight against compulsory heterosexuality and we all love it for that. But women and menstruation IS STILL taboo regardless of it’s prevalence. More than that, to see Derek Hale having to discuss menstruation has led to a flurry of gifs laughing at how “uncomfortable” he is. And he is uncomfortable and that’s awesome because when you’re the only girl in a room and you mention your period it’s like watching everyone else’s dick shrivel up and flee into hiding before your very eyes.
And I just—I feel like no one else is as excited about this moment as me and that makes me sad. So here’s why this moment is so bloody impressive:
- As a female werewolf the jokes about going rabid “once a month” have been prevalent since Peter first joked about Lydia in season 1. Erica is a woman. That means she’s been having a period every month (probably) since she was turned.
- As a girl you are aware ALL THE TIME of how taboo menstruating is. You’re supposed to keep it a secret. It’s the thing everybody knows is happening but nobody talks about. You definitely aren’t supposed to just “put it out there” with someone like Derek because being cool and hip means not worrying about bodily functions and DEFINITELY not bodily functions that counteract your status as sexual object like a period does.
- Not only does this demonstrate how very much Erica does not give a fuck, it also, in the space of three seconds, rendered every character on this show believable, real, and possessing of bodily functions. Look kids, beautiful Erica (who wasn’t always so beautiful let’s remember) has periods and goes to the bathroom and cramps and bloats. It is like the least sexy thing ever. But it happens. It happens all the time. And just like she (and all the other female characters on the show) aren’t objects they’re motherfucking people. Which feeds into…
- Girls make jokes about periods. Well, I and everyone I know does. We do it because a) they’re funny. Seriously. Everyone’s woken up looking like a scene from Carrie at least once in her life, and after you get over the sheer horror it’s pretty funny in a sick, twisted sort of way and b) it’s a driving factor in our lives. “Fuck on my period again.” “Damn it why do I hate EVERYTHING?” “HOLY SHIT I’M THE UGLIEST PERSON ON THE PLANET EVER!” This is not an exaggeration.
- So Teen Wolf normalizes that discourse giving Erica tremendous depth, showing her utter disregard for intimidation, and shows—through one little throwaway scene—that having periods isn’t scary or awful or taboo. It’s just something that happens that’s incredibly inconvenient most of the time but can also be pretty funny.
Erica doesn’t have to be one of the boys. Erica gets to be Erica and the boys have to deal with it. That’s why this matters. That’s why this is important. Jeff Davis is a gift.