Period shame has run largely unchecked, across countries, across cultures, and across centuries for far too long. That trend is finally starting to change, and we’re 100% on board with that.
The way things were…
When my grandmother was a younger woman, ‘period’ was a dirty word; menstruation was considered shameful and was not a topic open for public discussion. Still, two generations later, a woman I know recalls getting her first period in year 5 when she was 12 years old, but because she was so embarrassed to talk about it, she thought she was alone and didn’t find out for a whole year that everyone else in her friendship group had started menstruating too.
… and still are
In Nepal, the dangerous practice of Chhaupadi—where anyone menstruating is sent out of the house to live in a hut until they stop bleeding—was outlawed in 2005, but was still known to be continuing as recently as 2019 when the first arrest for this crime was made. India and Indonesia share similar period taboos with Nepal and in Africa, UNICEF statistics show 10% of girls skip school during their periods, while in Ghana and in Garissa, Kenya, this number jumps to 95% and 86% respectively. The reason? Fear, shame, and embarrassment.
The world is changing (thankfully), and we’re damn sure we want to be part of that movement. Are you?
Let’s talk openly about periods
No more hushed whispers about ‘Aunt Flo’ coming to town. If the advertising industry can, in 2017, finally depict red-coloured menstrual blood in an advert (What?! We don’t bleed blue you say?!), then we can certainly embrace this natural, normal, beautiful part of our menstrual cycle. Let’s talk openly about periods. How we feel when we’re on them, what we need from ourselves and those around us while we’re menstruating, and what makes us feel at our best while we’re bleeding.
Let’s be bold with our products
Whether we use pads, tampons, cups, period underwear, any combination of those or something else altogether, let’s not be shamed into hiding them away. No more secretive dashes to the bathroom with schoolbag in tow to hide why we’re going, tampons delivered discreetly in anonymous brown paper bags, or period products hidden under other groceries before being quickly scanned at the checkout. Let’s normalise carrying our period products proudly. There’s no shame in having a period.
Let’s support others who menstruateThere are innumerable ways we can support people who menstruate, all around the world.
- We could create communal collections of sanitary products in shared bathrooms at home, school, or the office so no one gets caught out with an unexpected bleed or bleed-through.
- We could donate to a not-for-profits that work with and support people who menstruate. Here at Evelaniq, we proudly support Share the Dignity, but there are plenty of others including Bloody Good Period, Taboo’s Australian Outreach program, and The Cora Project.
- We could make sure people menstruating have the ability to hygienically dispose of their used period products by making sure our bathrooms at home, school, or the office are equipped with an Evelaniq bin.