Feminine hygiene may be in the common vernacular, but it is not common. Around the world, in developed and emerging nations, menstruation is taboo; the epitome of the archetype, unspoken but recognized by the collective conscience.
We need to break the silence. We need to shout our pain, wave our tampons and our water bottles, and make the world listen. We need to gather our momentum into an avalanche. We need to be able to talk about our menstruation like it is any other bodily function. Why do we feel comfortable farting in front of our boyfriends before we ask them to buy our tampons? We endeavor to remove our veils of shame, but we must all lift them together.
Snapshot: Genital Mutilation
There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already be said. And I think writing those two prolific words is enough to invoke pain, sympathy, anger, frustration… But I will say this: the same beliefs and cultural practices that allow for (and sadly, encourage) genital mutilation, are the same beliefs and cultural practices that force women into silence about their natural cycles. If we can break the taboo on one, is the other not to crumble behind it?
The Big Day
Menstrual Hygiene is a simple concept. By participating in a Menstrual Hygiene Day event, created by WASH United, you are an active collaborator in spreading awareness around the world.
The menstrual effect:
- Break the taboo of silence surrounding this natural bodily function
- Increase the ability of women and girls around the world to receive a proper education
The hygiene effect:
- Promote health for women’s bodies through cleanliness and disease reduction
- Promote health for women’s minds by removing the shame and stigma associated with bleeding
- Promote the health of the planet through the use of biodegradable and reusable products and responsibly disposal
Highlight: To Bleed Without Violence
Please watch this short video by Aranya Johar. Invoking the power of frisson to inspire change.
Periods are nothing to hide. Step up and take pride. #mhday2017 #menstruationmatters
Posted by Menstrual Hygiene Day – India on Friday, May 26, 2017
From the consummate feminist herself, Gloria Steinem, a treatise on periods, published in 1978 in Ms. magazine:
“What would happen, for instance, if suddenly, magically, men could menstruate and women could not?
The answer is clear—menstruation would become an enviable, boast-worthy, masculine event:
Men would brag about how long and how much.
Boys would mark the onset of menses, that longed-for proof of manhood, with religious ritual and stag parties.
Congress would fund a National Institute of Dysmenorrhea to help stamp out monthly discomforts. Sanitary supplies would be federally funded and free…
Military men, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation (“menstruation”) as proof that only men could serve in the Army (“you have to give blood to take blood”)… or [become] rabbis (“without the monthly loss of impurities, women remain unclean”).”
Click here to read the full piece.