There Will BE Blood...Or Will There?

Thu Jun 9 19:26:00 2016

It’s one thing to talk about ending period shaming, but another to actually take your own advice. Newsweek recently shared a feature article aimed at the global efforts to end period shaming. The cover? A nice, clean white tampon on a blood red background. But blood? It’s nowhere to be seen. While the article does give a comprehensive rundown of the problems with luxury taxes on menstrual health products, the struggles of women in both first world and developing countries, and a hilariously true account of what periods would be like if men had them the thing that stands out most is the cover.

Newsweek period stigma

Talk is just, well...talk

2015 was dubbed the Year of the Period and 2016 is carrying on the legacy. We’ve got people taking to Twitter with #tweetyourperiod to share their period stories, marathoners bleeding freely while they run, and the luxury tax on menstrual products being taken down one state at a time. These actions are furthering the mission of ending period stigma and shaming in a big way. Talking about how to end period shaming is a huge step in the right direction, but it’s going to take more than an article to show that you’re on board. The Newsweek article would have garnished far more attention had it shown a bloody tampon on the cover. Sure, it would have likely been the fake blood used in movies, but it would have caused a stir that ramped up the conversation even further.

Get bloody already

If you’ve ever watched a commercial for tampons or pads then you’ve seen the pristine blue liquid that pours from photoshopped models as they perfect their downward dog. Don’t you just wish that’s what your period looked like? Kidding. Menstrual blood isn’t gross. It’s totally natural (and, dare we say, beautiful). And it shouldn’t be so taboo. Part of ending period shaming is going further than the conversation about ending it and actually showing it. People seeing blood will help drive the point home that menstrual. Blood. Isn’t. Gross.

menstrual blood isn't gross

Join the fight

You’re either a person with a period, the child of a person with a period, or you love someone who has a period. Period shaming isn’t a women’s issue. It’s a human issue and if you’re human (we’re guessing you are) then, please, join in the fight. How? Easy. Be brazen about your period. Buy a menstrual cup for your daughter. Talk to your sons about menstruation. Stop hiding your tampons in the bottom of the trash. Laugh it off if you stain your white jeans with a period leak. Hey, go a step further and rock those white jeans, blood stain and all. Yeah, it’s going to feel unnatural but only at first (and only because society has taught to believe that menstruation is something we should hide).

Period shaming is a real problem that affects those who menstruate all over the world. Taking action to make one of the most normal human functions and anything done to remove the stigma from it is great. Would Newsweek having a bloody tampon on the front cover have furthered the movement? Absolutely. Does that diminish what they were trying to do? No. It just opens up an important conversation about how we can move the talk into inspired actions that will change lives.

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Menstrual blood IS gross. It's a body fluid and natural so people shouldnt be embarrassed but it is gross.

"you’ve seen the pristine blue liquid that pours from photoshopped models as they perfect their downward dog" - No, I haven't. They poor blue fluid from a glass, not from a model doing yoga.

"It’s totally natural (and, dare we say, beautiful)."- No, it isn't beautiful. It's blood.

"People seeing blood will help drive the point home that menstrual. Blood. Isn’t. Gross."- No, it'll make people think periods are gross.

"Be brazen about your period"- I don't announce when I'm going to poop, why would I "be brazen" snit my period? It's mine, I can deal with it how I want to.

"Stop hiding your tampons in the bottom of the trash."- You don't think a tampon should be hid in the trash can? Well I don't think it should even stay in the trash can. It smells bad and is a biohazard! If you soak something in blood and leave it sunny side up in the trash it'll smell rancid whether it came from a uterus or not. Be hygienic for crying out loud! Syringes microscopic amounts of blood have to be put in a sharps container but you put period blood on display? It isn't shaming, it's sanitation.

"Laugh it off if you stain your white jeans with a period leak. Hey, go a step further and rock those white jeans, blood stain and all. Yeah, it’s going to feel unnatural but only at first"- Also, if you want to wear pants stained from your period, go for it. But you should also wear them if they are stained from food, drink, dirt, poop or anything else beause a stain is a stain and all the things I mentioned are natural too.

"(and only because society has taught to believe that menstruation is something we should hide)."- my mother was always vocal about her period so I was not taught to hide it but who's business is it what is going on with my reproductive organs?

"Period shaming is a real problem that affects those who menstruate all over the world."- Nope.

"Taking action to make one of the most normal human functions and anything done to remove the stigma from it is great."- Taking action to do what about one of the most normal human functions? Finish your thought please.

"Would Newsweek having a bloody tampon on the front cover have furthered the movement?"-Absolutely not!

I'm sorry but this whole article is ridiculous! If you're embarrassed by your period, I'm sorry, you shouldn't be. But you shouldn't be proud of it either, it's a body function. Next up, sneeze shaming.

Rose - Wed Jun 29 17:11:01 2016

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This blog goes too far on the spectrum. Yes, if we're able to read this on a computer, chances are we are not staying at home in lieu of going to school like women in Africa do. THAT is real shaming, and they do not HAVE menstruation products like the Western world does. We are not really "shamed" in the Western culture. Yes, some men need to grow up about it. But if you asked Telly's character in the 1995 film "Kids" what he thought about periods, I'm guessing he would tell you it doesn't stop him, nor does he really care much about it, let alone shy away from periods or think they're gross (watch the film if you don't know the reference).

Periods are gross just as much as pooping is gross. Poop smells. Pee smells. Periods smell. Semen smells, too. No one likes the smell of any of these things. Find me one good man or woman who's going to happily take a long, lovely whiff of menstruation blood...it's not happening, because it STINKS...cup, pad or tampon, and I'm not buying that it's "beautiful". We can all handle these bodily functions without broadcasting them. No one is proud of a red period stain on a white pair of jeans any more than a poop stain on a white pair of jeans. It's one thing to run a marathon and bleed openly to make a statement about period shaming in third world countries and bring attention to the fact that women need supplies to deal with their female functions; it's another, and just plain LUNATIC, to think that rocking out a period stain on a Friday night is normal or ok. I wouldn't want to rock out baby vomit on my blouse proudly, either, and that, too, is totally natural.

If we're looking to make period blood more acceptable, this is not going to help. We can do it by not laughing at or shaming the woman who pulled out a tampon instead of a pen when digging through our purse (as I have). We can do it by not staring at or shaming the woman who drops her pad on the way to the bathroom. We can do it by not shaming the woman whose tampon string hangs out of her bathing suit. Or we can loan a sweater to the woman who stains her pants. We can talk openly about our menstrual cups, as we all recognize they have changed the way we menstruate for the better, all while helping not to pollute the earth. THOSE are things we can do to change the dialogue. But going too far, as the author suggests in this post, is going to have the opposite effect.

Alexandra - Tue Jul 26 21:30:53 2016

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