Periods can be a taboo subject for several reasons, such as shame, bias towards gender, and misinformation. People of color, people with diverse gender identities, and folks in lower social classes face additional challenges that white cis women do not experience with their period. For example, people who do not fit within the common definition of “women” can become easily isolated, marginalized, stigmatized, and discriminated against.
“Menstruation is a biological function; it’s not a “woman thing.” It’s an experience that can be highly variable, and mean different things to different people. It’s not necessary to gender body parts or bodily functions. We can demystify and destigmatize menstruation without shutting anyone out.”- Jen Bell
This is why menstruation positivity is important as it helps us understand our body and relationship towards periods.
Reasons why Menstruation positivity is important and how to support Menstruators
1. Have an open conversation with folks that have periods. (If they are comfortable talking about it.) There is absolutely nothing wrong about asking or talking about periods. To speak up regarding menstruation is important it is part of a person’s health and discussing about periods is empowering.
2. Educate others and yourself. You can start doing research about what are the correct languages to use when using the words period or menstruator in a sentence. For example, calling a menstruator “dirty or dramatic” during their time of the month uses negative language.
These words act as an endorsement of traditional gender roles / behaviors which can results in dehumanizing a persons value. Periods are natural & healthy. The color of blood, volume of blood, timing of ovulation, and cramping—gives information to a menstruator about their health. For example, according to Mayo Clinic Staff, “Your menstrual cycle might be regular — about the same length every month — or somewhat irregular, and your period might be light or heavy, painful or pain-free, long or short, and still be considered normal.”
3. Provide emotional support to menstruators who you know are experiencing their time of the month. Empower your friend, family or coworker. For instance, “you are powerful no matter what people may say about you that they are amazing and they are strong!
About the Author
What’s up! This is my first year joining as a Healthy U Volunteer because of my interest in connecting the community through art and public health. I believe that oral, written and visual forms of art are tools where the community can use to tell their stories, to bond and heal.
My hobbies include going out for walks, listening to spoken word poetry and digital art! Looking forward to work with you all!