“My little friend,” said with a roll of the eyes.
That dreadful “Aunt Flow” that makes it difficult for us
to fit into our favorite skinny jeans every month.
We don’t need to look far to find less than empowering language we have inherited from our cultures to speak about our menstrual cycle.
When I was a young girl, I remember my male friends squeamishly protesting at the simple mention of a sanitary pad or tampon, as if the very mention of my period was offensive, leaving me feel like something was wrong with me for something I had no control over.
But it wasn’t their fault.
Sex education is taught...
- by separating the sexes, creating a divide between us at such a young age.
- with videos that hardly talk about the beauty and wonder of the human body in a way that children can understand.
Boys leave the class ignorantly giggling and joking about their own thoughts, while girls are left to hide in embarrassment and live in a culture of silence, ignorance and shame.
Did you know...?
- Our monthly cycles were once celebrated and praised amongst matriarchal peoples, yet we only hear stories that embody punishment, such as the fall of Eve.
- These stories are the reason our wonderful cycles are now considered a taboo topic.
- They are pathologized, medicalized, and turned into a “problem that needs to be fixed,” but none of this is actually true.
It’s this very attitude that there’s something wrong or shameful about having a period that prevents us from fully understanding them and using them to their full potential.
Period blood is designed to nourish and give life.
We have the power to...
- reject this oppressive narrative.
- destigmatize menstruation.
- bring back the power and celebration our bodies deserve.
This is a letter to all women and girls that have ever related to their monthly bleeding as a burden, curse or ugly aspect of their female experience. This is a call, asking you to let go of the feelings of shame or guilt around your own natural cycles.
Care for Earth
Tampons, pads and panty liners generate more than 200,000 tons of waste per year.
The materials used in these products...
- are often composed of more than 90% of plastic
- end up rotting away in landfills
- as toxic waste,
- releasing harmful gases,
- and by entering our seas and rivers.
As non-biodegradable materials, they will remain in the environment, seeping toxins into Earth for hundreds of years.
While the womb sheds and renews each month, our Earth does not have the same ability to discard all of the waste we dump into her.
Shifting our attitudes and practices towards our menstruating bodies holds not only the promise for transforming our lives, but also our environment.
Choosing sustainable, eco-friendly feminine products is a kind way to relate and navigate your monthly flow while treading gently on our precious planet.
Cleanse Your Body
Our modern menstruation culture has popularized products and options that are not only toxic to our outer environment, but toxic to our own bodies as well.
From the materials used to compose pads and tampons to the fragrances to mask your natural scent, feminine products are saturated with dangerous chemicals and even cancer causing ingredients.
- Example: many feminine hygiene products are bleached with chlorine, which leads to the production of the chemical dioxin. When accumulated in the body over time, we see
- immune system suppression,
- reproductive issues, and
- potentially, cancer
While this may seem alarming to you, its considered standard industry practice, and companies have no obligation to disclose this information to you.
When we embrace our cycle for the beautiful mechanism it truly is, the choice to treat it with non-toxic products becomes much easier.
Making Industry Bloody Rich
The culture of shame and secrecy surrounding our menstruation has been lining the pockets of the feminine hygiene industry for decades.
While women and girls suffer from the taboos bombarding their bodies, the industry gets rich by creating “discreetly” packaged products such as tampons, pads, feminine washes, sprays, powders and personal wipes. Many of these products are excessive and unnecessary and only appear to be essential through marketing tactics that lead us to believe are bodies are filthy, unclean and undesirable when we bleed.
In the United States alone, women spend an unnecessary $2 billion every year on feminine hygiene products. When you abandon the belief that your body needs to look or smell a certain way, this cost can be reduced drastically.
Menstrual Freedom through Financial Boycott
There’s no doubt that the feminine hygiene product industry has little concern over the health and well being of our bodies, the Earth or our wallets. And for so long, women have supported these products financially because they felt as if they had no other options.
Today, we know the truth.
Thankfully, today, we have a wide variety of sustainable, toxin-free and eco-friendly products to better live our values for care of the Earth and our precious temples.
- Natural sea sponge tampons
- Diva Cups
- Created by a mother and daughter duo committed to making periods a more positive experience for all women.
- Thinx Panties
- A company committed to female empowerment, smashing through the period taboo culture.
- DIY Cloth Pads
- For a fraction of the cost of the above mentioned products, you can empower yourself to make your own reusable cloth pads... extra “Go Green!” points if you up-cycle clothing that you are no longer using to make them with.
Learn Our Bodies
Society has developed in such a way that women have great ignorance around their bodies and how they function, as well as how to listen to and decipher the signals their bodies send to them. In a way, we have been left in the dark.
But thankfully, there are an immense amount of resources available to us today to better understand our bodies, written by and for women who have consciously chosen to discard this narrative of embarrassment and shame.
Even before or even without indulging in these resources, there’s so much to discover simply by asking ourselves about own lived experience.
Get quiet. Become still. Drop in with your inner knowing. Nurture your body in its constant ebb and flows of change.
Let’s learn again how to respond to our cycles as a sacred act… a divine ritual… a cherished retreat to hold a space for introspection within yourself.
Honor your time of the month as a physical, emotional and energetic cleanse and detox.
- What does each stage of your cycle call for you?
- Are there times where you must heed to your body’s demands for rest… silence… turning inwards and reflecting on your emotional wants and needs?
- Are there times where your creative juices are demanding to be felt and expressed?
- Or perhaps there are strong and persistent urges to nourish and feed your body in specific ways during specific times.
- Out of all the products you use, which ones are 100% necessary?
- How many of them have you purchased simply because you have been led to believe that your natural scent is gross or filthy?
- Do you own accessories or bags that solely function to disguise your feminine hygiene products, perhaps feeding into the sense of embarrassment from which the industry makes money?
It’s Time to Take Charge
Your experience of your period can tell you a lot.
The food we eat, our emotional experiences, hormonal shifts, and the thoughts you were having leading up to this phase in your cycle all have strong impacts on the symptoms of your menstruation. This includes the amount of blood to the quantity of clots.
In this way, we can use our periods as a mirror to better reflect and understand what it is we are experiencing in our lives. The quality of our cycle can tell us the things we need to let go of our eliminate from our realities in order to achieve a greater state of well-being.
We just need to be still and listen.
In order for society to shift its attitudes towards women’s bodies, we must pioneer the way by rejecting the story it has given us and writing a new one. What story do you wish for society to proclaim of our greatness? What story will you write and live to pass on to our daughters?
We are pioneers.
This is a call to change our relationship with our cycles as intuitive gifts, times of power, spirit, release and rebirth.
We need to resurrect period blood from a place of shame.
We need to tell a different story.
Let’s make it a celebration.