Menstrual product revolution

Menstrual activism

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Ignorance is Stupid
trinserengel wrote in menstrual_lib
I recently posted a question on Yahoo Answers in the women's health section.  I was asking women what kind of fabric they thought would be best for cloth pads.  I hoping to catch some cloth pad users.

To my surprise (sort of) I got four answers:
  • The first was an incredibly rude comment that I was disgusting and vulgar by even suggesting that women use cloth pads.  This answer made me so angry that I reported it as abuse.
  • Second answer:  "No fabrics are really that good for menstrual pads; however, sheet metal and sandpaper pads are reported to work very well!"
  • Third Answer:  " I don't know about that....not very sanitary...most women would want something they could just dispose of when it comes to that. They use to use cloth menstrual pads in the old days...why go backwards?"
  • Fourth Answer:  "I'd recomend bamboo fiber from trader joe's combined with a light dusting in kosher salt then washing. The salt kills all the viruses and bacteria so you can even re-use them if you don't mind the mess without washing!"  This was the least ignorant and insulting, but I don't think this user knows what she's talking about.
I hate that periods are viewed as dirty and disgusting.  To me they are a part of nature and a sign of fertility.  I mean when you hit menopause, you don't get it any more and you can no longer bear children.

If anyone else her agrees with me, please let me know.


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Ugh at the responses! If you never did get an answer, there's a discussion of the pros/cons of different fabrics, as well as suggestions of fabrics to combine here.

excellent thank you.

Yeah, these people sound like fuck-ups.

Complete idiots, they were.

I feel you. It frustrates me too. This sort of attitude is exactly why I'm becoming a historian of women's health. I need to figure out this strange evolution of perceptions about menstruation in our culture.

That's great. I live in a rural community, so I can not talk about using cloth menstrual pads, or they will probably start some nasty rumors about it. I guess the rural community is just an extention of high school in some aspects.

Wow. That's appalling. YAY INTERNET.

I have nice ones with fleece surfaces, hemp cores, and organic cotton backs. I got them from Perfect Pads. I've made them out of flannel before, and it worked great, but I wouldn't use the ones I made for anything but very, very light days. At night, I use thin, cut up towels, about washcloth-sized, folded over twice into long rectangles.

I also got a Diva Cup recently, and it rocks my goddamn world.

I've never gotten good replies for ANYTHING from Yahoo answers, let alone something as non-mainstream as cloth pads. Yes most women will view them as dirty and cups as messy; and anything reusable menstrual-related as disgusting. It's not, but I don't waste my breath educating anyone anymore if they knee-jerk "That's gross!".

I do, however, like to leave cup pamphlets and stickers in public restrooms near the tampon machines :D I see it as a public service since a huge amount of women think paper pads or paper tampons are their ONLY options. I know I did for years.

There's lots of cloth pad related LJ groups and forums floating around on the web too. I'd suggest going to one of them, the users already like cloth pads and I find that they're (usually) a lot friendlier too.

I'm 99% a cup gal (switched from a keeper to a mooncup after a latex allergy scare), but I've got a pad stash for when I'm feeling lazy or in too much pain to fuss with a cup seal. Flannel is very very comfy (but way too warm in summer). I'm not sure what the shell on my spring/summer pads is. Cotton jersey I think. Terry innards for absorbancy with a windbreaker-type material on the back to help prevent leaks.

I'm with you, and you should link to the post so we can all go and comment on it!

Yahoo answers is a bit crap though, unfortunately :( I admire you trying to find someone sane on it.

I'd be very tempted to reply to the "why go backwards" woman. Because going "forwards" has destroyed large portions of our planet and ruined our health.

for real. The fact that most women don't know they have an option, and when they find out they do they spit on it bugs me.

I agree! And I only use cups anymore cause I am much too lazy to do my laundry on a regular basis. :)

wow that is really unfortunate, im sorry that ahhhh i dont even know what to say
i make my own cloth pads and i love hemp fleece
you can check out styles and such on my page and feel free to email me if you want info on how to make pads
here are some examples of ones i make
http://www.holisticallyheather.etsy.com

let me know if you need help making them
oh yeah and i dont check the email associated with my livejournal so just email me
uticacriticalmass@riseup.net


hey awesome. I really want the majority of my pads to be made for heavy bleeders. But, alas, I bleed lightly, so I don't know how to do this. Love hemp material in general, so making pads out of hemp sounds wonderful.

Happy New Year.

Awesome pads, do you sell a lot of them? What do you use for the very top layer?

I have an idea to add character to mine. I do want to use mostly organic material (except the pul) and get the material undyed. Then I want to tye-dye the fabric, and make tye-dye pads.

I want this, too! Tie dye pad party at my house!

Whoo hoo. Psychadellic Red Ghost Bed.

Its unfortunate that periods are considered "unsanitary" when actually they are a completely natural and healthy function of the female body. Its so strange that the negative connotation of menstruation comes from men and yet is embraced by women everywhere who also consider it to be a disgusting. Have you ever read the book "Cunt"? I suggest you do so if you haven't. There is a whole section on menstruation and alternate ways of controlling it, including a reference section in the back. This is an AMAZING book that every woman should read.

I will be sure to look that up, it sounds interesting.

Cunt is an amazing resource, it made me acutely aware that I was afraid of my own blood. I was a product of male-dominated feminine hygiene industry- made to believe I was dirty and smelly and guilty. There are some other books that should be mentioned: The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo: Menstruation by Karen Houppert "Houppert says these corporations have created a pervasive "culture of concealment" surrounding menstruation, perpetuated by advertising and single-sex "puberty education" classes in schools"- thats from a summary.

I want to start a social website dedicated to menstruation where women can talk and come together at their awesome time of the month! Kind of like twitter and eventful where it encourages women to meet face to face in their own communities.

check out esty.com for woman homemade rags!

I am not afraid of my blood. I had the good fortune of growing up with a mother who let me see that it was natural and normal. At the age of seven, I knew that a period was what I could expect when I got older. I actually looked forward to it, because to me it was a sign of being a woman. Closer to teen years, around the age of 11, I read a book about a girl from africa who went through a hell of a life, the one highlight, the one good thing in her life that she celebrated was her period, because it meant that she was a woman.

My ma and my sister and me, all used to go sit in the bathroom and talk when she (my ma) was going to be in there for a while. And sometimes she wold be changing her pad or whatever. She would show us the pad with the blood and all and explain to us what it was and why she was bleeding. She told us it was an egg, and then explained to us how babies came about and that egg cells were part of what created babies.

So from a young age I had the realization that menstruation was a sign of fertility, it meant that you could still have babies, and I have never looked down on it.

Now that I make my own pads, I look forward to it even more because I get to try the new ones I've made for myself. I have two daughters and I plan to do to for them what my mom did for me, that way (hopefully) they grow up knowing that it is normal, natural, and even wonderful because it means they can have kids someday too.

I'm a guy and I look forward to that time of the month, especially the second day.
Most guys who love their partner after experience in full flow want to come back for more..
its not a guy thing its an advertising and cultural thing..

Trader Joe's does sell bamboo fiber towels-- might have been what the one poster was talking about.

Personally, I'd never ask any serious kind of question on yahooanswers-- I'm pretty sure that it's mostly just a playground for trolls in most subjects.

I do think that posting questions about cloth pads on mainstream websites like yahooanswers is a brilliant way to introduce the seed of the idea of using them with women that would have not otherwise heard of them, so I commend you there. (Maybe I'll go there and put a few questions up.)

I like my periods, not that I'd be any less of a woman without them, and I'm not grossed out by them.

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