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Menstrual product revolution

Menstrual activism

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Empty tampon dispensers in college
brad2542 wrote in menstrual_lib
I just read this story, which will probably be the subject of another post...when I'm not so busy.


http://media.www.theorion.com/media/storage/paper889/news/2007/10/10/Features/Empty.Dispensers.Cause.Tampon.Scramble-3021975.shtml
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And that's why cups are so damn brilliant. Mine gets tucked into a pocket in my bag and goes everywhere with me, so it's there if I need it. :)

The Onion is sometimes so close to the truth innit?

When I read this, I wondered why women wouldn't have brought pads/tampons/cups with them. Is it normal for women to be caught by surprise and not have any supplies?


Yeah, sometimes a woman or girl's cycle will start early for whatever reason. Stress is usually a key factor in earl/late periods. At least it is in mine.

Some women never ever have a regular period and can't even keep track of when their period will start. Sometimes they can be as regular as a clock and suddenly they won't, and they won't have their supplies.

My wife always has a back up pad somewhere in her bag. Don't most women have back-ups for those occasions? I guess becoming a "free flower" would be one solution...


Some people are more organised than others. Some will forget to replace the back-up tampon/pad, others will switch bags and forget to move the spare. (My mother has several handbags and is forever leaving important things behind when she switches bag.)

I don't know how aware you are of this, but there's a popular myth that women's cycles are all 28 days long. The 28-day length was actually dreamed up by the manufacturers of the contraceptive pill, and in fact the average is 29. Most women experience a certain amount of irregularity. And quite a few don't track their periods at all, or note down when they occur but then lose track of time.

Some women are very good at knowing when their period is due, others aren't. A few do fertility (FAM) charting and will pretty much know to the day, but they're a fairly small minority. It depends partly on whether there are any premenstrual signs (you can't miss when I'm premenstrual, alas), how regular those are (PMS can fluctuate a lot, anything up to two weeks; I had a wonky cycle this month, due to injury, where even my fertility charting didn't produce conclusive results, so I wasn't sure when I ovulated or when my period was due), but it also depends on how sensitive the woman is to those signs. Since menstruation is still so taboo, women are raised to hide the workings of their reproductive system, not trained to pay attention and learn about it. A friend of mine has a super-keen sense of smell and not only knows when her flatmates are menstruating, but can recognise differences in scent throughout the rest of the cycle (the body changes as it goes through its fertile phase). Other women may be getting perfectly common premenstrual signs, say a headache and water retention, bra no longer fitting, but will be so used to not thinking about periods as much as possible that they don't twig.

It's not The Onion; it's The Orion.

It's not just about women's needs being undervalued. It also shows how strong the taboo against discussing menstruation is, because if this were loudly discussed, the problem would at least be noticed more. As it is, few women are going to kick up a fuss about tampon dispensers, who on earth wants to take that to their boss or teacher? Though I reckon most of it is down to living in a world which sometimes makes it seem as if women are a small, unimportant minority, where basic needs aren't properly addressed.

Similarly, if you go to the theatre you'll notice the queues for the women's toilets are much longer than for the men's toilets. Women need more toilets per building because they need a cubicle rather than a urinal, thus needing more space and time per woman, but this rarely happens.

I once worked in a factory where they installed lockers in the ladies room because some complained there wasn't enough space for their supplies, and it was embarrasing carrying purses to the bathroom (is how it was told to me). Some woman/ women had to speak up about this to the male leadership of the company, which would take some "balls."

I guess many times it takes 1 woman to speak up, in both these cases, for "menstrual lib." Maybe like feminists of the 60's who spoke up for women's right, women and men need to speak out today about the inequality of treatment for women during their periods.

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