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Menstrual product revolution

Menstrual activism

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Menstrual lib and the colour of menstrual products
Beech leaves
elettaria wrote in menstrual_lib
I recently posted a silly poll on menstrual_cups about the latest development in menstrual cups: cups in different colours. It brought out several women asking the same question. Why should we care what colour a menstrual cup is? Why are so many people feeling passionate about the issue? The discussion developed to cover menstruation taboos as well as the menstrual product industry in general. As I'm fascinated by gender, anthropology, and colour, I thought I'd explore this a little further. It's a bit like the question in the Vagina Monologues, "If your vagina were to go out, what would it wear?"

Anyone can reply, whatever menstrual product they use, whether they love their periods or hate them (or both at once), whether they are aching for a pink and purple marbled cup with spangles to be produced or think the whole idea is a lot of nonsense and the original versions are the best. For all questions, I'm not just interested in a simple answer, but also how you feel about the whole business, how you relate to it personally. If you have conflicting opinions, go on and explore them. Since the answers are likely to be long, please be kind to those of us with visual problems and put paragraph breaks between the sections!

1. What's your favourite colour? How do you feel about it? Do you feel it expresses your personality in any particular way?

2. If you could magically have a menstrual cup that looked however you want it to, how would it look, and why do you make that choice? I'm thinking of colour in particular, but if sparkles or stripes are your thing, tell us about that too.

3. Same question for cloth pads, if you've ever used them or plan to. If you already have cloth pads, how involved did you get with the fabric selection (e.g. the company picked a pattern for you at random and you didn't care, or you sent the pad-maker some of your own fabric to use)?

4. Do you feel you have ever been affected by taboos about menstruation, and if so, how?

5. What attitudes do you hold towards your own periods? How have these changed?

6. Have you found that taking up reusable menstrual products and/or joining an online community that discusses menstruation and menstrual products has changed how you feel about your periods, your body, feminism, or anything else, and if so, how?

7. How would you like to see menstrual products marketed? Do current marketing methods bother you at all?

Cross-posted to menstrual_cups.

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5. I have a love-hate relationship with my periods, like many women. I get really nasty PMS and menstrual migraine, no one likes those. On the other hand, I once spent a couple of years without periods, and realised that I missed them. Being cyclical is a fundamental part of who I am, and while I could do without the extremes, it doesn't feel right to me to be without a certain amount of fluctuation in my body and feelings every month.

6. I've found it liberating. It made me think more about my body and pay more attention to it, and my attitude towards my own bleeding became a little more positive. Using a menstrual cup makes periods far less of a nuisance, you can even have (non-penetrative) sex without the blood getting in the way. The self-discovery is what makes the online communities so interesting, it's great seeing women teaching themselves and helping each other to know their bodies better and to succeed over the bloody nuisance factor.

7. I'd love to see them marketed more openly, and with the attitudes you find on these sorts of online communities, ranging from realistic to joyous, rather than the coy euphemisms used at the moment which cover the message that menstruation is disgusting. There are jokes about how how using a tampon will make you able to ride, swim and do rock-climbing, for instance, and when I had to send my boyfriend out to get me some disposable pads a year ago during a UTI, he had a dreadful time telling them apart as they used flowers as some strange code for absorbency. And of course, I'd like to see reusable products becoming more popular. It would be great to walk into a mainstream shop and see a bright, colourful display of cups and pads in all colours and patterns.

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