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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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To answer your initial post before you started posting, it makes marketing sense to put out cups in different colors or designs. As consumers, we like choices. We like being able to pick things that are visually appealing and that suit us and that make us even more individualistic. Think about it: why should we care what color our toothbrushes are? Why aren't they just all white, or clear, or whatever's natural/cheap to produce? The simple answer is that if the options are out there, we're more excited to buy a toothbrush than if they all looked the same. Ooh, I can get this fun one with the unique curve and the purple sparkles! It suits me! What personality it has! For a while, before the newness wears off, it even makes it more fun to use the product. It's not necessary at all--but people like it and it will affect their buying habits.

1. Red. Ironically, the shade of red of the blood I pour out of my menstrual cup. I think it reflects my passion, intensity, and vibrancy.

2. It would depend on the kind of color. If it's a bland solid, not so cute, but if it was more pearly or something, then maybe I'd consider it. Probably a pearly blue.

3. Personally, I loved being able to pick which liner I bought, the pattern and color and material. If only white cotton had been available, that's what I would've bought, but yes, I admit it, it did make me want the product even more when I saw the different selections and got excited over which one was the prettiest. Does it matter what color fabric my blood pours onto, when no one but me will see it? Of course not. But picking something that fits me instead of a standard item makes me happy.

4. Slightly, but I got over it. The taboos I was mostly affected by were: Not supposed to talk about it, supposed to be embarrassed. It's gross to have sex on your period. These are all things I've had to overcome. From the beginning, though, I almost had to make myself feel what I was supposed to feel because I just didn't. For instance, I was ecstatic to get my period and I knew from peers that it was supposed to be a big pain. They all dreaded it--I was thrilled, particularly since I was 14 and a half and all my friends already had theirs. Even now I enjoy getting my period, and it's not something I can explain or expect others to understand.

5. See 4.

I'm not really interested in answering 6 or 7.

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