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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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1. I don't have a favourite colour really, although I do fill my home with green. Colours have a very emotional effect on me. If I surround myself in a certain colour, I'm going to feel happier, more relaxed, or maybe anxious or depressed depending on that. For this reason, I'd love to have a menstrual cup that makes me feel happy when I look at it. Periods aren't easy to experience, but I'm finding that through the process of learning about bleeding herstory and through the use of cups & re-usable pads, my attitude towards my period has changed a lot. Consequently, I don't suffer as much when I bleed because I don't hate it anymore.

2. Someone mentioned clear yellow with rainbow sparkles - I'd love that, it sounds happy! I like the clear silicone too, but for some reason I'm really into the idea of a sparkly cup. Can't really justify it. I have a couple of silicone sex toys with sparkles in them and I think they're very pretty.

3. I've only used organic cotton, uncoloured pads. I like my bleeding rag to look like a rag, since, unlike the cup, it stains, gets worn and in general, looks like a rag. I'm fine with that, and I don't use pads often.

4. YES. I think that if there were no taboos around periods I would be able to say to my boss: "Boss, I'm not feeling well. Can I go home an finish this tomorrow?" After a few months, it would become apparent what the cause of my illness was, and I just can't do that now.

5. I used to hate my period. I hated that time when I wasn't "normal". In the last few years I've learned that I don't have to be "normal" all the time, and in fact, all month long I'm going through a varying phase of normal. Being more sensitive around my period IS normal. I accept myself more for how my personality cycles, and I'm much happier for it. Cutting myself some slack has made a big difference.

6. Yes. I found out about menstrual cups & cloth pads from my friends, but I would never have been able to succeed with cup usage without the menstrual cup community. I'm so glad it exists because using cups has made a huge difference in my life.

7. "Have a happy period!" pisses me off. Don't tell me what kind of period to have. Yes, I see the irony. :)

I really hate the pads & tampons section of grocery & drug stores. It's HUGE. Compared to my teeny cup that's going to last me many years, all those disposable pads & tampons look like horrible bleached waste. It bugs me that the majority of women still believe they need these disposable products, and so many of these products are centered around hiding the fact that we're bleeding so we can pretend everything is "normal". Perhaps some of this angst linked to me feeling duped by the disposable product industry for so many years.

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