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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 like different colors, but I'm particularly fond of chartreuse-- there's something about the way it stands out against other colors that appeals to me.

2. Florals. I'd like a cup that had flower patterns on it, in just one or many colors-- it doesn't matter, primroses would be cute or magnolias.

3. Same as above. I have a lot of control over this part because I sew my own pads and liners so I look for fabrics with flowers, the more mod or retro the better.

4. Not really.

5. I was ambivalent about my periods for many years. In someways I still am, but I do appreciate them much more. I try to use my menstrual cycle as a reminder to be more creative (something I don't always make time for otherwise) and now I look forward to my period.

6. Yes. I don't feel so alone and alien. I live in a rural town where few would dare to wear cloth pads let alone openly discuss them (or display them as I do at local craft fair-- it's encouraging to discuss things openly without the other people involved saying "Oh" and "Ew" and look at me like I've grown a second head. To give credit where it's due it was my son that found the communities here on LJ that I've joined.

7. I'd like to see menstrual products marketed without shame or apologies. I'm so sick of phrases like "Discrete protection from embarrassing leaks" and "internal protection you can trust" It's sloughed off endometrium with a bit of blood, not alien blood that eats through metal floors, do I really need to be protected from it? I'll say that's my one disappointment with some cup and cloth pad vendors is that they offer "protection" (seriously, my uterus is not harboring some kind of mob henchman that's going to come out my vagina and break my knees if I don't pay up every 28 days), ditto for words "control", "manage" and "handle"

Even if the vernacular sounds a bit cheesy (or forced) some positive associations would be good, words like "celebrate", "welcome" and "embrace" appeal much more to me than "discrete protection"

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