Let’s talk feminism for a bit. Because it is important. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how much has shifted when we look at equal rights and opportunities for men and women.
Women can vote, go to uni, climb the corporate ladder. This has led to the opportunity for women to be successful in the patriarchy. That success comes with possibilities for them to make their voices heard. Looking forward, this seems to bring us to a new phase in feminism with more attention for the feminine point of view, expressing differences between the sexes. Not to widen the gap once again but to share the feminine perspective that has long been underrepresented. We see this in the #metoo wave – women sharing openly what it means to feel vulnerable and/or physically inferior.
To be raised with a message to always be careful. I don’t want to add to that debate necessarily but I feel it is in line with another trend that caught my attention: I see more and more efforts to normalise menstruation. This sounds like a contradiction because really, what is more normal than a menstruating woman? But hey. First in art, then in sports (here and here), in small businesses creating new solutions (menstrual cups and period proof undies) and finally, in A-brand commercials.
Libresse takes the brave first step in showing more directly what their products are actually used for
That this is a bold move is reflected in the fact that their initial commercial got banned worldwide.
The focus of sanitary pad and tampon ads has been to tell girls and women that by using these products they can do everything you would ‘normally’ do.
Hide your period and be the same every day of the month, just like men are. But we are not men. We are women. We have cycles and they affect us, both physically and mentally.
Not being able to express that creates an atmosphere of shame, guilt and embarrassment for such a normal and natural thing that is an indispensible part of every woman’s life. It denies a big part of who we are as women, our fertility, our capability to grow life.
There are valuable lessons to learn from this cycle, there’s periods (pun not intended) of reflection, of action, of creation. Instead, women’s hormonal changes are often subject to public ridicule.
I feel claiming the reality of the menstrual cycle is a very important step in liberation for women and feminisation of society. True liberation is not just in the acceptance but merely the appreciation of the functionalities and workings of the female body.
Bleed on, sisters, bleed on!
Zepha de Roo