Period Power: How to talk about periods and break the taboo
The year of #PeriodPower is here! Recently we talked about what Period Power means and why this topic is SO important...now more than ever!
So, great. Let’s spread the word and get everyone talking positively about periods… :D
...erm, is it me or did things just get SUPER awkward?
Yup we feels you. Periods are commonplace, normal and healthy but gosh darn they can still feel super weird to talk about. If you’ve been following us for a while or are a seasoned menstrual cup user then you’re probably more familiar with the topic than most (go team!) but the reality of the situation is that periods are still a taboo subject and most of us really REALLY don’t like talking about them.
Why talking about periods is important.
Because the best way to start dispelling taboos is to talk about them! If periods are seen as “gross”, shameful and secretive then that means:
- Those who have them are made to feel gross and ashamed (... as if women and menstruating individuals don’t face enough inclusivity issues in society as it is)
- People will find it more difficult to access the education, products and support systems they need
- The power periods have in society will remain inherently negative and difficult for us to improve the quality of life for over half the population on the planet.
- You never know when an open conversation can help someone close to you, without even realising.
How to talk about periods
So how can we bring more people in to this conversation in a way that brings more positive period power?
Ignore your red cheeks & ditch the shame (or try)
Because it’s not just what you say but how you say it. By letting any embarrassment feelings shine through you are signalling to others that they should feel embarrassed too. Be the positive example in your group of friends and beyond...you never know who’s attitudes you might be changing.
Talk to your brother, your father and the postman if you want
OK, depending on your relationship with the postman this could still be borderline TMI. But it’s super important that the topic of periods isn’t kept within the groups of people who menstruate. If we really want to change cultures then we have to include everyone...including your dad.
Use the correct terminology
Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy a funny creative euphemism now and again but avoiding words like “period”, “menstruation” and even “blood” means that we see them as “bad” or “gross” words, thus perpetuating the shame around it.
Own those words and you’ll begin to own your period more.
Because people who menstruate aren’t just cis-gender women who look like the model on the tampon box (Check out our blog post on gender and period care products.) Lots of different people menstruate and it’s crucial that they are made to feel just as much a part of the conversation.
Remember not everyone’s periods are the same
All of our bodies are set up differently and it can be easy to talk about periods like everyone sits in to the averages of experience. What might make sense and work for you may not be the best for someone else. This is why listening to lots of different people share their experiences is so important.
Follow period positive leaders and organisations on social media so you can learn more and stay inspired. When you are surrounded by period positive messages it gets even easier to spread the good vibes :)