7 years ago during women’s history month, when Rupi Kaur, Canadian poet, took this photo for a university project where she was tackling stigmas around menstruation. She shared it on instagram in 2015. The photo was quickly censored, went viral, and the internet unleashed their *opinions *.
Before it was removed, men were leaving comments like “this is disgusting. you’re disgusting. thank god we’ll be able to make babies in labs soon and won’t need women anymore”. This was actually said multiple times. When the photo was censored and went viral she was sent death and rape threats from around the world. it didn’t end!
all these years later it remains imperative that we continue discussing menstruation openly. because a lack of information and awareness leads to dangerous misconceptions. In many areas of the world today, menstrual hygiene remains a major problem because of limited access to affordable menstrual products and proper facilities.
In many parts of the world there’s a belief that when people are on their periods, they’re unclean. They’re forbidden to leave not just their homes, but are contained to specific areas of the home. They’re forced to miss school, unable to enter places of worship, and other public spaces. Some kids are missing 10-20% of school days a month because they’re menstruating, so they fall behind and eventually drop out. H
igher drop out rates increase the risks of child marriage, which inevitably holds kids back from employment or income access.
the stigma around menstruation is not limited to less developed parts of the world. here in the west, it’s been thought that those on their periods are “weaker” or “sick” for one week a month. little resources have been invested in this field of reproductive health so the list of misconceptions is endless.
There’s work that needs to be done and it begins by openly talking about.