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let's talk dirty.
Or should I not say that? After all, what I’m about to discuss with you is a topic that has been considered ‘unsanitary’ for years. This taboo topic kept secret, unpronounced and unacknowledged as an integral part of the way our society exists. I’m talking about menstruation. Oh, you didn’t hear me clearly enough? I’M TALKING ABOUT THAT THING THAT WOMEN ALL AROUND THE WORLD GO THROUGH ONCE A MONTH THAT IS THE SHEER REASON YOU EXIST. That time of the month. Receiving a visit from Aunt Flo. Riding the crimson wave. When the painters are in. Being on the rags. Your monthlies. Lady time. Shark week.
It’s such an omnipresent part of the way we live and function as human beings and yet it is not even accepted or considered a natural way of life, nay it is scorned and smothered under the covers, lest we portray ourselves as uncouth. Why? When half the world’s population experience this?
The Crimson Movement have sought to change the way we think of menstruation, and how it plays a role in the woman’s day to day life - not only the drawbacks and the limitations, but the notion that menstruation and menarche (a female’s first bleed) should be celebrated. The best way to begin changing this perception is through education, particularly the education of our children in order for them to grow up in a society where having your period is a completely normal thing.
Yesterday, The Crimson Movement launched their first children’s book - Cycling to Grandma’s House, written by Jac Torres-Gomez and illustrated by Erin-Claire Burrow. It’s a touching story that follows the movements of Luna, a young girl, as she discovers all there is to know about menstruation and the ways it is acknowledged and celebrated throughout different cultures. This book at it's message is so pivotal in moving our society away from seeing this as such a taboo topic, and creates opportunities for young girls and boys to learn about their bodies and the way that they behave during puberty.
Sex education is so unrepresented in modern day education. So much so that I still come across women who don’t realise we have three holes. Really? You don’t know that? That is a clear example of how our society tends to wrap our young women up in cotton wool, until they’re released into the world as adults with limited knowledge on how to take ownership over their bodies. If we can change the way women and men are taught about sex in school, even from a very early age, it may help to prevent the spread of STDs and unwanted pregnancy. It will allow young adults to foster respect for one another’s bodies, for women to take ownership of their own sexuality and for men to acknowledge that women have that ownership.
And so, dear reader, it is time to acknowledge that ‘menstruation’ is not a dirty word. That periods are not something that anyone should feel embarrassed about. They have always been, and will always be a part of our lives. So just… get OVER it.
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