Saturday, June 12, 2010

on feminism and periods

i find it this rather entertaining. at the same time i find it equally entertaining that the only difference between these and regular kotex products is the packaging (neon colours!) the price ($5 more!) and them making fun of themselves. at the same time, though, they have the traditional (read:cliche) ads happening in Australia with different packaging (black!)

so clearly the only thing that's changed is someone a little smarter works in the advertising department. i don't worry about the whole issue myself since i take birth control without a break (more on that in another post), and i do approve of busting the retarded decades-old ad styles and shame game, but i do think somewhere they missed the fucking point. there is absolutely no reason to use disposable period products of any kind. women have been using cloth and sponges for hundreds of thousands of years and had less medical problems from it. moreover i think the "change the packaging so no one knows it's a tampon and then seem hip by making fun of our old image" is rather insidious and neatly sidesteps the main issue of menstruation being a taboo topic of conversation. our history books have gone so far as to make it seem we're really nice and modern and tolerant now since "we used to make bleeding women stay in their own tent or building since they were considered unclean". this is another of those cases of history is written by the victors and just because it could be worse doesn't make the present better. those history books fail to mention the rich sisterhood that existed in that seclusion time. the time honored traditions passed from mother to daughter, the gentle time of rest and celebration. this was not a tradition of men screaming "EEEEW! BLOOD! throw her over there, out of sight!" this was a voluntary ancient tradition of female power and wisdom which the men who wrote the history books were so terrified of they twisted it out of all recognition. even if any of that "history" were true it would not excuse our current society's attitude towards healthy women of a childbearing age (which really is rather "EEEEW BLOOD!"). if we want to really take feminine power back where it belongs, it begins with owning our bodies. it begins with handling the hygiene of blood the same way we view any other body fluid: it's a fact of life. it's as gross or clean as you want to think it is. there is certainly no need to fill our landfills with disposable products that are harmful in their production, use, and decomposition. you want to do something really radically feminist? trade your tampons for a diva cup and your plastic pads for cloth ones you throw in the washer with the towels. stop blushing and averting your eyes when people talk about vaginas and bleeding therein. refuse to accept people implying you are not to be taken seriously due to pms or hormones and demand the respect you deserve as a competent adult human with valid emotions and thoughts. and most importantly: teach your daughters and sisters and mothers the same.

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