Do you ever read something, be it a tweet, an article or an Instagram caption and it just sets your blood boiling? Well, on Friday morning I happened along a tweet from Clue and it sent me through the roof. Clue, for those of you who don’t know, is an app specifically designed to track your period and help you better understand your body. It’s quick and easy to use and has every answer to every question you could possibly have about your period!
This specific tweet was a repost of photographs from a company based in Olfen, Germany called Pinky Gloves. A company recently started up by two men that sells a period disposal kit dubbed as a product created “for women, by men”. In this kit you will receive 48 pairs of pink plastic gloves that double as disposal bags so that you can dispose of your used period products “properly and discretely”, not forgetting that women can with this product to “avoid unpleasant smells, bacteria and germs in the garbage, and keep used tampons from the eyes of others”.
This product is supposed to help women avoid the “unhygienic” menstrual blood they have during their cycle. The creators of the product, who have since the company’s launch been forced to issue an apology, stated the idea for this creation came after they experienced unpleasant smells and uncomfortable experiences after living with female housemates or their wives.
And we all let a long sigh of frustration.
Myths stating that period blood is “unclean” or “unhygienic” date back to pre-agricultural times. Other negative believes about periods being “unclean” come from the bible, the Quran and the first Latin encyclopaedia. Period blood is no less sanitary or hygienic than blood that could come from anywhere else in your body and according to Clue, there aren’t any germs or bacteria contained in menstrual blood.
Besides the fact that this product does not line up with the science behind the menstrual cycle it is flat out period shaming. Period shaming is making anyone who has period feel ashamed or embarrassed simply because they have the capability to menstruate. I cannot stress this enough: having a period is completely normal! So normal in fact that over 50% of the people living on this planet will at one time or another have a period!
So, why are we still making women and others who have periods feel like they should have to “discretely” experience something that is completely normal? Why are we telling young people that they should be keeping tampons from “the eyes of others”? and why are men trying to make periods about them?
The Issue Is Bigger Than An Awful Business Idea
The issue is so much bigger than this one product and this one conversation. Period shaming is a massive problem and it is causing women and young girls to deal with any issues that may arise because of their period alone, instead of asking someone who might be able to help.
For goodness sake, even here in Ireland we’re actively banning Tampax ads. Ads that were educational! Ads that were helpful! For a country that is seen on the world stage as forward moving and ground breaking we should be embarrassed that we’re making half of our population feel shamed of something that they should be empowered by.
Getting your period is normal. It might be a bit scary at first but it is completely normal.
It’s 2021 and period shaming should not be happening. We are dealing with one of the widespread period poverty issues the country has ever seen and worldwide we are still making products that will continue to make anyone who menstruates feel ashamed of a normal bodily function instead of making sustainable and affordable products so that no women is ever left in need at that time of the month. You break a stigma through education, conversation and a realisation that what you are talking about is completely normal.
So, say it with me, loud and proud! Having a period is normal and it is nothing to be ashamed of!