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Friday, 11 September 2015

End The Stigma. Period.

End The Stigma About Periods, Tampon Tax

I would never have thought to have started a post like this, let alone click publish, until this morning. 


After waking up at 3am with crippling back pains and realising "oh great, it's that time of the month again" I thought nothing more of it until my morning scroll through Twitter. Nimko Ali had posted a picture of a cartoon girl crawling on the floor with the speech bubble "maybe I'm just dying" and the hashtag #LiveTweetYourPeriod. My first thought was utter empathy and joy that someone else knew how I felt, followed by embarrassment. Embarrassment on behalf of her for tweeting it, me for reading it, just plain embarrassment. It's got to stop.

Sure I don't think I'm up for living tweeting it just yet, but I definitely want to move towards removing the stigma surrounding 'shark week', or whatever delightful phrase you have for making it easier to say. I know many people have been doing this in the media recently and I applaud them for it, but I felt like I needed to take a personal step towards removing the stigma for myself. So I'm taking a deep breath and hoping I won't regret this, by starting with a blog post. A post that says I'm tired of not being able to say why some days of the month are utterly rubbish, when there are literally billions of women going through the same thing.


I have it so much better than most. Homeless women face an endless struggle of not having tampons, and the great taboo surrounding the 'crimson wave' makes this worse because few thing to donate such a basic item to shelters. In many parts of the world girls are literally forced to miss school because of their 'Aunt Flo', and considered dirty. It's a horrible reality that if I think it's bad for me, it's infinitely worse for others; and you know me and my attitude of gratitude, I always like to keep some perspective. Even in the more privileged circles of the sporting world, it can be a big issue.So I say let's kick back against the 'cotton pony' (seriously Google slang words for periods, it's an endless list!) and accept that periods happen and they are normal. 


And why not try to help others while we're at it? Initiatives such as donatepads.org and The PeriodProject make it really easy for you to help those who don't have access to clean and safe sanitary methods.

Now don't mind me, I'm going to curl up in a ball and cry softly to myself whilst I wait for the ibuprofen to kick in..


Oh and David Cameron, just take the bloody tax off tampons will you?




9 comments:

  1. This post is amazing! I think it's crazy that there's such a stigma surrounding something that (generally) happens to every female on this planet. It makes me absolutely livid that there's a tampon tax too xx

    Toasty

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    1. Thank you Beth! It drives me crazy that we suffer in silence when we know that other women understand because it happens to them too. I'm glad that people are having a positive response to this post because it helps us break down that stigma just a little bit more :)

      Liza xx

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  2. Hi Liza! I don't know if you remeber me, and the random google ID won't help, but I'm Sarah Jane, we were on kiwi experience together in 2013? Anyway, I saw your blog address posted on facebook, and just had to comment on this post. I live in Sweden now and the children's channel here has just launched this video - http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/14/singing-tampons-follow-dancing-genitals-on-swedish-kids-tv to educate children about periods. It's great to start it at such a young age, as that is the only way to normalise something. I remember learning about periods at 10, with the boys sent out of the room. How does that help the situation? It just tells you that it is something taboo, something that boys don't need to know about, which is ridiculous considering those boys have mothers, probably sisters and in the future girlfriends (if they swing that way).
    Hooray for end the stigma!

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    1. Sarah Jane, of course I remember you! How exciting that you're now in Sweden, and it's so great they have education early. I remember the boys being sent out of the room too, and it's so stupid because it's such a natural part of life and, as you say, everyone is affected by them to a certain extent. It was so great to hear from you! xx

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  3. I love this post, we should talk about this all the time! I was going through pms last week & crying at everything, ok this is TMI but I leaked on my sofa the other day (praise the lord it was mine) & my fiancee said why the hell aren't you wearing a tampon, DON"T YOU THINK I AM, IT JUST HAPPENS, I CAN"T CONTROL IT!! .... & just cried. They just don'e understand! I recently wrote a post about contraception as I feel things like this need to be spoken about. H x

    http://hannahcrossley.com/2016/01/15/tmi/

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    1. Oh Hannah I love your comment for being so honest! That sounds so annoying, I really hate it when I leak when it happens to all of us at some point or another. Guys really don't understand because they just don't have to deal with it! I really love your post :) xxx

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  4. PREACH! It's utterly ridiculous that about 50% of the population gets, or has had, periods, and yet it's still taboo to talk about them, even on women-centric publications and blogs! Your post is refreshing to see, thanks for fighting against this nonsensical stigma!

    Coline | Conflicted Beauty

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    1. Thank you Coline! It drives me crazy that there is a stigma, it's literally a natural occurrence that we can't control. Let's keep fighting the stigma together! xxx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts with me. I read and reply to each and every one.

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