Menstruation Goes Mainstream

This is my first blog post in a series for #The100DayProject, a project by Elle Luna. I'm naming it the #100Days ofBenevolent: an attempt to kickstart my daily blogging habit, which has been idle for years.

I'm already 2 days behind, which means I will have to catch up. My inertia came from a scarcity mindset - is my project good enough? Is it going to be worth it? Will anyone care? What should I write first? Will I run out of ideas?

Today, I decided, just start. With abundance.

The topic: woman.

Menstruation is so hot right now.

Poet, author and spoken word performer Rupi Kaur made headlines last year for a photo she posted on Instagram intended to "demystify the period," as part of a series she developed for a visual rhetoric course in her final year at university. 

 Photo by Rupi Kaur.

Photo by Rupi Kaur.

Since then, media outlets have been riding the wave, so to speak, of the conversation about blood flowing out of a woman's vagina (yes, I said vagina!)

Just look at Newsweek's most recent cover story: "THE FIGHT TO END PERIOD SHAMING IS GOING MAINSTREAM."

 Photo via Newsweek.

Photo via Newsweek.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, students at Beaconhouse National University (BNU) in Lahore, Pakistan got press mentions for sharing handwritten messages on sanitary pads stuck to their campus walls, as a protest to end the shame and stigma around periods.

Messages say things like  “This blood is not dirty” and “Periods make us hornier."

 Photo via Pakistan Today.

Photo via Pakistan Today.

Art as protest is nothing new, but art as shame-busting, period-mainstreaming is relatively trendy. See “Beauty in Blood" by Jen Lewis, who used her period blood to create an art project, with the images taken by her husband Rob Lewis.

 Art by Jen Lewis via Buzzfeed.

Art by Jen Lewis via Buzzfeed.

Perhaps Ygritte and Jon Show in Game of Thrones foreshadowed all of this, back in 2014.

Ygritte: "What's swooning?"
Jon: "... Fainting."
Ygritte: "What's fainting?"
Jon: "When a girl sees blood and collapses."
Ygritte: "Why would a girl see blood and collapse?"
Jon: "Well... Not all girls are like you."
Ygritte: "Girls see more blood than boys."