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Menstruation Stigma

May 17, 2023
what is menstruation stigma?

Menstruation stigma is the burden that society puts on the act, and actors of menstruation as something that should be hidden because it’s seen as “dirty” or unclean.

In other words, menstruation stigma is the reason we joke about men needing tampons, “women’s issues” and genuine disgust and offence at the sight of menstrual blood or even the symbol of menstrual blood.

It’s the reason why I say menstruation and you think “yuck.”

It is the reason women’s health and medical research has fallen wildly behind that of men’s. It is the reason many women and young girls do not seek medical attention when something is wrong. It is the cause of deeply rooted sexist government and company policies. It is the reason why across every country, all menstruators feel a level of shame and secrecy around their monthly bleeding, no matter how advanced society has become.

It is the cause of period poverty,

The destigmatization of menstruation is a slow moving and young movement.

Courtney Cox said the word “period” on TV for the first time in the late 1980’s, the #likeagirl campaign in the early 2010’s addressed the subjects of their adverts in reality and up until 2017 brands were using blue liquid to demonstrate product absorbing ability – Kotex had the grand idea to show the products with a red liquid because, you know, blood is red.

There are many layers to menstruation stigma, too many for us to address in this blog, but we will share some follow up reading if you would like to educate yourself further.

At The M Scale, we are tackling menstruation stigma by giving a voice and a platform to all those who menstruate, to stand up for themselves and tell society what they need to manage better.

By telling councils., establishment owners and workplaces that they are not meeting our standards, we are giving them the opportunity to respond in earnest and act on those complaints. In turn, we are normalising these discussions and framing menstruation management as a human issue, not women’s issues.

Stigma has kept us quiet, and The M Scale lets us be loud.

Use your voice today!

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