28th May is Menstrual Hygiene Day. It was initiated by WASH United and announced at the SMCR‘s Making Menstruation Matter Conference last year. WASH United are joined by over 100 partners around the world to make May 28th “a global platform for partners across all sectors to engage in action, advocacy and knowledge-sharing around menstrual hygiene management.” You can find loads of resources and research at the link.
Since I’ve spent the past year undertaking menstruation education research, and the previous nine years engaging in comedy activism, I’ll be taking part today in a combination of ways, some silly, some sensible, all in the name of action, advocacy and knowledge-sharing.
Here’s what I’ll be doing, and you would be very welcome to join in:
This morning, I’m starting up this here Adventures in Menstruating blog again, because I have completed my MA in Education! It was an amazing experience, and I can’t stop reading academic papers. I am also launching www.periodpositive.com today because I am starting to disseminate findings from my research with suggestions for Period Positive Schools. My top ten tips will be tweeted from my @periodpositive account (please follow!) and shared on Facebook throughout today and will be going up on the website at the end of the day.
I’ll be following and posting on Twitter all day from @chellaquint and @periodpositive, and using the #periodpositive hashtag. I’ll also be retweeting and joining in with some of the many excellent projects and discussions taking place around the world all day. The Menstrual Hygiene Day hashtag is #MenstruationMatters. Some recent discussions I participated in have also used #periodtalk if you would like to follow the conversations.
Later today, I will be returning the Victorian Lady Bags which I may have ‘borrowed’ a number of days ago from my university toilets with the blessing of some of the staff, and disseminated among audiences at some comedy shows and science communication events. A Victorian attitude to menstruation is not what we’re looking for, so I decided to modernise these ladies with the help of some #periodpositive speech bubbles provided by some science-loving pals. I can only imagine that Queen Victoria would not be amused.
If you are amused, and if these bags are a familiar sight where you work or study, you can join in! Simply take them out, add a #periodpositive message (and the hashtag) about why #MenstruationMatters, and put them back. I’ll be tweeting the best ones throughout the day. If you find one, share it!
Speaking of amused, I’m pleased to share that STAINS™ is becoming an exceedingly on trend logo and fashion forward brand.
Like I always say, you don’t need to use real blood to reclaim. You can join in the fun by downloading your own stain at the link above or finding your stain if you picked one up at a show or a workshop, and wearing it today! Just make sure you follow the brand identity guidelines.
On a more serious note, I’ll be speaking about the history of advertising messages about Menstrual Hygiene Management and its effects on mainstream attitudes to menstruation in the UK this evening. If you’re nearby, please come along to this event at the University of Sheffield with Irise International, which is hosted by Friends of Irise. I’ll be deconstructing this advert from 1926:
You can click to enlarge and read the eye-opening fine print. I’d also invite you to explore the wonderful Ad*Access Archive for many more vintage ads from the 1920s through the 1950s.
It is great to be back. In the coming weeks I’ll be analysing all the ads I missed, revisiting some new and improved disposable packaging, and tracking the recent history of reclaiming stains.
Stay in touch and come back soon!