Just recently an acquaintance texted me, asking me to promote The Blood Project Social Media contest. Anyway, in case you’re not familiar with The Blood Project, it’s an initiative launched by two friends, Anna and Jasmine to widen access to girls and women for sanitary pads.
“We see the need for attention in the period poverty issue. People rarely talk about it since it is still a taboo topic in our country although it’s a natural thing. Also, we want women to feel care and love which triggers us to start this movement”The Blood Project
True, some women find it embarrassing to talk about that time of the month, but if anything, I believe that young girls and women need to be able to talk about it openly. Just as Anna and Jasmine said, it’s a natural thing.
Call it a period or menstruation or menstrual cycle or menstrual bleeding, whatever, a period is in fact an indicator that a woman’s body is healthy. I mean, having my menses regularly every month is normal. Imagine skipping a cycle or two, what does that say? Is there something wrong with me? Am I stressed out? Or heaven’s forbid, am I pregnant? Yikes!
Not only do most people feel that it’s a taboo topic to discuss, some women (and men!) still find it to be ‘dirty’. Let’s get the facts straight, a period is a process when blood and tissue that made up the lining of the uterus break down and are released through the vagina.
Just to recall my experience dealing with menses in this entry, I didn’t even know what it was until it really happened. Imagine a 12-year old me who had no idea what menses was and had no one to turn to except for my maid at that time since Mum was working. I remember I was walking like a penguin to the bathroom, wailing to get the maid to follow me because I didn’t know what menstruation was.
Of course, back in the days, the school would invite some spokesperson from XYZ sanitary pad brand to give a talk about period. Well, if I remember correctly, it didn’t do much good to me because I was a kid and I really didn’t know what to ask other than “Is it going to be painful?”
Oh, as if hitting puberty was not a painful experience enough for a young Ms. Paris. Then there were the regular period pains that include menstrual cramps, headaches, lower back pains, and in some more severe cases, nausea.
Anyway, back then, even buying sanitary pads was supposed to be done in a hush-hush manner. I mean, I never saw it as anything embarrassing but apparently, the uncles and aunties manning the convenience store counters would wrap the pads in old newspaper and then put them in a black plastic bag. Was I buying drugs?
Fast forward to adulthood, I’m still surprised to know that some adults still find it hard to talk about menses. I don’t even mind telling my partners (one partner at a time, let me rephrase that) if I am having menses. Not going all out, describing the flow or the cycle or anything like that. Just something like, “Can we go somewhere closer to home? I’m having my menses, so I don’t feel like doing anything crazy today”.
For me, it’s just a sign that I trust my partner enough to share that sort of information, which I still don’t see as a taboo subject. I can even tell male friends that I’m making a stop at the pharmacy to buy tampons and not be embarrassed about it. Sadly, the same can’t be said about a former boyfriend from up north where it’s cold and snowy. He once berated me for telling him that I was having my menses. Heh? Okay, never mind!
Anyway, back to the Social Media contest organised by The Blood Project, I thought, hey, why not? Let’s change Malaysian mindsets so that we can talk about menses openly and not be judgemental about something that is natural and normal for any woman.
Now, let’s head to The Blood Project Instagram account. Please click ‘Follow’ and watch their video promoting the contest. All you have to do is guess which countries these people are from when they said ‘period’ in their native languages. Also, leave a comment below, why you and your friend deserve to win freebies from The Blood Project. It’s so simple!