By: Reina Escobar
Menstrual activism- you’ve probably seen it. Maybe you’ve seen it on Instagram or Tik Tok. In short, menstrual activism is the movement of destigmatizing menstrual cycles and making menstruation easier for people. You may see it from people painting with their menstrual blood to people protesting against the high prices of feminine hygiene products. All of this has sparked the question, “Is menstrual activism even effective?”
The stigma against periods has been around for a long time. Many believe periods are “gross” and make people “moody.” It is reasonable why people with periods might want to start a movement destigmatizing something that shouldn’t have been stigmatized in the first place.
Something I’ve seen that actually helps towards the de-stigmatization of periods is educating people about it. For example, if you teach a ten-year-old boy that periods are natural, he’s probably going to grow up to be respectful about periods. However, not all parents are comfortable with teaching their children about menstrual cycles, so it is not possible for every family. This is just one of many helpful ways menstrual activists help destigmatize periods, but there are some ways the activists do drive some people away from the idea of destigmatizing periods.
Now, after saying that, you may think this is going to turn into a “menstrual activism is stupid” article. It is not! I believe in the de-stigmatization of menstrual cycles. However, there is something that some, not all, menstrual activists do. That thing is painting with their menstrual blood or displaying it for the public to see. Although periods are very natural, some people might be thrown off by the unique strategy which decreases the effectiveness of the movement. Personally, it doesn’t really bother me, but sometimes if it is just randomly on my Tik Tok For You page, it throws me off because it’s just there.
There will always be people looking down upon periods, but menstrual activism has been effective in destigmatizing menstrual cycles and making the conversation around menstruation easier for people. I commend menstrual activists for going out and protesting to make period products at a lower cost and just making a difference in general.