Are Periods Taboo?

Image courtesy of services.filkie.com
Image courtesy of services.filkie.com

Any female who is past puberty will know the trials and tribulations that come with “womanhood.” The first time a girl gets her period it is an extremely unnerving and strange feeling, as she realizes that she is no longer little and will be “stuck” with bleeding for about a week, once a month, for at least the next thirty or forty years.

Periods are never any fun for anyone – PMS, menstrual cramps, leaks, the list is endless.

….SCREECH, HALT, EEEK, NOOOO!!!!!…..

This is EXACTLY the type of taboo conversation around menstruation we at Maxim Hygiene Products have been crusading against for the past seven years! We like to create positive perspectives around menstruation, encouraging women and girls to think of them as triumphs and tokens of love, rather than “trials and tribulations.”

Written accounts of menstruation date back to Ancient civilizations. Despite the thousands of years that have passed and as loud as Maxim has been, it seems this sort of sentiment around menses is still happening. Let’s look a little more deeply as to why this might be happening…

Many religions view menstruation as “unclean” and often try to restrict women from doing certain activities like having sex or entering places of worship. Numerous third world countries also struggle with accepting this natural bodily function as something as “normal” and many girls often find themselves being taunted or unable to go to school due to their periods. Access to the proper feminine hygiene products is another major issue for various women around the world, and the lack of education and frankness regarding menstruation has led society to create a social stigma around it.

Image courtesy of thealternative.com

When we look at history and delve deeper into the way menstruation was viewed in the past, we find that women did not always have the short end of the stick (or tampon 😉 ). In certain civilizations females were often worshipped during their periods, and even seen as powerful with psychic capabilities that could perform miracles. According to Alain Corbin, the scent of menstrual blood in 1700s France was even considered to be seductive, as it was a sign that a woman was fertile. This way of thinking was very encouraging and proof that society is actually capable of embracing this important part of a woman’s life. According to a recent article in New York Magazine that received a lot of attention, it seems that not much has changed in today’s society in regards to this aspect except that it’s taken somewhat of a different form – male “bloodhounds” seeking out period sex.

In addition to Maxim Hygiene Products, there are many other organizations and people trying to alter today’s hush-hush mentality regarding menstruation and are making positive strides in the process. For example, two teen girls recently created a video game called “Tampon Run” that is meant to raise awareness about the period taboo, and more and more women in sports are trying to help females feel more comfortable talking about “Aunt Flo” or “Aunt Rose” without having to use those euphemisms. Annabel Croft, a tennis player, and Carol Smilie, a TV presenter, came together in 2012 to create a product that would allow women to stop feeling embarrassed about menstrual or bladder leaks, with their “Diary Doll” underwear. A brief look at the customer comments regarding the undergarment makes it appear as if it is a dream come true for many females.

Photo courtesy of diarydoll.com

At Maxim Hygiene we believe that females should not hide nor abstain from talking about their periods openly, and we applaud all of the efforts people are trying to make to change the menstrual taboo. Next week we will feature a feminist female artist in our blog that tackles this subject first hand through her artwork. Come back next week to see the strides she is making towards empowering women and making the world an overall better place.

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