I don't know why some bodily functions are considered so socially unacceptable to discuss. Like I get that some of them are gross - you wouldn't want to bring up certain things when someone's unwrapping a Baby Ruth, or phlegm when they've just cracked open a creme brûlée and are about to slurp down the yummy goodness inside.
But those are specific social instances where the food someone may or may not be eating has a strong correlation to whatever unsavory bodily function you're bringing up. Some bodily functions, for some reason, have been turned into awkward topics of conversation regardless of social context.
Menstruation is one of them.
There have been several articles written about the "shame" associated with periods, despite the fact that it's a normal bodily process for nearly every woman in the world. People have protested this same "shame" in action as well.
Like Kiran Gandhi, who ran the London Marathon while on her period and flaunted her blood stains to destigmatize her menstrual cycle.
Now, the Indian film PadMan, is hoping to start a similar conversation. In the spirit of the movie, people are posing in photos where they proudly hold up a sanitary pad to show people that talking about menstruation shouldn't be such a big deal.
Famous actors are tagging other stars online, asking them to take part, which is naturally helping to bring more eyes to the movement.
This dude's not only posing with a pad and an awesome shirt, but a sweet writing utensils pouch behind him as well.
Menstruation is so stigmatized around the world that in many countries, girls simply miss school just because they have their period. That's several weeks out of the year that they're not being educated - and it doesn't have to be that way.
You would think that in an industrialized nation like America that period shaming wouldn't be such a prevalent issue, however, that isn't the case.
A survey of 1,500 women taken from all across America has shown that almost half of them have been "shamed" for either having their period or openly discussing it. 73% of women in the survey have actively hidden pads and tampons out of plain sight from others.
Although the idea of blood flowing from your genitals is something that freaks a lot of people out, by sharing photos, especially ones of such glamorous people proudly touting sanitary pads, hopefully people will think twice before plugging up their eyes or grimacing whenever menstruation is brought up.
Beautiful people brandishing simple, blood-stopping, pieces of cloth and plastic. Sounds like an effective campaign to me.
The campaign is especially important in India, where discussing it is a huge taboo and is seen as "dirty." In some instances, period shaming has tragic outcomes.
A 12-year-old girl killed herself last year after she was humiliated in front of her class for having blood stains on her clothing caused by her period.
Hopefully the #PadManChallenge will get some people more at ease talking about a perfectly natural body function.
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