It’s good to see supermarkets changing the way they label aisles containing period products away from ‘female hygiene’ to ‘period care’ but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Words matter and for too long people with periods have put up with stigma around menstruation being perceived as dirty or unhygienic.
Today is ‘Menstrual Hygiene Day’ and it’s not a day that we get excited about TBH. That might sound weird coming from a sustainable period company but to me it almost adds to the stigma so many of us are fighting against.
We fight for period inclusivity, education, positivity. We fight so anyone with a period knows it’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. We work hard to provide options for sustainable period care but also for people to know that how they manage their period is their choice. The most important thing is people know that periods are normal. They are not unhygienic and introducing the word ‘hygiene’ adds to stigmas we are working hard to banish.
‘‘Menstrual Hygiene Day’ just feels cringy. It feels like yet another one of those annoying ‘official’ days designed to make you feel guilty about something. It also feels like a bit of a slap to those of us who work hard to normalise periods.
I’m sure whoever came up with the concept had good intentions. The official website is backed by lots of period companies as well as high-profile non-profits like the Gates Foundation but until the name is revisited, it’s not something we are signing up for and I hope those involved might take inspiration from those of us trying to reframe language used in the period and menstruation space.
Let’s rethink the term 'menstrual hygiene’. We don’t need a day to reinforce negative stereotypes - even if it’s unintentional.
Have a great week, Robyn xx