#periodpositive’s campaign for Menstrual Hygiene Day 2017
Petition title: Brands Off! Keep companies out of menstruation education.
- Sign and share the petition (launching 28 May 2017)
- Help us to get #periodpositive and #brandsoff trending on social media
- Visit www.periodpositive.com to find out more and pledge your support for taboo-breaking menstruation education
For over a century, menstruation education has been co-opted by companies selling disposable menstrual products. These are the same companies that reinforce menstruation taboos, by associating periods with shame and secrecy, in order to sell more products. This situation has to stop.
With Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) about to become a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, now is the time to ensure that menstruation education is of high quality, and places children’s best interests above those of profit-makers. Let’s not entrust our children’s developing self-esteem and understanding of reproductive health to ‘the tampon lady’, or any other supplier of branded teaching resources. We want parents, schools, and the government to reclaim control over this critical aspect of a child’s physical and emotional development, by committing to make sure that menstruation education becomes ad-free.
Sign the petition to help the #periodpositive project put this into action. It’s about bloody time!
Part of WOW – Women of the World11 Mar Blue Room, Level 1, Royal Festival Hall
Break all taboos in this comedy for menstruators and non-menstruators of all genders from science comedian, sex educator and #periodpositive campaign founder, Chella Quint.
Five Stars and one more show!
Our founder Chella Quint’s comedy show, Adventures in Menstruating, had a sell-out (well… full up – it was the Free Fringe) five star run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (and had a couple of other lovely reviews and mentions), and she’s doing it again in her adopted home town of Sheffield on 15th October as part of the Off the Shelf Festival!
Here’s the Sheffield show link – advance booking is strongly recommended!
Check out these lovely audience reviews:
This was so good! Educational and funny, a definite must-see. – Fran Day
A funny look at periods hosted by the lovely, likeable and well informed Chella! A relaxed hour of fun. The show was a light hearted look at a somewhat taboo topic but it also had a serious side. It highlighted the importance of spreading a period positive message to girls and young women. You can donate sanitary protection at the show which they deliver to local food banks so pop into Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s on the way. Oh and there were lots of blokes there when we went … so men don’t be put off! – Andy
Incredible show. Funny, informative, remarkably non-confrontational and an absolute joy to watch. Men and women of all ages would enjoy this show, and if you don’t come out a little bit in love with Chella, you’re a stronger human than me. – Amber Peachey-Moore
And some delightful tweets:
Adventures In Menstruating is on the money. It is funny, educational, inspirational and a call to arms. – @alexanderkelly, Third Angel
Amazing show, everyone must see it – @dianeatkinson Manchester Girl Geeks
Absolutely brilliant show by @chellaquint tonight! Some of the best & funniest science communication I’ve ever seen! – @rebecca_curtis
In a darkened room full of strangers I’ve done the Menstruation Mambo, sang the Crimson Tide and come out with a stain! 10/10 – @sharonowen06
Adventures in Menstruating @chellaquint hands down best science communication I have ever seen! – @lauramossedu
Went to see @chellaquint’s show Adventures in Menstruating with @hungrygraduate and it was bloody great! – @thomashind
I had the joy of seeing Chella Quint’s incredible show at the fringe yesterday. Go! Please all go! –@ameliasalty
Passionate and bloody funny – @tsotfringe The Sick of the Fringe
Completely inspired by this show!!! Can not wait to let more people know about Leak Chic!! – @ellenrosejones
Adventures in Menstruating has been the highlight of #edfringe2016 – hilarious and informative! – @morphosaurus
Adventures in Menstruating at the Fringe!
Our founder Chella Quint’s educational comedy show, Adventures in Menstruating, sold out at the Manchester Women in Comedy Festival, got four stars at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and… is back at the fringe again this summer! 6-28 August except Tuesdays, 6:40 pm at the Banshee Labyrinth!
A Bleeding Shame
Our founder Chella Quint will be talking about #periodpositive education and menstrual taboos with Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey on A Bleeding Shame providing a cultural history of menstrual taboos and reflecting on last year’s fringe show in preparation for THIS year’s fringe show. Tune in to Radio 4 live at 11 am or online/abroad via BBC iPlayer Radio shortly after 11:30, follow Chella Quint and tweet to @chellaquint and @periodpositive using #periodpositive and #bleedingshame to find out more!
Introducing… #periodpositive Partners!
Since comedian, designer, education researcher and #periodpositive founder Chella Quint coined the term “period positive” in 2006, she has used this alliterative and catchy phrase in her popular zine and comedy show, Adventures in Menstruating, in installations and campaigning and has always invited others to join her. “It’s to show that we’re not afraid to challenge taboos and talk confidently and openly about everything menstrual, no matter how much we know or how we feel about periods, whether we menstruate or not.”
Ten years later #periodpositive is used by campaigners worldwide and the menstrual taboo landscape is starting to change.
Chella’s view on this: “I think people like the phrase ‘period positive’ because they realise it isn’t about skipping through a meadow, singing about how wonderful periods are. You can still hate your periods, or be indifferent to them; it’s about having a positive attitude to talking openly and challenging taboos about reproductive health.”
The best way to challenge these taboos once and for all is through education – because, like this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day theme asserts – Menstruation matters, for everyone everywhere.
Now, Chella has combined her findings as a teacher researcher with DECSY’s Gender Respect Project, her art, and her comedy and is launching the start of a comprehensive menstruation education programme on 28 May, Menstrual Hygiene Day. Starting from 28 May, you’ll be able to become a #periodpositive Partner and check out some recommended resources. Soon you can download a school audit, lesson plans and recommended resources, some which incorporate Chella’s spoof advertising installation STAINS™, some of which ensure kids are getting the nuts and bolts of the biology and others that help pupils understand the different reusable and disposable options for menstruation management.
There is currently no comprehensive menstruation education programme in the UK, and #periodpositive will be sharing progressive and inclusive methods and ideas, for example:
- ensuring corporate branding and advertising are nowhere to be seen
- including reusable menstrual products
- providing materials for younger pupils
- and including all genders in learning
Why should schools, families and communities prioritise this?
Chella: “Taboos often remain because of an almost unconscious transmission of misinformation. The ‘period talk’ has become a part of this paradigm and we need to completely transform menstruation education in schools. The current way we teach or, frequently, avoid teaching about menstruation is unsustainable in a number of ways. Young people embody early attitudes about their reproductive health, and a lack of understanding or negative influences can have serious consequences, from teasing, to negotiating consent and pleasure, to missing early diagnoses of life-changing illnesses like endometriosis and ovarian cancer.”
Not all learning happens in schools, though, and the http://www.periodpositive.com resources also include opportunities for parents, youth workers and health care professionals to up their #periodpositive game! And yes, there’s even an interpretive dance. It’s called the Menstrual Product Mambo.
There are some excellent resources and organisations out there that also fit in with Chella’s #periodpositive vision. To help supporters of #periodpositive find others who match these values, and bring some focus and action-taking to this movement, Chella is working with a team of advisers across sexual health education, diversity and inclusion, design and marketing to develop the #periodpositive Partners award. This award will officially lend the #periodpositive name and emblem to projects, resources and campaigns that share the same taboo-breaking ethos. If you would like to share a resource you’ve created, see some of the recent submissions, or find out how to apply to be a #periodpositive Partner alongside your own, check back here on 28th May.
You’ll also be able to find out how you can take action to support the #periodpositive Partner Schools campaign as a parent, student, youth worker, health care practitioner, charity worker or any other concerned human! Follow @periodpositive and share your thoughts this Saturday and beyond using #periodpositive and #menstruationmatters on social media.